In the world of abstract strategy games there exists a fertile land where a supreme strategy will almost always win, but where there is just enough luck to keep things interesting. Hex6d was born on this land. It bears the fruit of rooting in that fertile soil and it is good so let us rejoice.
The first thing you’ll likely notice about Hex6d is its large hex shaped playing tiles. These things are massive. I can’t think of many other games that use such large tiles; they are definitely an attention grabber. People will stop by your table to ask, “What is that?!”
The essence of Hex6d is strategic hand management mixed with a number matching and pawn movement mechanic. The playing area is made up of a set number of tiles, which is based on the number of players. The tiles have spaces which correspond to the cards that are played throughout the game. All players start with their pawns on a shared starting space. Each player is then given three cards to start the game. The active player draws a card and then plays a card so that they always have three cards left over at the end of their turn. Playing a card allows your pawn to move a certain number of spaces, from 1 – 10. There are certain cards that also allow you to move an opponent’s pawn, or the ability to move multiple pawns at the same time, or even allow you to move a variable amount of your choice instead of a fixed amount. The goal is to be the first player to end their turn with a hand of cards that match the spaces their pawns occupy.
Due to the restrictions, such as pawns cannot move through each other and pawns can’t move “back and forth”, winning the game is no small feat. Opponents can actively block your path or even move your pawn off of a potentially winning space if they play the right card. Also, the luck of the draw has its own challenges and holding out for a specific numbered card that will allow you to move your last pawn into a winning position can be time consuming and risky.
There is definitely a lot of back and forth during the game. One turn you think you’ll win on the next turn for sure, and then your opponent moves your pawn and throws off everything. This makes playing the game rather enjoyable, and ultimately makes it so that a clear winner is never known.
The easy to learn rules make Hex6d well suited for family game night. There are also additional rules for a Rummy style version of the game. There are also rules for alternate board set up configurations. These variants really increase the already high replayability of the game.
Because I received a prototype version of the game, I cannot comment on the final components. However, the components I received were well made. The rulebook is short and explains the rules in an easy to understand way. Overall, if you like abstract strategy games check out Hex6d, I don’t think it will let you down.