Art Style: ROTOHEX Review

There's no escaping the been-there, done-that feel of Rotohex.

The bar for tile-dropping puzzle games has been a high one for many years thanks to the marvelously addictive Tetris, and since that game's release, games like Lumines have kept expectations soaring. In a world where there are loads of mediocre by-the-numbers puzzlers freely playable on the Internet, it's hard to justify spending $6 (600 Nintendo points) on one. Art Syle: Rotohex is solidly conceived and briefly entertaining but ultimately tired and lacking any original hooks to make it stand out.

It's like a videogame version of a stained glass window.
It's like a videogame version of a stained glass window.

Rotohex is at least a decent challenge. You aren't just matching three or four colored blocks, but rather you must combine six colored triangles into a hexagon. The game arena itself is even a large hexagon and may remind you of a Chinese Checkers board. Triangles of different colors (two at first, with four additional hues added later on) fall from above, and you rotate entire hexes at a time, manipulating up to six game pieces in the process. As colors get added, creating matching hexes can be difficult, so things will get frantic. But unlike other puzzle games, Rotohex doesn't lull you into that focused trance and get you in a groove. It doesn't help that the yellow triangles look a bit too much like the light green ones, which look a bit too much like the darker green triangles, creating an artificial visual obstacle that could have (and should have) been avoided.

As you work your way through the main solo mode, you'll unlock two additional single-player modes: Sprint and Endless. Endless mode doesn't add any new colors but keeps the triangles falling at a consistently faster clip, while Sprint starts you with a half-filled playing board and challenges you to create six hexes of a specific color. Sprint in particular is a huge challenge, even if you can zoom through the solo mode. It's the included Versus mode where you will likely get the most enjoyment, however. Here, you and a local buddy's board overlap in the middle, and as you successfully create hexes, you might dump garbage tiles on your opponent's side or add a block of additional tiles to his or her board that needs some extra attention to remove. It's good if forgettable fun, and it's the most engaging way to play Rotohex, adding a layer of strategy to an otherwise blandly functional puzzler.

Arranging all these triangles isn’t a terrible experience, but there are lots of games out there that are more fun.
Arranging all these triangles isn’t a terrible experience, but there are lots of games out there that are more fun.

If you can overlook the aforementioned color similarities, the minimalist presentation has some bright spots, like the subtle mirrored edges of the playing field and the mechanical twinkles of the soundtrack. But there is only one background (black), and there are none of the charming touches you'd find in even many of the free browser games floating about online. Rotohex gets the job done but makes little effort to rise above its Game Boy Advance predecessor, Dialhex.

Art Style: Rotohex is a basic and unspectacular game that isn't made any more compelling by its low price. It's adequate, and can be fun when you add a second player to the mix, but there are better puzzle games out there, even on the WiiWare service, and you're better off spending your money on those instead.

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    The Good
    Inexpensive price
    Local multiplayer is fun for a short while
    The Bad
    Derivative and forgettable
    Some colors are too similar
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    Art Style: ROTOHEX More Info

  • First Released Oct 27, 2008
    • Wii
    Use colored triangular panels to create a vibrant mosaic of stained glass in Art Style: ROTOHEX.
    Average Rating21 Rating(s)
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    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
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