Hex Casters was created by five students at RIT: Douglas Mansell, Norman Greenberg, Tom Smith, Samuel Sternklar, and Alex Bogart. Originally called Hexes!! The Card Game, they submitted the game in an attempt to win the top prize of the national Hasbro Gaming Lab and Indiegogo “Next Great Game” contest. They didn’t come out on top, but Hasbro picked up the license anyway.
Hex Casters is a card game for 3-6 players where the goal is to have the least amount of Hexes at the end of the game.
Setup is simple. Separate the Hex cards from the Defense cards and shuffle each pile. Every player gets one face-down Hex to start and a hand of five Defense cards. All the players then flip over their Hex cards and read them aloud. Every player needs to do what their Hex card says for the rest of the game. The youngest player takes the turn token and the game begins.
To start a round the player with the player with the turn token draws and Hex and places it faced down in the center of the play area. They may then pass it to any player they choose.
When a player is passed a Hex card they have two options:
- Play a Defense card from their hand to pass the Hex to another player.
- Take the Hex, turn it over, and read it aloud. They must now follow whatever rules written on the card for the rest of the game.
Once a player takes the Hex the round ends and players restock their hand of Defense cards back up to five. The turn token is then passed to the left and a new round begins. The game ends when a player has nine Hex cards of there are no more Hex cards to play. The player with the fewest Hex cards is the winner.
A few things to note. You must always follow the rules on your Hex cards. If you are caught not doing so you must take a Hex from the top of the draw deck and place it in front of you. This makes knowing what Hexes other players have and keeping an eye on them very important. Also, Defense cards are not restocked until someone takes the current Hex in play. Be careful how you use them!
Hex Casters is your typical mass-market quality game. The box is sturdy with a glossy, wrapped label. The card tray is a flimsy plastic that feels like it’ll break not long after the game is opened. The cards feel fairly sturdy and contain readable text, but fairly forgettable art. There’s a few blank cards tossed into the box if you’re feeling creative, or lose a few cards.
A small footprint
Hex Casters is a pretty average game. It’s better than most mass-market card games, but I feel like that’s not saying much. There are laughs to be had when players get Hexes stacked up on them, but the gameplay feels rather dull, with it really coming down to having the right Defense cards to make sure a Hex doesn’t land with you.
My kids seemed to have a pretty good time playing but they haven’t asked to play again and seem to have forgotten the game is on the shelf already. At $15 it’s not a horrible value, but there’s better games out there at the same price point.
A copy Hex Casters was provided free for review by Hasbro.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.