There are at least two very pleasant surprises awaiting the HexHive player. One of these is the bees. The other, the numbers.
There are 40 “challenge cards.” Each is on a separate, hexagonal board that aligns perfectly below the transparent hexagonal solving surface. On each challenge card, you will see a group of connected hexagons, like cells in a beehive. (Hence the bee theme.) Each cell contains a number, from zero to six. There are ten different, transparent pieces; each of which is a different color and shape. Which pieces you must use to solve the puzzle is clearly and compassionately illustrated on the bottom of each board. Though all 40 of the challenge cards fit nicely in the hexagonal board compartment below the transparent hexagonal solving surface, if you remove a few you assure yourself that cells of the board will align perfectly with cells of the solving surface – making the solving process everso much more salutary.
1) the numbers
When you place a piece on a board, it must lie perfectly within the numbered cells. And, the total of the numbers covered by that piece must equal precisely seven. Precisely. Ah. Intriguing, don’t you think? It’s not just the shape that you must take into account, but also the total of the numbers each piece covers. So you have to use two, not totally connected parts of your brain: the part that perceives patterns, and the part that understands numbers. Lovely. Challenging. Engaging just a tad more of your cognitive skills than you might have anticipated or been aware that you possessed.
2) the bees
You have two bee pieces. The part of the puzzle that tells you which pieces you can use also tells you how many bees. A bee can be used to cover a number so that it doesn’t count. Which makes the act of figuring out what numbers will add to seven becomes a tad more complex. Just tad enough to make you rethink practically everything.
Each challenge card is a bit more challenging than the previous, so, as you progress, your understanding of how the puzzle works deepens. As, of course, does the challenge.
Ah, the fun, the fun, the excruciating fun.