Genre: Strategy, City Builder, Relaxing
Developers | Publishers: Mikhail Neznamov
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $4.99 | UK £3.99 | EU € 4,99
Release Date: May 31st, 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to Mikhail Neznamov
Hexurb was a surprise release on Steam on May 31st, as the game originally had an unconfirmed Summer 2021 date. Billed as a calm, peaceful city builder, hexurb is a hex tile-based city building game without any pressure developed by one man, Mikhail Neznamov. It’s actually pretty similar in gameplay to a Dorfromantik that I’ve played when it was in early access.
In hexrub hex-shaped tiles magically appear at the end of the mouse cursor and you place them to earn points and complete tasks. Tiles come in a few different varieties, such as a tile with a few houses on it, or water tiles, tiles with trees. You earn points by placing the correct grouping of ties together. As you complete the tasks you receive extra tiles to place and the area you can use expands.
Shown in the upper left corner is the points you have and below that is how many blocks or tiles are remaining to use. The tasks to complete are pretty simple, a special building pops up with an icon, such as a castle with a 0/6 icon above it. That means when you place the castle tile you then have to place house tiles around it until you reach six. Once you complete the task you get extra buildings blocks as a reward.
It’s a very relaxing game to play as there isn’t a timer, you’re free to take your time and pace the tiles in exactly the right spot. The music is also relaxing, it’s a lovely piano composition that plays in the background. It certainly adds to the relaxing feel of the game.
As you can see from the pictures that I took of the gameplay the game is quite dark in looks. I had a few problems being able to see where I was placing the tiles. On my laptop, I turned the brightness up to full, that did help. It also brought out the colours in the game, the orange and browns of the trees and such.
Little More Colour
While I understand what the developer is trying to do keeping the game in a muted, relaxing colour scheme, I do feel that some other splashes of brighter colours are needed in the game. At the very least to help make some tiles stand out for others.
Keyboard & Mouse
Controlling hexurb is done with a keyboard and mouse. Keyboard keys to move the camera around and you use the mouse by clicking to place the tiles. For the most part, the game ran fine on my laptop, though it did crash twice dumping me back to the desktop screen. Since that happened the developer has released an update to the game and this seems to have fixed the crashes as I haven’t had any since the update.
There are future updates planned for the game and these include a Creative Mode and will include no limits on the number of blocks available to build, no random blocks, and then everything is in your hands. It’s great to see the developer adding to the gameplay with new updates frequently.
While I do like the relaxing gameplay and music in the game, I do feel a little more colour added to the game would brighten it up a little. Compared to other games in this style or genre hexrub looks a little bland. It can also be hard to see what you are doing in the game as the camera isn’t a free-roaming as it could be.
In saying that the developer should be praised for the relaxing gameplay and the sweet music to accompany it.
Final Verdict: I Like It