‘Hundreds’ Review – A Clever Numerical Cruncher

Hundreds

There’s no story to Hundreds, no flashy visuals or elaborate touch screen controls. It’s all about reaching one simple goal, the number 100. But oh what a ingenious trickster this little gem is.

HundredsIn first picking up my iPad and running through the early levels, it felt almost like some kind of Aperture Science experiment, complete with cryptic messages at certain points and clean, concise imagery. Deep down this is a puzzle game at heart, but you do get that inkling that developers Semi Secret and aeiowu had fun coming up with the little touches here and there that helps to set it apart from the pack.

So yes, the aim of the game is to reach 100 on each level. You do so by touching circles in order to increase their number from 0 to the target score. It doesn’t matter how you do it, or how many circles or touches it takes to reach 100, which means you can solve each level on your own terms. You’ll be reducing circles that start as a negative number, pressing to circles at the same time that are chained together, avoiding blades that reduce a circle’s number to zero if it touches … there’s so many variations to the concept that helps to keep things fresh the more you play.

There’s no hand holding here, no ‘touch this x amount of times’ or any hints at all. You would think that would make it harder, but the further you go along the easier it is to figure out what each new obstacle can do. It’s certainly more fun that way, experimenting freely instead of following rules, but perhaps it’s not for everyone. We’re in a world where tutorials are mandatory, so as much as I love the fact that it doesn’t exist in Hundreds, others may be scared away.

HundredsThe main way you lose a game is if your circle touches another as you increase its number. You’ll have to keep an eye on the other circles, not just the obstacles, to ensure two sides don’t meet as you tap away. Patience is your friend, don’t go pressing every circle like a mad man. You need to be methodical and choose your moments wisely, especially as you delve deeper into the game. As the dev themselves suggest, this is a game about space.

There’s little to fault here. The simple play mechanics are perfectly designed, the visuals compliment the game play, even the sound and musical score follow the same effective rules. Everything about Hundreds represents simplicity, placing the focus squarely on testing your metal instead of throwing endless cheap tricks at you. It’s the perfect kind of puzzle game and a wonderful start to what will no doubt be a huge 2013 on iOS.

[review pros="Engaging puzzles; Clean and concise presentation; An enjoyable experience." cons="Some may not like the lack of a tutorial mode; Harder puzzles may frustrate." score=95]



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