Review of Proximity 2 on XBLIG: Try
Just what Go needed. Numbers…
Proximity 2 is a flash game adapted to the console. Which makes sense since the game Proximity  is a flash game you can Google and play for free on your pc right now. I don’t like the flash game one but that comes from playing the sequel and liking the improvements. I originally wasn’t going to review this game but I find it addicting enough to keep coming back to. It has no memorable music, simple graphics and good AI.
The premise of this strategy board game is similar to that of Go. Conquer as much of the field as possible. This is accomplished by laying one of your five hexagonal tiles on the playing field and conquering other tiles with ones that have higher point values than the ones that you lay them against. Placing a tile of equal or lower value to an opponent’s will lower their tile by one or two points, making them easier to obtain. It felt like lowering a tile that started out at 10 points or less only did so a point at a time while lowering one valued from 11-20 points did so two points at a time. Even if you put a 1 beside a 20. Placing a tile of any value beside another of your own will raise the previously placed one by two points. All tiles are randomly generated so sometimes you get a lucky hand with a bunch of 16 point tile while other times you get screwed with five points and below.
Because four people can play this game at once, games can be very intense towards the end. I played several games where me and two of the cpu players only won on the last tile placement. The cpu can be Dumb, Normal, Difficult, or Evil. Evil is Difficult and extremely aggressive. It seemed to like to make things more difficult for all other players more than it wanted to win the game.
The board selection is limited (somehow) in the Trial but I found the seemingly randomly generated layout to be intriguing even if I pulled the same one twice. There are more layouts in the bought game but the logarithm seems to pull them almost in the same order each time. I could wish that everything looked a bit more polished. It’s worlds better than the flash game it came from but is not quite up to snuff otherwise. The white background can feel a bit bright. Especially since your tile color choices are Primary Red, Primary Blue, magenta leaning towards hot pink, and slightly darker than the University of Tennessee orange (think traffic cone neon orange). Also, controlling where the pieces were to be placed was sometimes very frustrating.
I give Proximity 2 a Try. I liked it. Not 240MSP worth of liked it however. I feel you’re paying for how smart the AI managed to be without the type of flashy polish that would accompany that price point.
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