Huebrix is out today! Go get it!
Huebrix, which was released today, September 6, on the iTunes app store, is one of my best-kept secrets. I’ve been playing a review build for the past several weeks, and now I can share with you my thoughts on this very cool minimalist-style puzzle game.
The goal in Huebrix is to completely fill a white, grid-based game board with a variety of different colored blocks.
This is simple in concept, but more challenging in execution. Each board starts off with one (or more) colored blocks. Each starting block has a number on it. This number represents the number of moves you can make with that particular color. You can move up, down, left and right, but cannot move diagonally.
In early levels the solutions are easy. For example, the first level’s grid is a column of four blocks (see image below). The top-most cell is occupied by a colored block with the number 3 on it. Simply dragging the colored block down three spaces will create a 3 block path and solve the puzzle.
With Huebrix, you’re scored based solely on how quickly you can complete each puzzle. Each puzzle has a gold, silver, and bronze ranking which is determined by completing the puzzle within a time limit. As you begin a puzzle, a counter in the upper right corner begins ticking away. The number below the ticker, which changes colors from gold to silver to bronze, signifies the maximum amount of time you can solve the puzzle and still earn that award. If you take too long, and exceed the bronze time limit, you won’t earn any award.
Later levels, appropriately, become more difficult. As additional colored blocks occupy the game grid, each with a unique location and movement number, you’ll have to figure out how to fulfill each color’s requirements to fill all of the empty white spaces without crossing paths or “painting” yourself into a corner.
As the difficulty ramps up you’ll contend with obstacles like impassable cells (e.g. walls), spaces that will only allow you to move through them in a specific direction, and cells that will remove or add additional moves to the color that crosses it, spaces that can only be crossed by a particular color, and obstacles that will essentially serve as an ending block.
You’ll likely make a lot of mistakes in Huebrix, with the need to double-back when you’ve run into a corner. Correcting mistakes is extremely easy. Simply touching a part of that color’s path will reset to that spot. You can also touch the starting block to reset that color’s path entirely.
As mentioned earlier, you are not scored based upon how many moves it takes you to solve the puzzle. As long as you can solve the puzzles within the allotted gold, silver, or bronze time limits, you can make as many mistakes and backtracks and not be penalized. You can go back at any time and replay levels to earn any missed awards.
Some puzzles can only be solved with one solution, while others can be done following several different paths.
Visually, Huebrix is a very pretty game, despite it’s minimalist-pixel style. The colors were bold and bright, and everything had a definite crisp and sharp look to it thanks to the high-resolution retina display on the 3rd-generation iPad. The transitions between completing one level and starting another were also pretty neat. The colors break free from the grid and wiggle away, off-screen.
Huebrix’s music is ambient techno with 8-bit old-school sound effects.
Huebrix comes with a level editor, where you can create and send levels to others. You can also receive levels. At the time of publication, that option was not available to reviewers.
Another option not available to reviewer, at this time, was Huebrix “store” option. I can only assume, like other iOS apps, that you’ll be able to purchase additional level packs through in-app purchases.
If I had one criticism with Huebrix it was the limitation being able to run the game only using the portrait orientation. I tend to like to play my iPad using the landscape mode. While this is a matter of opinion, I find the landscape orientation to be more comfortable, and I wish Huebrix offered the choice to use either orientation.
Overall, Huebrix is a really fun game to play, and it looks really nice on the large iPad screen. It’s available now for only $0.99, and you’ve be a fool to pass it up!
Huebrix is an excellent block-based puzzle game, where the objective is to fill a white grid with uniquely colored blocks. Each color has a certain number of movement spaces. The trick is getting each color’s path to fit within the grid without crossing the path of other colors, or running out (or ending with an excess) of movement points.
Some puzzles will take less than 15 seconds to complete, while others will have you stumped for 15 minutes (or more). Like other iOS puzzle games, each puzzle has a gold, silver, and bronze award based solely on how quickly you complete the level.
It’s a great puzzle game, with a minimalist pixel style, and I highly recommend it.