Threes Review: A Simplistic Challenge
Threes branches into this genre of extremely easy to understand but extremely hard to master games. The game starts with nine of the sixteen tiles occupied by number cards, either one, two or three.
The first priority is connecting the blue one cards with the red two cards, to make white three cards. From there out, only cards of the same value can be connected and the value will double once they are connected.
Every turn, the player moves the cards either up, down, left or right and adds another card into the game. This new card will have a random value and normally the player needs to connect at least two cards in a turn to keep the board clear.
The issue is keeping the board clear, at the start connecting three cards is easy, but once two 48 cards double to make 96, that card is basically a brick-wall between two other doubles either side.
Even though the start of the game is simple, it turns into a mesh of adding more useless cards that do not double with anything currently on the board. The player has to use intuition and a bit of luck in order to make sure the cards don’t overwhelm the board.
Threes offers no rewind and replay option, once the board is full and there are no moves to be made, that is it, the game is over. All the numbers are added up and the game gives a score, signed by you.
After having a few goes at the game, it turns from getting the highest card possible to keeping the blue one cards and red two cards off the board and maintaining some room for error. If a random card cannot be doubled with anything currently on the board, it has to be contained while you find other possible doubles.
Even though it is a simple mobile game, the puzzle and challenge really offers a unique experience. The longer the game lasts, the more you don’t want to make a mistake and try hard to figure out the best move, pushing away potential doubles for a safer route.
Threes interface is very cute, the card numbers all have their own personalities which burst out when they are doubled. If you try to move without any space, the game will give a resounding “Nope!” and if you leave the game running for a minute unattended, you will hear the groans of the different cards as they wait for movement.
Challenges are set based on previous high-scores and in the main-menu there is a board showing all previous tries. Game Center integration is available for social people and you can even Tweet out a high-score.
Overall, this is one of the best puzzle games we have played on iOS in a while. It is one of those games where you can play for five minutes or a few hours, depending on how much you like to procrastinate and it never gets boring.