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I used to be one of those gamers that wouldn’t play a ‘casual game’…too cool for them…yeah, you know what I mean…admit it. Hexage was not even on my gamer radar until I joined the crew here at App Store Arcade. Well, now I’m reviewing my third Hexage game and find myself singing the praises of Hexage. The newest ditty is about Everlands, an oh-so-cute take on the hex board game formula.

Everlands is a turn-based strategy game where you place tiles in an effort to conquer the majority of the board by healing the animals infected by the evil spawn. Each tile offers different abilities and values that can really change the gameplay (ex. multiple bees can be placed in one turn while the turtle can heel surrounding teammates). Understanding how each tile works is taught to you in each level so you never feel overwhelmed. If you forget the special abilities of the  tile, you can just click on it and it tells you. Now, where it gets tricky is once a piece is defeated, they will join who ever defeated them, but can be defeated again and swap sides yet again. (These are opportunistic little fellas). But the ability to reintroduce these pieces keeps the levels fresh.

Jumping into Everlands can be tough. So Hexage was very smart and included two things to help you out. The tutorial: Do not skip this! This is extremely well done and one of the best tutorials I have come across. You WILL understand the basics of the game if you pay attention. Besides offering the great tutorial, they also included a ‘help’ button that places a tile logically (most of the time). If you get stumped use this, but make sure it makes sense. Later in the game becomes very tough and sometimes I will use this as a suggestion. Do question the suggestion though, because you can at times make a much better move.

The presentation is even better then I thought. My fiance hates games but witnessed me playing Everlands on my iPad and was drawn in by the cute graphics and somewhat easy to explain gameplay. “Hmmm I don’t like killing animals” she said. I responded with “you’re not killing them you’re curing them”. She liked that, no violence. She still hates games, but likes Everlands. Go figure. How many games do you know that the presentation  can change an opinion for the better in an instant. If you want to play a game that your friend or significant other won’t look down upon–play Everlands, their opinion may just bend a little. It’s oh-so-cute, nonviolent, and very family friendly.

iPhone/iPad vs Mac

Hands down this is an easy one. If it wasn’t for the iPhone/iPad version the score may have taken a small hit. Everlands is touch friendly and the UI is great to navigate.

Now for a little rambling…

Porting touch games doesn’t always equal a great formula. Touch= mouse clicks= not always a great thing. The Mac UI is just annoying and doesn’t translate well– not horrible…just not good. Playing one turn makes you click a minimum of 3-5 clicks and that’s without changing your mind. If you want to scroll through your pieces  click and drag the mouse (yeah more clicking).  *click**click**click**click**click**click**click*oh wait I want to place this piece instead *click**click**click**click**click**click**click**click*. Slightly exaggerating but you get the idea. I don’t want my mouse flying across clicking the whole entire screen. I would love to be able to minimize the mouse by using arrow keys to scroll the bottom pieces and use the return key to end my turn instead of hitting the button in the upper right hand screen– ending rant now…done. Oh yeah grab the iPhone or iPad version (HD looks great) if you have the option. If you can’t then the Mac version is still great, the only problem is the UI, don’t get me started again. Can I get another coffee over here? Coffee!

Bottom Line:

If your lame like me and avoid ’casual games’ you’re making a very stupid mistake. This is a must if you play games while waiting in line for your latte or looking for a good take-turns multiplayer game.