When I started playing Threes!, I was unprepared for the charm offensive I was about to receive.
A quick tutorial lays out the premise of Threes!. You must swipe a grid of tiles down, left, or right around a 4x4 grid. Sliding a 1 tile into 2 creates a 3. From there, however, the aim is to slide matching numbers into each other (3s combining with 3s to make 6s, 6s combine into 12s, and so on) with the goal being to get the highest numbers possible before the grid gets too clogged up with tiles.
Sounds simple, but things quickly start to get tricky. Swiping in any direction shifts every tile with room to move one space that way, forcing them to fill gaps and combine with other tiles. It also adds a new tile to the grid, filling one available space on the 16-square grid with a not-always-helpful number.
See the whole board
This dynamic demands that you consider the entire board, constantly think a few moves ahead, and plan for what could happen with the new tiles.
But, while I understand the theory, Threes! always presents a greater challenge for me than it should. I constantly find myself fixated on few specific tiles in my attempt get a new high-score. Thanks to my own shortsightedness, this often leaves me carelessly swiping myself into a metaphorical corner by not considering the whole board.
Despite the frustration Threes! causes me, the whole game is actually charmingly upbeat. Each block has its own little face and accompanying personality (complete with a silly voice and back-story), ensuring a constantly jovial and welcoming tone.
Elegant, simple, and punishing, Threes! is a beautiful package. Though the random element does hold it back, I was hooked on this mathematical brainteaser in three minutes flat.