As another week lurches into view, it’s time for Codec Moments to tell you about an exciting game you can buy for the Cost of a Coffee! This week we’re looking at Threes! on iOS.
Threes! is a puzzle game from Sirvo LLC which you can learn in seconds, but play all day without blinking; to say that it’s as addictive as the caffeine we’ve substituted it for is, an understatement. The premise is simple, you have a board of twelve squares which contains numbers that you combine; you can match 1s and 2s to make 3s and after that you have to combine pairs of numbers, which will leave you one card of double the value. To move the cards and create ever larger numbers, you simply swipe the screen; the concept of Threes! however, is swipe anywhere to move everything. That means that pairs won’t merge until the row of cards hits the edge of the grid. Every time you move, another card is added to the grid and it’s game over when the grid is full, with no more available moves.
That alone is compulsive enough, but the game is really charming, and has a level of detail that you just don’t see in your average puzzle. The visual style is clean and simple, which fits perfectly with the simple swipe anywhere control scheme. It comes into its own though by giving each of the numbers a name and biography, available from the main menu, and unlocked when you first make that number in a game. For example number 3 is Trin and she loves ancient history. So much in fact, that she once got trapped inside a library Charlemagne brochure. Each number has its own voice and phrases that you’ll hear as they appear on the grid, giving the game spades of character from laid-back Thumbert, to lady-killer ThreeJay (actually he might be a hipster). Our personal favourite though, is sleepy number 24, Tristine; her coquettish ‘hey’ has left us wondering whether an artificial intellignce really needs to pass the Turing test for you to start a relationship with it?
The music, scored by Jimmy Hinson who composed the multiplayer menu music for Black Ops 2, is toe tappingly sublime, if not a little repetitive; Not repetitive enough that we wanted to turn it off mind, which speaks volumes.
The icing on the cake if you will, is the scoring system. Every time the value on a card doubles, its point value triples. So Trin is worth 3 points and Thumbert 9. meaning if you get ThreeJay, he’s worth a whopping 2,187 points. Massive scores can be racked up by combining larger cards and instantly shared with friends on Twitter.
Threes! is a great game which will take up far too much of your life, as there’s always time for just one more go. We can’t recommend it more strongly. At £1.49 it’s around the same price as an espresso, but it’s far more stimulating and it’ll last you far longer.