Hexage, the company that brought you Radiant, is back with another title to occupy your idle hours: Everlands, a turn-based hex game where strategy is everything.
In Story Mode you learn that animals of the world are being taken over by evil. As you progress, your ragtag group of beasts must challenge and battle the evil ones. If you win, the defeated animals join your army, and you all move on to the next level together. Sound easy? It isn't.
What makes Everlands so difficult and so interesting is that every animal has different abilities. Each has a certain amount of health and attack strength, and can attack only from certain directions.
And it's even more complicated than that. For instance, a bear has an attack value of only 2, but if it gets wounded that value jumps to 3. Placing a frog adjacent to one of your wounded characters will heal them, applying +2 health points. Everyone adjacent to a friendly elephant will have +1 attack points, and so on. The strategy takes a while to learn, and you'll probably lose plenty of games until you start remembering all the intricacies--but once you do, it's a lot of fun.
If a character's health is entirely diminished, it joins the other team (with fully restored health). You can win it back, though. The level is cleared if, once the board is full, your team occupies more than 50 percent of the spaces.
Once you get the hang of it, the game is extremely engrossing and addictive. It has the distinction of having made me miss my subway stop not once, but twice in a single day (a high honor). I must say, though, that if you're looking for a game you can just pick up and master, this probably isn't it. This game may even be frustrating initially. However, Hexage provides a lot of instruction in the tutorial (which is long, but recommended) and even during the game, which helps a lot.
One of the best features is Duel Mode, where you and a friend can play head-to-head on the same phone, passing it back and forth. Few games for Android boast a similar feature, and it's a welcome addition.
The game looks great and works well, but it has a major flaw: It can't multitask. If you accept a phone call or text message while you're in the middle of a level, when you end the call Everlands will have restarted and all of your level progress will be lost.
There is no excuse for this when most other Android games have conquered the problem, and for this reason I have to deduct a full star from the rating. Despite that, Everlands is still a very good game.