Hex: Shards of Fate

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Hex: Shards of Fate Game Poster Image
Trading-card game deals digital fantasy fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn strategic thinking, decision making, and data analysis in matches against both computer-controlled and live opponents. Comparing card values and calculating results before playing cards can help to develop math skills as well, while keeping kids' interest through card art and match animations. The ease of play balanced with the strategic depth offers plenty to engage players of all ages. There's also a large community of players that's constantly growing, meaning that players can always get help if they're ever confused during play. Hex: Shards of Fate wraps up card collecting, strategy, and math in a fun fantasy setting.

Positive Messages

No positive or negative messages in the game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though wide range of characters presented in game, they represent actions taken by the cards, without good or bad intent.

Ease of Play

Easy to learn, with plenty of in-game tutorials, tips for new players.

Violence

Animated attacks shown on different sides of field, though damage shown as light displays instead of blood, gore.

Sex

Some cards show fantasy characters in revealing outfits, strategically placed coverage.

Consumerism

Free-to-play formula encourages players to spend real-world money on new cards, items, expansions. Trades encouraged by in-game Auction House.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Small number of cards show acts of smoking, drinking in art.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hex: Shards of Fate is a downloadable online trading-card game similar to Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Though the basics are easy to learn, and there's plenty of in-game help, there's also a massive amount of depth in deck creation. Games are played against either the computer or an online opponent. Hex is a free-to-play game that encourages players to spend real-world money to buy more cards and content or trade owned cards with other players. Violence is limited to flashes of light between cards, without any blood or gore shown. Some card artwork shows fantasy characters in revealing outfits, and some cards depict smoking or drinking, but the two-dimensional aspect of the cards limits the impact of the content. There's also the option to engage in chat with other players, but online moderators limit how obnoxious users can be toward others.

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What's it about?

HEX: SHARDS OF FATE is a downloadable, free-to-play trading-card game set in a fantasy world filled with wild magic, strange creatures, and even anthropomorphic rabbits. The game is easy to learn, thanks to plenty of in-game help. Hex takes a lot of strategic thinking to learn the nuances, especially against live opponents in online matches. Though the game is free-to-play, there's a large built-in marketplace to buy new cards, expansions, and other content either with real money from the store or with in-game currency via the built-in Auction House.

Is it any good?

Hex: Shards of Fate is a digital card game, akin to Magic: The Gathering Online and Hearthstone. The basic mechanics are quick to pick up and play, thanks in no small part to some detailed tutorials and in-game tips. After learning the basics, though, players are left on their own to come up with strategically built decks to take on the computer or online opponents in one-on-one matches. Hex is built on its solid gameplay, and visually, it does a great job of recreating a tabletop experience. Of course, normal trading-card games lack the laser-light fireworks show that Hex brings to remind players that this is a computer game.

Though the game is currently still in beta, even in its current form Hex is filled to the brim with content, with hundreds of cards available to add to your virtual collection via the in-game store. Though it's understandable given the game's free-to-play structure, Hex's focus on different transactions (buying items from the store, buying and selling in auctions, and so on) tends to make the experience feel a little less about community and more about economy. But overall, Hex provides a great digital alternative to the traditional card-based game, one that hard-core trading-card-game players and newcomers can enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the skills required to customize decks. How are critical thinking and planning used in the game? What differences would there be between playing against a computer and against a live opponent?

  • What are some of the differences between this and other trading-card games? What do kids like and dislike about them?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love strategy games

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