Another free-to-play, digital CCG, Hex: Shards of Fate attempts to combine CCGs with MMOs. Players navigate through the world and narrative battling anything that stands in their way. It’s very familiar to veteran CCG players, using gems as energy to cast cards. Each gem adds to your total mana count, but each color adds to your color level. This means that a ruby and diamond give you two mana, and 1 level in red and 1 level in white. It’s pretty easy to pick up on once you play.
That’s about where the ease of play stops. Hex is complex. Almost needlessly so. Hex has a priority system that lets players interrupt each other at pretty much every step during a turn. The interface for this is a bit clunky, with players always having to hit the “Pass Priority” button. Combine that with mediocre starting decks and an insanely hard AI, and Hex is just an unforgiving game to get into. I’m guessing this tactic is used to make you purchase better cards, but there’s no way I’m spending money on a game that doesn’t even give me an inch in the first 15 minutes of play.
I should also mention that Hex doesn’t dole out free stuff nearly as generously as other digital CCGs. They really want you to spend money.
I’m sure there’s people out there who love Hex. Hell, I might even like it if it gave me a bit more wiggle room to breathe. Unfortunately a complicated system with crappy starting cards, a hard as hell AI, and a really clunky interface means that I’ve already moved on to bigger and better things.
There’s just way too many digital CCGs out there, and so far I’ve enjoyed just about all of them more than Hex.
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.
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