loopychew's Threes! (iPhone) review

Can't talk, must play more.

In the history of the world, there are many games that claim that it takes "a minute to learn and a lifetime to master." Very few of these games will also be an audiovisual trip that leave you both serene and frustrated at the same time, and even fewer of those games will involve adorable talking numbers.

The concept of the game is pretty simple: One and two make three. Three and three make six. Six and six make twelve. Ones merges with twos; beyond that, like merges with like. The larger the number, the higher the score, by geometric rates. Shift the playing tiles around to merge the tiles, but note that each time you shift another tile will appear to throw your game off. If the board is full and you can't make any more moves, it's game over.

At first it seems simple: six and six make twelve, twelve and twelve make twenty-four...and then it starts getting harder when you try to get twenty-four and twenty-four to make forty-eight...and then harder still when forty-eight and forty-eight make ninety-six... and then harder still...

Pretty much every single time I play, I fall into a trance until one move before game over, realize what an idiot I've been, and keep in mind what needs to be done for next time.

I've managed to build a 384 a few times, and that has been the pinnacle of my game playing. God willing, one day I'll be able to make another 384, and if all is right, I will later be able to merge the two to form a 768.

God willing.

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    A riff on the bland match-three formula, Threes understands simplicity, where describing the game’s mechanics is no more complex than pronouncing a single syllable name. Instead of pairing miscellaneous objects, players literally match 3s, 6s, 12s, and so on, sliding numbers around the screen until they run out of moves. Threes abides by the phrase “pick up and play,” though the urge to surpass previous high scores frequently fought with my iPad’s low battery warning.If y...

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