Honeycomb Beat

Part Tetris, part Crunchie bar, all Hannibal Lecter

US Import: Tetris mastermind Alexey Pajitnov must be turning in his grave! (Er, if he was dead. Which he isn't). It's now 23 years since he originally dealt the world a slice of block-based genius1 and developers are still churning out takes on it, with ever more elaborate twists.

Honeycomb Beat, the new game from Bomberman developers Hudson, doesn't so much take the formula and jazz up the visuals, as make the formula so mind-freaking you'll spend the first few minutes staring - shellshocked - into the middle distance wondering why your brain's leaking out your ears.

There are two modes. Puzzle gives you a honeycomb grid, from where - using the stylus - you flip (or 'beat') individual hexagons.2 But there's a twist: hexagons are connected, and when you flip one, you flip the ones connected to it. The idea is to work out what's connected to what and how you flip them without flipping others back again. Still with us? Good. Because Evolution mode is much simpler and more familiar: it's Tetris with honeycomb.

Puzzle is more of a challenge, but you'll have to get used to the fact that it hates you, and is entirely unfazed about dishing out buttock-clenching posers straight off the bat. Evolution is more recognisable, and therefore more enjoyable, but lacks the simplicity, and satisfaction of plain old Tetris. The combination of the two makes for a puzzle game worthy of the name, but one, strangely, that you never come to love.

Perhaps because it's just doesn't love you back with its evilness... proven by the fact that, when you don't score as highly as it demands, it tells you your brain is the size of an amoeba.

The verdict

At times as delightful as prancing down a beach with the girl of your dreams. At others, like lunching at Satan's table. Not really a game you love, more a game you grudgingly respect.

Nintendo DS
Knowledge Adventure