I have mixed feelings about most games that I play on my iPhone. Sure, they’re fun, particularly for quick spells here and there, but put me in front of something that takes more time and I just lose interest.
But then there are games that go above and beyond the normal. They’re easy to pick up and play, yet addictive enough to lose yourself in for hours. They’re puzzlers, yet there’s something still beneath the surface. That, in essence, is Hundreds.
So What Is This Thing, Anyway?
There is no set list of directions, no FAQ and no walkthrough when you start the game for the first time. Here you are, and there’s a circle in the middle of the screen. Behind it, a number. As you touch the circle, it turns red and grows, making the number go higher in the process. So how is that fun?
The point, as you soon learn, is that you have to touch the circles so that they grow in size. As they get bigger, they turn red and display a number in the center that goes higher in proportion with the size. When multiple balls enter the equation, you have to make them grow as well, until the total number from adding up all of the numbers in the center of the balls equals 100. Hence, Hundreds.
It Gets Better
Don’t worry, there’s more to the game than just touching circles on the screen. You see, if you enlarge a circle and it touches another circle, saw blade, bubble — anything, really — it will either kill you for the level or shrink your circle down. Then there are times that you have to coordinate two circles simultaneously by touching both of them at the same time. That gets tricky. Or there are the moments when you have to time things just right to get the circles to hit 100 before getting destroyed.
Difficulty wise, this is also an interesting situation. I recommended this game to my wife, and she bought it for her iPad mini. While I’m watching TV the other day, I notice our three-year-old son playing Hundreds on his original iPad (in a very large protective case). Turns out that she had automatic downloads setup on the iPad, and he was happily touching circles and playing around. But while he’s enjoying the lower levels, there were definitely times that I got frustrated with ones further on. So it’s challenging for both myself, my wife and my toddler. Interpret that however you like.
Design & The Other Stuff
One thing that makes the game quite enjoyable is the simplistic, yet complex design. For the most part, there are only four colors used: red, white, black and various shades of gray. Yet, the game seems to be vibrant and alive at all times. The simple and clean text also looks great, and it doesn’t feel like the developers were trying to cram everything into one little space. It’s clean and simple, and yet, it’s not.
Then there are the riddles. In between levels, occasionally you’ll see a phrase or mixture of letters that you’re presumably supposed to decipher. Where or when, I have no idea. As I’ve played the game I haven’t yet found a point where all this makes sense, but I assume I will eventually.
The Groundbreaking Part
Remember when the Nintendo Wii was all the rage? My wife and I waited all night to get one on Black Friday, and we ended up coming home empty handed. But when one finally did end up in our living room, it was revolutionary. It was a way to incorporate our hands and movements in one controller, plus it was fun. That’s also what the iPhone has done for touch gaming.
But I often find myself growing tired of games with tired tricks like using the accelerometer to turn or shaking to change things. I want a game that’s unique, challenges me and still is easy to use. Hundreds is all of that and more; it really does break new ground. It’s one of those games that could only exist on a touchscreen device, meaning that ultimately, its existence is because of the iPhone and iOS platform. And that’s what’s awesome about this game — it’s unique enough to break the mold, addictive enough to make your eyes bleed and yet attainable for the masses. That’s a big accomplishment.
When I boil it all down, I have to weigh a few options. Will I play it long term? Is it worth the money? Will I bore of it over time? And most of all, is it fun? To put it succinctly, yes, yes, probably not and heck yeah. Hundreds is just one of those games that’s so different that you enjoy picking it up every time. Yes, you’ll probably get frustrated with a puzzle or two, but that’s part of the challenge of the game, right?
At the low price of $2.99 (a sale that ends today!), this app is a steal, and even when the price eventually goes up I would just as strongly recommend it. So far, the only flaw I’ve found with it is in myself, because sometimes I just can’t get past the level fast enough. That, and I think my son has passed me on levels, I’m not quite sure.