Puzzle games are meant to be simple enough for anyone to pick up and enjoy, but have enough of complexity that you don’t want to stop playing. Threes! plays on this dynamic.
Threes! is an indie puzzle game released by Sirvo. The gameplay is simple – the player slides numbered tiles on a 4×4 grid to combine tiles in multiples of threes. Combining requires matching number tiles and these tiles then collapse into single higher values tiles. For example, matching a 3 into another 3 makes a 6; matching that 6 to another 6 creates a 12, and so on. Tiles need to be pushed together along an edge, either by edge of game grid or other tiles that do not match in order to combine them. Swiping up, down, left or right causes all the tiles to move one space in that direction (at least the ones that can) in order to move tiles around to create matches.
You start with only a few tiles in the grid, but with every swipe you make adds a new random tile on the opposite side of the grid (in an open space). This increasingly makes the game complex as you need to make strategic swipes as space grows scarce. This involves teaching yourself to see several moves ahead, and visualizing what the grid will look like after several swipes. Of course since the new tiles each swipe are random in placement and value, this makes it a very tricky task.
The game ultimately ends when there are no moves left. Certain point values are associated to the number on the tile and these are tabulated together for a final score.
The sole goal of Threes! is continuing to attempt to get a better high score than the last play and trying to topple the leader boards. This is part of the addictive nature of the game, the average game lasts around seven minutes, but you could end up spending hours attempting to beat you last score. Threes! is ultimately an unsolvable puzzle with endless solutions.
Since Threes! is a simplistic game, the musical background is also just as simple. The game is set to an accordion-pop theme song that gives you the casual coffee shop feel (which may be exactly the best place to play cause you will need coffee to keep you going after the hours of playing). The unique addition to the game is that certain number tiles have been designed with a personality and distinctive voice to interact with the player. A high pitched “Hello!” of the 3, the “Sup?” from 6, and the angry “Grrr” from 96 are just a few of the sound bites heard from the number tiles which are triggered when matching. They will even at times let out exasperated sighs or even “Go Already” if you are taking to long to make a move, or even “nope!” or “nuh-uh” if you attempt an invalid move. It adds a bit of unique interaction in a very simple game.
Originally, I had downloaded this game through the Free Games with Gold on my XBOX One, but I enjoyed this game so much that I needed it available at my fingertips on the go, so I downloaded it for my iPhone. Super addicting!! The game reminds me a lot of the old school games of Tetris where you had to pre-strategize for upcoming tiles and also hope that while you were placing blocks in certain ways that the one you really needed was coming up soon. In Threes! you have to as well think ahead of getting the grid in best position for highest score possibilities. This game is one that is great for de-stressing the brain or even just for passing a few moments, hours or days (however much time you want to invest) and is simple enough for anyone to play but enhanced by the fact that you will always been wanting to top your last high score. I recommend getting this game, even just simply to experience the cool sound bites of the tiles.
Threes! is available on Android, iOS and Xbox One.