Sunday, July 17, 2016

Threes! Review (XONE)

Puzzle games can really be magical when they hit that perfect blend of challenge and satisfaction while keeping you hooked for round after round after round.  They test not just your skills but your smarts as well, which make them some of the most satisfying games around.  The best puzzle game on Xbox One, and pretty easily so, is Threes.  It is simple and addictive and a fantastic diversion no one should pass up. 

Game Details

  • Publisher: Sirvo
  • Developer: Hidden Variable Studios
  • ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyon
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Pros: Simple and addictive; clean presentation; play while snapped
  • Cons: None
  • MSRP: $5

Threes got its start on mobile and was copied a million times by other developers, but Threes has stood the test of time as the best of the bunch and is the only one to make its way to Xbox One.  You could argue that no one really needs to play Threes on a console since the mobile version is, well, mobile and also cheaper, but Threes on Xbox One does have some of its own unique tricks and at just $5 it is a small price to pay for how enjoyable it can be.

What kind of new tricks?  Well, just one really, but it’s a doozy – you can play it while it is snapped to the side of your screen while you’re doing other stuff.  Playing Threes while watching Netflix or a movie or installing another game or something is just fantastic.  That alone makes it worth a look.

So how do you actually play Threes?  The game is palyed on a 4x4 grid full of numbered blocks.  The idea is that you are first creating 3’s and then multiples of 3 by sliding the blocks into each other.  Other than 1+2 to get 3, all the other blocks can only add onto the same number, so it goes 1+2=3.  3+3=6.  6+6=12.  12+12=24.  24+24=48.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc..  When you slide 2 blocks together it creates an open space that is filled by a new random number that slides in from the side of the screen.  As you continue to play it gets harder and harder to match numbers and eventually you’ll run out of moves.  At that point all of your blocks are added up and that is your score.  Then you do it all over again.  Threes is very addictive and fast and a ton of fun.

The presentation certainly helps because it is just so clean and simple.  You can choose from a light or dark theme and from there the only things really on the screen are the game field itself.  No clutter.  No filler.  Just a 4x4 block of numbers.  It’s beautiful.  The sound is also very simple and well done, though the repeated voice quips when you add numbers together can get annoying after a while.

Threes is just awesome.  It is cheap and addictive and fun and just a well put together puzzle game all around.  For $5 it is one of the best bangs for your buck you’ll find on Xbox One.  Absolutely definitely buy it.