An awful Super Hexagon clone
There can often be a fine line between inspiration and cloning. Inspiration is when you take an idea that inspires you, and either build on the base concept, or branch off with your own take on the concept. Cloning, on the other hand, is when you take an idea that inspires you, and completely rip it off such that there’s little to separate your own creation from the original.
Despite featuring a disclaimer that it is inspired by Terry Cavanagh’s wonderful Super Hexagon, Groove Vortex definitely falls into the latter category, and essentially clones the original without putting barely any of its own spin on the concept. What we’re left with is Super Hexagon, but not as good – or to put it another way, a rather pointless experience.
Groove Vortex, like Super Hexagon, is all about dodging around walls that are closing in on you. You control an arrow as it moves around in a circle, and you’re required to constantly move into position such that you don’t go crash. The game will keep going and going until you hit a wall, and your final time is your score.
If you want more information on how the game plays, simply go and read our Super Hexagon review, as it’s the very same game – well, not quite. In fact, Groove Vortex has plenty of negative quirks compared to its “inspiration,” which make buying this version of Super Hexagon rather silly.
There’s only one difficulty mode, for example – you hit the play button, the game starts, you die, the game ends, you hit the play button, it all starts over again, and that’s all you’re getting. I played for around 10 minutes before I felt like I’d seen everything that Groove Vortex was going to offer me.
Of course, the reason why you keep playing Super Hexagon over and over again for days on end is that there is a massive challenge. You die within seconds, then again and again, and over time you eventually build up your skills until you feel ready to take on the next difficulty level. And that relief when you manage to beat your previous best time – it’s exhilarating stuff.
All of that is completely missing in Groove Vortex. The game is constantly set to “easy,” with no ramp up in difficulty, and simple obstacles to dodge around. As the walls come in, they actually slow down just before they get to the center, as if being sucked into a vortex (hence the name!), making the game even easier.
On my first go, I got over 40 seconds without really trying. On my second go, it was over a minute. There’s barely any real skill needed for playing Groove Vortex, and thus no real reason to keep playing it for very long. There’s no stress, thus no relief. There’s no tension, thus no excitement. It’s all just extremely flat.
The only possible nice thing I can say about this game is that the music is pretty decent, with a single track that matches the action well. But even this isn’t as good as the Super Hexagon soundtrack, once again making Groove Vortex rather pointless.
I should really just repeat that word over and over again to make sure my conclusion is clear: Groove Vortex is an entirely pointless purchase, because it’s a massively cut-down, excitement-ridden, barebones version of Super Hexagon. People who don’t own Super Hexagon should buy it, and people who do own it don’t need Groove Vortex. I can’t really make it much clearer than that.