Earlier this month we took a look at Neuroshima Hex [$2.99], the iPhone adaptation of a strategy-heavy boardgame based in the Neuroshima universe. This game world straddles several sci-fi cliches and includes things like nuclear war, a sentient robotic revolt, mutants, humans doing whatever they can to survive, and even somewhat intelligent carnivorous plant life. Adapted from the tabletop Neuroshima game, Neuroshima Hex features four of the main factions and is fast-paced enough that calling it an "action" board game seems appropriate.

Like many strategy games with unique rulesets, Neuroshima Hex is fairly complicated. Playing the game involves selecting one of the four factions, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, then playing with a 35 tile "deck". Players start by placing their headquarters on the game board, and the rest of the game revolves around attacking the enemy HQ while defending your own utilizing the tiles you draw at the start of your turn. Your deck of tiles consists of three different types, tiles that contain different types of units, modules which buff those units, and instant action tiles that do things like destroy or slide a unit, or even initiate combat.

The issue with all this is that the learning curve of the game is less of a curve and more of a wall, as the developers didn't do much to make the game approachable to newbies aside from including a brief tutorial video. There is a help section in the game, but is isn't convenient at all to refer to while you're actually playing. Once you get a hang of strategically using your hex tiles to attack the opponent as well as deal with their threats on the game board Neuroshima Hex is a lot of fun... But as suggested in the thread in our forums getting there requires reading additional material on the game or even printing out a quick reference guide PDF.

In comparison, Carcassonne [$4.99] features a fully interactive voiced over tutorial that did an absolutely fantastic job at introducing new players to the game. Carcassonne is also host to some great online multiplayer options while Neuroshima Hex only comes with single device multiplayer. Thankfully, the developers have posted in our forums acknowledging these issues and plan on addressing them in the future.

Neuroshima Hex is a fun fast paced strategy game, and if you already know how to play, you'll likely have a great time jumping right in to this iPhone port. If you're intrigued by hex grid strategy games, and this is the first you've heard of Neuroshima Hex, just be aware that you've got quite a bit of work in front of you as you climb the steep learning curve.

TouchArcade Rating

  • vulture3

    HAHA. Gee that sounds like fun.......

  • Thomas

    it's not that hard to get into the game!

    okay it's not doodle jump but there are only a few special tiles that u have to look up... if you really watch the tutorial before and then play some rounds for like one hour there should be no questions left.

    i can only recommend it to everyone
    the only thing i would want to see besides multiplayer is some kind of campaign

  • sniperboy

    no battle animations turn me off.... such a waste of beautiful character art.

    Battle = bumping and wiggling your tiles against others

  • Davidonabus

    Absolutely beautiful art!

  • Slaysme

    Game rocks! I keep playing it! And the board game is from 30 to 50$.
    I guess there is a bit of a curve, but look through the manual and through the army list a few tomes and you'll be golden.

  • mrbass

    remember that quick reference PDF you only need to print out pages 2 and 4 (out of the 5 pages) the others are not needed as the expansion isn't in this game.

  • Gibby

    I had never played the BG version before, but I picked up the rules from the tutorial in 5 minutes without ever consulting the reference.

    Not much of a "wall" I find, but then I look for more depth in games that stuff like doodle jump has to offer.

  • jin choung

    yeah, the tutorial would be better if it was interactive but it's not that hard to pick up if you play a couple of rounds...

    i still have some questions but it's not a big deal because i play a bit, get some questions, look them up, get better next time.

    it would be cool if there was an INLINE tile dictionary so i can look up a tile within the game interface while i'm playing instead of having to jump out to a manual but this state of affairs won't last too long.

    i'm pretty good now and can take on most factions using the humans.

    fun tactical game with different ways to win... last time, i was just moving my base around like a madman doing ZERO defense and just pummeling the other guy with all out offense... won it!

    gotta say that there were a lot of really nice choices in interface (the resolution system, once you understand why things are lighting up, is brilliant) and the artwork is really beautiful.

    bought it as soon as i could and i'm totally not disappointed.

    jin

  • Konata

    Perfect game! Please add multiplayer. I can't seem to be able to put it down!

  • jason

    Yep, this port is close to flawless. The replay factor of this game is amazing. I'm never going to delete this game from my ipod touch ... never! Congrats to the NH team for putting this together.

  • Espekayen

    Superb game that is worth the investment of time in learning the complex rules. That PDF manual certainly helps because the in-game manual, whilst good, is not complete or as detailed as the PDF. The current update (v1.1) addresses the issue of not being able to conveniently access the manual and unit info - great news, especially for newcomers to the game. Referring to the rules is now much easier and just two taps away from a game in progress. Just needs online multiplayer now and it will be perfect.

    • Cverrall

      two taps is too far.  I should be able to read the text on what a tile does IN THE GAME.  This is amazingly annoying that I have to back out of the game and go into the army to view what a tile does!!!

      • Pier

        There an info button that let's you see in-game what each tile does.

  • Jamz

    Actually, the rules are not complicated at all, and by rules I mean such things like when to get cards, when to fight, when to discard cards, when to place cards, when to win etc. What makes the game difficult/interesting are the cards. Even they are not hard to read, each symbolizing a unit with toughness, attacks in different angles and an initiative score, or a tactical location which gives bonus to those values of units next to them. It is this deck of cards and the combinations it enables, which makes it "hard". This is often the case with card games, as with e.g. Orions: legend of wizards (a similarly great game!). All in all I find the game rather elegant with its rules and the balance if its decks.