Ever miss the days of the CRT monitor? Do your ears miss the kinds of music that would come from a Nintendo Gameboy? Can’t get enough of sliding block puzzles, but would rather they were themed as an 8-Bit hacking minigame?
If this sounds like you (you may be the most niche person I’ve ever met), then Hack Grid is the game for you!
Hack Grid is a hacking-themed sliding tile puzzle game from Czech indie game studio Daisy Games. The core premise of Hack Grid is to remove all but one of the tiles from play to win the round. Sounds simple right? Wrong! You start with two types of tile (red and green) which can only move into the place of a tile of the opposite colour. This means that you have to strategize which tile moves and where to move it to in order to create a path to victory. Every 10 rounds you are will be introduced to a new type of tile that has its own rule attached.
Rounds 11-20 for example have a yellow tile that cannot move at all. This means you must now figure out how to navigate your original tile around this new one. Later tiles include ones that absorb other tiles, become obstacles or can change colour which makes every puzzle progressively harder. Fortunately, the first few levels of each new tile are easier to help you get used to the new mechanic. Once they are done, the difficulty ramps up.
“All in all, I had an enjoyable experience with Hack Grid. It reminded me of the kind of game you play to pass the time.”
You do have the option of skipping particularly difficult puzzles to come back to later, but there is a catch. If you skip one level, you cannot skip another until you have beaten your current puzzle. This means that you may skip one level only to get stuck on an even harder one. Luckily, you can go back and play previously skipped levels so you can get that free pass back. This makes the difficulty curve a lot easier to manage.
All in all, I had an enjoyable experience with Hack Grid. It reminded me of the kind of mobile game you’d play on a long journey. The kind of game you play to pass the time. It is something that stimulates the mind without being so difficult that it becomes frustrating.
A point against it, though, is that it’s only available on PC, so you can’t use it for the very purpose that it is best suited. This would have been a better fit for a mobile platform. The bleepy music can be grating at times, but it did remind me of the old Gameboy, so I let it off. It is not a game of humongous depth, but that is not a mark against it. My first hour of playing flew past without even blinking, making it extremely addicting. I’d definitely recommend the game, and it’s only US$1.99 on launch too!
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on PC, code was provided by the developer.