BADGP Reviews: Threes!
Released: February 5, 2014
February 20, 2014
There has been a stigma surrounding games on mobile devices since the rise of the smartphone. It goes something like, “iPhone games are just simple timewasters,” or “Mobile games aren’t ‘real’ games.” Whether it is in the simple elegance of games like Angry Birds or Ridiculous Fishing, mobile games present an easy to understand concept and attempt to hook the player by being accessible, cheap, and intuitive. Mega hits like Rovio’s Angry Birds, have had a gold rush effect on app stores everywhere as the market is flooded with knock-offs, cheap imitations, and wannabes. In sifting through the oceans of weekly releases, occasionally the cream rises to the top. This is the case with Sirvo’s Threes!
What is Threes?
Threes! is a puzzle game for iOS devices that takes place on a 4X4 grid. The concept is simple. There are blue “1s,” red “2s,” and white everything else. “1s” can only merge with “2s” in order to make “3s.” Threes must be matched with other threes to make a six. Sixes must be matched with other sixes to make a 12 and so on up the ladder. The grid fills up quickly as one new piece enters the board opposite the direction of each move. There is a handy “next” box that informs the player what is coming next in order to best plan for its most effective position much like Tetris. Therefore, it is wise to make as many combinations as possible with each move, due to the game ending when there are no viable moves remaining.
So Why Threes!?
Threes! is intoxicating. I am playing it now in between paragraphs as I write this. The experience of Threes! is greatly enhanced by the game’s sleek presentation. Each number is almost a character in that they have faces, make sounds, and give an introductory statement when they enter (all the numbers even have names i.e. #48 is referred to as Torbus). The tile 192 will say “Hello, Ladies & Gentlemen” in a upper-crusty fashion, other tiles growl, but most are adorable sounding and give the game a hefty dose of charm and likability. The music in the game is limited, but effective. The track would fit comfortably into any Professor Layton game with its relaxed, jazzy/lounge flavor. My only negative would be that there is a small amount of chance/luck in the game as to where exactly the next piece is going to come in, but it will be limited to a maximum of four possible spots.
Threes! is the first iOS game to ever grab me. Angry Birds is okay. Ridiculous Fishing is kind of cool, but Threes! instilled a ceaseless desire for it to be played from deep within. The feeling of setting up long chains of satisfying combinations is something I have not experienced since Dr. Robotinik’s Mean Bean Machine. Threes! truly is an outstanding puzzle game that I will find myself playing and competing against friends and family with for the high scores for some time.
Score: 8.5 out of 10