Neuroshima Hex HD

1 - 4
Multiplayer:Pass n Play, Online
AI:Yes, 3 levels of difficulty
Universal App:Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)
Purchase for iPhone:
Neuroshima Hex
Price: $4.99
Purchase for iPad:Use link above to purchase universal app
User rating:
GD Star Rating
Neuroshima Hex HD, 7.5 out of 10 based on 322 ratings

In short: Neuroshima Hex is an incredibly addictive game with a lot of replay value and decent AI opponents for single player games. I gave it 10 stars, and may buy the full real life game because of it. The war theme might not suit everyone though.

From designer Michal Oracz and digitized by Big Daddy Creations, Neuroshima Hex is currently ranked 101 at BoardGameGeek, but it’s going to be hovering around the top 3 on the iPad and iPhones for a long time to come, in my opinion at least.

For up to 3 human or computer players, the game centres around a hexagonal battlefield. After placing your faction HQs, each player takes it in turn to draw tiles and either place them on the board ready to fight, discard them, or play the action tiles immediately. Battle occurs only when someone plays a battle action card, which may not be for a number of turns. A battle is also forced if all board spaces have been filled. Battle is a simple system of initiative scores (with faster units attacking first) and simple hand to hand or ranged combats. There is no dice rolling, in case you were worried – units that can attack always attack and injure, and any units injured in that initiative round are taken off the board. The ultimate goal is to defend your own HQ – if it is eliminated you are out of the game. If the end of the game is reached with more than one player left, the player with the healthiest HQ wins.

It’s a simple battle system and easy to get the hang of, especially with the fantastic tutorial video that automatically launches the first time you play the game. The only difficultly lies in understanding what a new unit or special action card does, as each faction has unique units and special abilities – so sometimes you need to pause the game and read the factions’ codex, then get back into the game. For instance, I wasn’t sure how to use the grenade action card the first time it came up, despite the tutorial video showing it being used to blow up any single opponent. I looked it up in the codex though, and it seems you can only throw the grenade immediately around the HQ. It isn’t a big deal, and the sheer variety of different units adds greatly to the replay value, but I can see how some may be frustrated.

Luckily the game automatically saves your progress, and after one game with each faction you should be fine.

A single game will last 10-30 minute depending on the number of players, and if you skip battle scenes. The first couple of games you’ll want to want exactly how the battles go down so you can learn how various units and cards interact, but after that it’s nice to have the option to just skip forward and see which units died. I imagine the real board game can take a lot longer with having to work out each individual attack, which is why this is such a good match for the iPad.


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  1. ddcinjapan

    Quite a good game. However, certain factions seem to have an edge against other certain factions. I have never lost to Red as Green, for instance.

    I have also yet to experiment with more than two factions playing at once. I would like to see a larger game-board for 3 or 4 players. Thoughts?

    • admin

      I only play with 4 factions, seems like 2 is just a little too easy. Larger game board? It would be interesting to try – perhaps different shapes would allow for more tactics, along with dead hexes, like huge mountains or craters. Purely making the board bigger (a single size bigger hex) might be a bit lame? Would have to buy two sets of the real game to find out, though!

  2. Josh

    After reading this review I purchased Neuroshima Hex with great expectations. Unfortunately, I found the app to fall far short of the supposed 10/10 it was awarded.

    Firstly, I should admit that I vehemently dislike the theme of the game. Obviously I still chose to purchase it in spite of full prior knowledge of its artistic style, so while this disagreement may have tainted my opinion somewhat, I still feel I was willing to give the game a sporting chance to win me over with its apparently superb strategic gameplay.

    Having not previously played Neuroshima Hex before, I first delved into the tutorial system. Which I quickly discovered was not actually a system as much as a short video which left me with a brief demonstration of the bare essentials, moving and placing pieces, the goal and how combat was resolved. Still thoroughly confused, but nevertheless upbeat, I jumped into a 1v1 game to learn the rest on the fly. After being slaughtered by the AI, I regrouped and decided to read through some of the army books, which explained my bitter defeat and served to highlight the inadequacy of the tutorial video.

    Many more games later having learned how everything works I can not help but shake the feeling that the ‘strategy’ in Neuroshima Hex just isn’t all that compelling. The balance between the armies seems almost like a game of rock/paper/scissors and drawing from such a diverse range of tiles lends the game a level of randomness that tends to decide the outcome rather than strategy. Furthermore the game seems to end in a non-result more often then not, which to me is another indication of poor design at the gameplay level.

    In Neuroshima Hex’s defense, the interface is extremely polished and the games graphics are extremely crisp and clear. The AI is excellent and more than capable of offering a challenge.

    Ultimately I was thoroughly disappointed with Neuroshima Hex and I’m afraid I would not recommend this game to anyone. I found the game to be anything but strategic and the theme really is quite off-putting. Yet even if you disagree on those points, the game still has an archaic non-interactive tutorial and lacks any sort of online multiplayer which in my mind should automatically exclude it from a perfect score. 5/10.

  3. Chrisy

    At least the lite version is pretty good
    Id say 8/10
    In terms of ipad games, its actually one of the best games. If u talk about just board games, then it goes down to about 7/10
    Some tiles are actually too powerful. The guy with the net that does 3 shots, all you need to do is put that next to the enemy hq and protect him and thats ur win right there. High initiative is such a big advantage, but especially the ranged unit with mobility u can move and reuse turn after turn. The rest of the chsrcters just sit on the board and do nothing the rest of the time for the most part. Mostly the strategy is just to kill the enemies aimed at ur hq while continuosly attacking the enemy hq. Use tiles to block ur units from being attack, always initiate battle if u have a board position to your advantage and can wipe out some enemies who are aimed at ur base

  4. Maryn

    when i tried to rate it (using ipad) it gave it far more stars than i did – 9 or 10 i think. i couldn’t edit this. i had a similar problem rating catan, where it dropped my stars to the average rating. maybe my clumsy fingers?

    very nicely made app – as stated above, very polished.
    the gameplay itself doesn’t really appeal. it didn’t last more than a week on my ipad. to my mind it doesn’t approach carcassone or smallworld (nor catan for actual gameplay).
    couldn’t recommend and surprised by its rating. a bigger let down than tikal.

    • James Bruce

      Sorry Maryn, there’s a problem with the javascript on the iPad and I’m not sure how to fix it right now – was hoping an update from the rating plugin would do something about that. Apologies.

  5. Camila

    I’m a huge fan of your site.. I love this game for a long time now and never had the chance to play the original, only on iPad. You might say that the games has Lite / Free versions, so people can try them before buying.

  6. Rubeus

    IMHO, this is one of the best games for iPad. I wouldn´t consider this game as “a wargame” neither as “a strategy game”. It´s a little bit “tactical game”, where LUCK with the cards is important for winning the game. It´s a very good casual game and very enjoyable.

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