Hex is a pretty nifty CCG with a cool single-player component built like an RPG campaign; You build a character, collect cards and skill points to place in a tree, you complete quests - mostly by playing card games - and you explore dungeons, fight difficult tricky battles and improve your decks and its cards with gear and special abilities. I haven't touched the multiplayer of the game at all, only playing the single-player side of it, and I still had a great time with it, way better than I had with Heartstone back when I played it. If you're interested in an original spin on computer card games, Hex is one for you.

For backing the game on kickstarter, I was awarded a truckload of card packs - in retrospect, I kinda wish that I hadn't done that. The amount of new cards was overwhelming since I didn't even know how to play the game, so that just felt like a bummer at multiple points of my experience. Being able to use these cards in the single player made my card list way too long and I didn't want to use any of them since I didn't know the game enough. Maybe these cards should've stayed separated from the rest? I also started with a bunch of pieces of gear; A neat idea, you can equip gear in multiple slots on your character and it gives boosts to your cards, sometimes it's bonuses to stats, sometimes added effects and you have a bunch of options to customize your deck the way you want, especially if you have a set of cards you often use.

The game plays a lot like MtG with a clear digital bias; I enjoy that greatly, because MtG is a game that I've played for the longest of time and some of its core concepts are exactly what I'm looking for in a CCG. The defender being able to assign blocking, for instance, or the way mana works - both of these things turned me off from Heartstone when I tried it a while back. Hex feels like Magic with the mechanics renamed and a ton more stuff because of the platform it's on. There are no 'Hex' physical cards so you can have tokens and markers and counters and what not without cluttering the game too much. The tutorial was good enough to teach me what I needed about the game - which wasn't much, but there are a few different mechanics, so that was welcomed.

Creating a character with a race and a class is interesting in theory, but after playing the game for a dozen hours and looking at the talent tree of the classes I didn't pick, I'm a bit bummed. I wish there were ways to change your class mid-campaign, or maybe that would break your deck. It's tough to select something like that when you don't know how the game will go, but I went with warrior and was a little bit disappointed. It's abilities went around boosting creatures in your deck and dealing direct damage to enemies, while I wanted to play the game more defensively, so a healer might have worked better with my playstyle. Getting quests is a bit of busywork since you can't warp anywhere, you need to walk all around the map and move around in cities to talk to people. I understand that some quests require you to get specific encounters as you move around, but otherwise, things should be more snappy.

Speaking of things that could be more snappy, I had terrible issues with the deck builder, it felt slow, unresponsive and sluggish, moving around and making my deck took way longer than it should and as a result I didn't always incorporate the new cards I got - or even look at them - before doing so would've been a chore. I had a white deck which focused on boosting creatures and gaining life and while it took a bit of time to get going, once my defensive strategies were in place, going on the offensive wasn't that difficult, and I didn't lose many fights. I did almost all the quests I could, gaining experience, gold and dust. Now that I think about it, I never used gold in the campaign, I wonder what it was for?

Most quests are simply to go somewhere on the map and kill something - by playing cards. Sometimes they are a multi-layered dungeon where you have limited lives before you're kicked out, but most of the time you just duel to complete quests. The variety of enemies is quite interesting, there is a wide range of opponents with a ton of different abilities - to say the least, everything has at least one special power that they use in combination with their deck to make your life difficult. This is pretty neat, but at the same time I feel that there seem to be so many cards in this game that you don't need to add unique passive and active abilities to every opponent in order to make them memorable fights. Enemies that can summon a random number of legendary cards, enemies that 'burrow' their cards, piranhas that multiply like crazy, enemies with random bonuses every turn, powers that debuff your cards, deal damage whenever a creature dies, etc. It's great for a single player experience, but I feel that this is terribly difficult to balance around.

All in all, Hex delights itself in being a digital game with it's neat abilities that wouldn't work in a real physical one. The single player experience is really interesting with good progression and customization options, a lot of variety and mostly good difficulty curve. I can't speak for the rest of Hex, but what I've played was pretty great!

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories4/5, Cards