A period of growth for the lore of the much-publicized League of Legends as we had the release of the excellent animated series Arcane, the also very interesting RPG Ruined King and the curious Hextech. And I say curious because this game leaves a very strange taste for being a stand alone release, especially as a PC game, let alone on Switch.
We take on the role of Ziggs, known from the MOBA title League of Legends. For those who don't know, this character specializes in explosions, which will come in handy in the... explosive plot of the game. In his rudimentary scenario, our goal is to get in the way of the scientist Heimerdinger in an informal competition between the two over the proper use of Hex technology. This particular technology is the driving force behind the magic of the League of Legends universe, and it looks like we'll be quite involved with it as far as the general LoL universe is concerned.
A classic rhythm game, Hextech Mayhem doesn't ask much from us. Just hitting the right buttons at the right time. Every move is accompanied by the corresponding musical note. The more precise our reaction time, the more "catchy" the note and the more points we will score. And if we manage to compose the required melody, we will hear from our speakers a music that brings us quite a lot towards melodic metal with several elements of AOR. The different levels on which we will run, jump and generally unravel the many talents of Ziggs don't have many differences between them. The only place where the repetition breaks a bit is in the Bossfights against Heimerdinger, which of course follow the same logic of coordinated actions.
All of this is presented to us with very fitting graphics, both in the mood of the general universe, and more generally in terms of how we would expect a similar title. The effects of the explosions and the general chaos on the screen are characterized by a balance, which helps us to see a general chaos but not to the point of panic and losing sight of the multiple movements. Of course, in the context of the review I also played the game with my eyes closed, relying only on the music and keeping to the rhythm and melodies with which I had enough friction to be able to guess what was coming next. And while I was expecting an abysmal failure, I found that it worked out relatively well.
But when you've reached the point of experimenting in such a way, with a game, before you've even approached double-digit hours, something is wrong. In this case, the entire game package, levels, music and patterns, are repeated to such an extent that I could barely bear to finish it. Every level you start and you feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day is walking past you. To save the day somewhat, various collectibles have of course been added as well as the corresponding achievements, but a lot of patience is required to collect them and of course several iterations of all the levels because of the way they are unlocked.
In conclusion, Hextech as a rhythm game, though lacking, is not bad. It accomplished what it set out to do, though Riot's exact goal was probably to flood the market with various kinds of titles, stimulating public interest around League of Legends and increasing its net worth. With releases like this though, I don't know if it's achieving its goal or just being discredited. This particular title, both because of its simplicity and its length, is nothing like a professional job. At best it could be a well-polished attempt of an indie release or even the bedroom project of a new team. And let alone at the price at which it sells. If you ask me, the only place it would fit in would be as a minigame in a more extensive release or at worst as a mobile release. Now if you like this kind of games so much, you'd better wait for some hefty discount or better yet, the moment it's made available for free.