To be perfectly honest, I had considered acting like a petulant child and letting Threes! float on by when Sirvo LLC ignored all attempts at communication, but a handful of mates rightly told me to shut up and play it. And I’m glad they did.
Join me below, won’t you, as I ramble on for a few hundred words about how great Threes! is. Failing that, head over to the App Store and start playing it right now. Those are your ONLY TWO OPTIONS.
Threes! is a number-based puzzle game, that much is easily explained, but I’m not entirely sure how to articulate the various intricacies. This should be fun(ny).
Ok, so, each Threes! game takes place on a 4x4 playing area, and the aim is to shove numbered cards around said playing area for as long as possible. The game ends when there are no more possible moves.
As the name suggests, Threes! is very much based around – yes – threes. More specifically, most of the cards are multiples of three, and identical cards can be combined - when adjacent - and added together. For example, matching two threes makes a six.
Throwing a spanner in the works are the blue number one, and the red number two. They only work with each other (i.e. you can’t pair two blues or two reds), and of course make a three when finally paired.
Making things further complicated, Threes! is far from a simple tile shuffling game. When you slide tiles in a particular direction, all the tiles move, and in order to pair tiles together, they have to be pinned against the edge of the playing area.
So let’s say you want to match two threes. One of them has to sit in one of the outermost squares, and you’re effectively sliding the second three into it. Make sense?
Actually, don’t worry if my rambling doesn’t make sense. The Threes! tutorial lasts all of around 30 seconds, and covers everything you need to know. It might take a few goes to get the hang of it, but soon you’ll be shuffling cards around almost subconsciously.
My only slight problem with Threes! is that it’s arguably a tad random. See, a new card comes in from the side each turn (depending on which way you’ve just swiped), and while it adds a surprisingly deep tactical element, the new cards are – as I say – random.
However, having said that, one particular mate pointed out that it’s no more random than, say, the way pieces fall in Tetris, and it’s one of the best games of all time.
As for Threes!? I think it could be up there. It’s certainly one of the best smartphone puzzle games I’ve ever played, and it’s fiendishly moreish. You’ve been warned.
Throw in a fantastic soundtrack and some oddly amusing voice acting for the different numbers, and hot dog, we have a wiener.
- Refreshing concept
- The music
- The voice acting
- Is it a bit random?
- You’ll almost certainly lose sleep
- Just the one game mode
Summary: Threes! is one of those games that makes you wonder: how did no one think of this before? Simple on the surface, it’s actually a surprisingly deep – and addictive – puzzle game. This will easily be one of the best smartphone games of 2014.
Developer: Sirvo LLC
Price: £1.49 @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.