A Winning Charm
I've always felt that games inherently do a poor job at expressing emotions, that by their nature they are a rational art form. In a world that is in the players control, it is necessary that all of the parts fit and that there is not a mystery to what needs to be done. Threes is a game that operates exquisitely. As you match blocks of ones and twos into three blocks, you then match those three blocks into different multiples of three. I've found that a combination of never spending more for an acquisition of blocks than you have to and tend to keep the larger blocks on one side of the screen. What surrounds this matching game is smooth electronic Italian Jazz by no other than Big Giant Circles. This music is accompanied by idiosyncratic utterances of your blocks, as you lay idle or move the blocks in place.
It is important to examine the tone of Threes as much as it is the game itself. Within the game tone does not operate on a visceral level, but a deliberative and intuitive level. As you become better at the game, these systems serve as a reward. The more blocks that are assimilated, the more they express newer and richer mannerisms. This ecstasy is achieved while maintaining it’s austere design. In practice what this means is that as opposed to it’s clones like 2048, winning the game is more than only valuing quantifiable things like your score, highest block or completion. Threes is about finding the truest path to reality. That reality includes the quantifiable but just as importantly the unquantifiable, the joy and catharsis you obtain from relationship with your blocks.