It's been a while since we've had a surprise viral game. 2048 (a copy of Threes!, it ought to be noted) and Flappy Bird were hugely popular for their 15 minutes, spawning countless clones.
The next big thing is Hex FRVR, created by indie developer Chris Benjaminsen. According to a post on Reddit, the game got its start in life as a test of Benjaminsen's HTML framework.
"I made this while testing my new HTML5 framework. Was never meant to be released as a game, but ended up being too fun to not complete," he wrote.
In another comment, he elaborated, "The only other game I made in the engine so far was a solitaire game, so I wanted something different. I had a pretty good idea what I was making. A hexagon version of a game I played inside Second Life years ago."
The game is a lot like hexagonal Tetris, or puzzle game 1010 by Gram Games. It takes place on a hexagonal board, on which you have to create complete lines with a random selection of three block configurations. Unlike Tetris, these blocks don't fall. You have to drag them onto the grid, which gives you time to plan your moves. And you need that time. A hex grid leaves room for a lot more complication than a square-based grid, such as those found in Tetris and 1010.
While the individual elements may not seem particularly novel, they combine to make something that is greater than the sum of its parts. It's something that's quite pleasant to fiddle around with in a desultory fashion, since time is no object. Yet at the same time, it can become quite tricky to plan out your moves.
The number of hours players have already sunk into the web version is a testament to the game's addictiveness.
In 5 days, "players have spent just above 4 full years (1,598 days) playing the game," Benjaminsen wrote. So if you were looking for a new productivity destroyer, Hex FRVR could be it, especially with the introduction of game modes on the way.
Now stay tuned for the clones... and Flappy Hex 2048 FRVR.