Indie Games: The first look at Hexicon; A Strategy Word Puzzle Game

Hexicon is a simple word puzzle game to play alone or with friends and strangers. You can challenge yourself and see how many words you actually know and recognise instantly. On a hexagon board with different letters, you’ll have to combine them to form a word and area control the tiles. You’re free to switch two adjacent letters with each other. You can reuse blue captured letters, but not red ones, which were taken over by the enemy. The goal is to capture (dark blue) most of the tiles. One capture equals one point and you need 16 to win.

The game is still under development, this review is written with the Version 0.4.3, Build 6. So do keep that in mind. Since this is Open Beta, feel free to play this game yourself and leave some feedback. The Indie Studio behind Hexicon has answered some of our questions as well.

Hexicon Tutorial Rules
Hexicon Rules

How did you come up with the idea of this game?

  • We wanted to make a word game that felt unique and more strategic than existing word games. We first tried several ideas using square grids and tiles, but they didn’t seem very exciting. Then we tried a hex board, and we found that it looked really cool and opened up many options for territory control mechanics. We sketched ideas and prototyped the game on the web for a couple of months before diving into mobile development.

Playing against the AI

Challenging myself versus the bot on the easiest settings is harder than I anticipated. While I can currently only come up with 4 to 6-letter words, the bot is finding words that can be 7-letter long. Therefore making it harder for me to find words on the board with occupied letters.
There are four different levels of difficulty and I compared the easiest to the hardest. The bot still did about the same length of words, but this time they were more compact and not build like a “snake”. They easily controlled the board.

If you finished a match with the bot and want to go another round, you’ll have to wait. The battery of the bot run out and takes four hours to reload. You can skip the wait time by watching an ad, though.

Left: Easy bot, Right: Expert Bot, about to capture two tiles

What is the technical difference between the bots in terms of difficulty?

  • The easier bots have limits on which words they can play and are prevented from capturing too many tiles on their turn. Harder bots have access to many more words and can capture more tiles each turn. Hexpert, our toughest bot, also uses territory control strategies to attack and counter the player.

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Playing Online in Hexicon

This game offers to play against other players online. A game can take up to 7 days and there is no option to change it to 30 minutes or a day. So a game can take several days for you to play, but that also means you have enough time to think and figure out what word to play. You have to bring patience if you planned on playing against other players. There is the option to play against friends as an alternative.

You also get rewarded with Hexicoins after certain plays and when you win. After that, you can head to the shop and buy yourself different items. New titles, new emotes or a new coloured board!

Hexicon shop store menu

Are there any plans for the future for the online play?

  • All games currently have a 7-day time limit, but we have talked about adding tournament style play with shorter time limits to make games more fast-paced. We also have plans to add boards of different shapes and sizes to make gameplay more varied each game (think non-hexagon boards, holes in the board).

What is currently being developed for the game? Are there any future plans?

  • We will be adding fun single-player content like daily challenges and Hexicon word puzzles in future updates. Hexicon is currently in open beta, but we are working toward a full release in the next few months. Player feedback is always welcome, and we use it to constantly improve the app!

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The game is monetising it with ads. To reload the battery of your bot or to get two or three times as much Hexicoins. In the current version, the ads do not work and this feature is exploitable. But they don’t push the ads on you forcefully. Meaning you’re free to decide whether you want to watch them for the bonuses or just skip it. Only regarding the bot play, it can become a nuisance. Let’s hope for a swift development!

You can go check out their website and download it on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store! And if you are an Indie Dev/Studio looking to get your game featured on GamingonPhone, feel free to contact us.

Have you played Hexicon before? How did you like it? Leave a comment down below and don’t forget to join our Discord Community for more mobile gaming stuff!

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