The Hex

“The Hex” by Daniel Mullins, Jonah Senzel, Brendan Sullivan, Michael Mola, Enzo Doyen, Marcello Brancaccio, Luis Redin Ochoa, Farhad Alishov, Blue Bowling Translators (Michelle Finholdt & Jefferson Santos), Christian Hecklinger, Berke O. Yilmaz, João Pedro Uhry Gonçalves & Kamila Makowska.

“The barkeep gets a patchy phone call[:] […] [Someone] in The Six Pint Inn is planning a murder. There are six patrons; all of them are video game protagonists trying to escape their past… But The Six Pint Inn has a way of bringing back old memories. Each flashback plays out in an entirely different genre, sometimes blending multiple. By exploring these memories you may discover the identity of the murderer… [Or] you may learn much darker secrets.”

Many of you will know Daniel Mullins for his popular and mysterious indie title “Pony Island”, (which started out as a submission for the thirty-first Ludum Dare, by the way). After this success, he worked with many other people on the exciting, intense metaexperience “The Hex”, which bundles elements of many different genres together.

It all starts with a suspicious phone call in the Six Pint Inn: Somebody is planning to murder someone, but both the murderer and the victim are unnamed at this point. Besides the innkeeper, there only seem to be six other persons in the building. Each one of them resemble characters of different genres: We can see the former platformer hero Super Weasel Kid, muscle man Bryce who actually prefers cooking games, the enchantress Chandrelle who is capable of using black magic, the slightly confused Rust who comes from a strategy game with a post-apocalyptic scenario, the honorable space shooter character Lazarus and a cloaked shadow figure whose name consists of three question marks.

Each character has to endure flashbacks from their past, allowing players to get in touch with the six different main genres (jump and run, brawler, role-playing game, strategy, shooter and exploration). This design choice allows a frequent change of game mechanics, which not only produces a great feeling of variety, but also fits in well with the story. Six different main characters, six perspectives, six different games. However, all of them are connected in some way. That is where the meta aspect kicks in.

Only on the first glimpse “The Hex” seems to be a game about video game characters, but it also focuses on the reception and development of those titles in general. You will be the witness of stories about failed sequels and ports, tales about the boredom of generic plots as well as reports about unfinished projects. Although, that is only one side of the coin, as the last chapters will reveal. After all, creations never come out of nowhere. [PLAY]