Hex Hex XL by Smirk and Dagger Review

With the holiday season coming up, this would be a welcome game in most settings.

Steve Mayne


Theme and What is it?

Hex Hex Xl is a hand management card game that’s basically a card version of hot potato. Players will take turns moving a Hex marker around trying to avoid ending up being the “Hexed” player.

Hex Hex XL is a game where players are using a limited number of cards to manipulate the games Hex token in order to place it in front of someone else. If the Hex token is in front of a player then they must play a card to move it to someone else. If they are unable to then they become Hexed and suffer a penalty while the player that passed them the card gains points.

The various cards that pass the Hex around can also cause a number of other effects, such as causing it to cost more points to the Hexed player, they can cause it to split and multiply, disappear, or even cause everyone cards to become poisoned in the case of the “Hex Hex” card requiring everyone to drop their cards and raise their hands.

The game is fast and easy. The number of rounds you play is equal to the player count plus one so a full game doesn’t take long. It’s easy to get into and play with fair amount of skill. It does have a moderate “take that” mechanic but it isn’t a particularly cruel one. I was optimistic going into the game and feel I was rewarded for that optimism.                                 

The game has good quality components the cards are sturdy and decently thick to avoid wear. The cardboard Hex tokens that come in the game are of good quality to, nice and thick, they are easily identifiable as they will be moving around the table quite a bit so it’s nice that they are distinguished from one another. One of the game variants comes with nice quality Hexen Sticks, wooden pylons, that are functional and have a decent table presence.

The one component I would take issue with is the glass beads supplied to track score. I found them too big for the score cards and easily bumped out of position. This could easily be solved with smaller beads or some other scoring method.

The insert is quite good. After returning all of the cards and components to the insert I shook it upside down and on its side for several seconds. A few cards moved but everything else maintained their positions. 

There really isn’t one here. The cards are black with colorful runes on them. It’s functional and somewhat thematic of spell casters bouncing Hexes around but much beyond functional.

I like the game. It’s fun and fast. Keeps moving and is easy to set up and put away. The game encourages table talk and is promotes being social. This is a great game to play at a restaurant, party, or bar where table space is at a premium. The only drawback to this is the size of the box. However, playing in a social setting makes it easy to get distracted and miss someone playing the Hex Hex card causing the people most engrossed in conversation to suddenly find themselves in a race to avoid the penalty. Then again, I think this is more of a feature than a bug.

I will also say that while the game calls for a maximum of six players, if you’re willing to forgo using the score cards and just use the game as a conversation helper, you could easily play with more than six. It will increase the length of the game, but then again, that may be just what you need.

Hex Hex XL is not a difficult game. The box says 14 and up and I think that’s reasonable. While I think the games is simple enough that younger players could follow the game there is a bit of reading on some of the cards and the take that nature of the game could prove frustrating for anyone younger than that.

Hex Hex XL is a good game. It’s a nice fit for social situations and would make a wonderful addition to family gathers or nights out with your friends. I would recommend this to anyone who has no aversion to medium level take that games. Most of the take that is based on what cards you have. It’s possible that you will be picking on the player to your left simply because you have a handful of pass left cards. If that won’t bother you then, I say have a go. With the holiday season coming up, this would be a welcome game in most settings.