Threes! – Our review of this mathtastic single swipe app

  • 4+
  • Released on February 6, 2014
  • Version / Size 1.0.2 | 34.07 MB
  • $1.99
  • Genres Card, Education, Puzzle
  • User Rating 5 stars (1,997 ratings)

• • •

Ahh, math.  It’s my most unfavorite thing in the world, with clowns and spiders in the #2 spot.  Even though my phone has a calculator, I still use my fingers to count and kindergarten-level math to figure out tips at restaurants.  I’ve reviewed a ton of math apps that claim they make math learning fun and easy, and even though they’re targeting school-aged kids, I still have a hard time following along.

Threes! is a recently-released app that I was hesitant about downloading due my general loathing of everything that involves numbers.  I found it in the App Store under the “Best New Games” category right on the front page so it couldn’t be all that bad, right?  The icon of a funny-faced tile with pastel colors subdued my anxiety for arithmetic and practically giggled its way onto my iPad.

There’s a great little tutorial at the beginning of the game, and it’s easy to follow and quite explanatory.  Players start with a board of tiles with different numbers and colors with game play requiring only single swipes.  The goal is to combine the numbers to create tiles of ever-increasing value.  When two tiles are combined the resulting free space is filled by another tile.  The round’s over when you run out of spaces to be filled by new tiles and a score is determined based on the value of the tiles on the board.

If you’re anti-math like me, this is where it could get tricky.  First and most importantly, the tile combinations need to equal integers of 3 or more.  Pink tiles with a 2 can only combine with the blue 1 to make 3.  From that point the tiles can only combine with others that are exactly like it – threes plus threes, adding a six to a six, and so on.  When you start getting tiles of 24 or above there’s little introductions to the higher number tiles, who have their own names and personalities.  Check out the gameplay trailer:

Threes! trailer

I officially have a problem putting this game down.  For someone that doesn’t love math, it’s odd that I would be able to not only comprehend the game play but actually enjoy the app.  It was (relatively) easy for me to learn, and while my two kids are too young and don’t have the math skills to play, this would be a fun app for school-aged kids who have basic math knowledge.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly numbers puzzler, this is it. At the time this post was published, the download price was $1.99 – the sale price with a 33.3333% discount (cute).  It’s highly replayable and has all-ages appeal due to the rated G content, lack of IAPs, and absence of in-game ads.

Screenshots

From the Developer

33.3333333333% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME!

PLEASE NOTE: This game does not run on 4th Gen iPods!

Threes is tiny puzzle that grows on you.

“You might as well delete Candy Crush Saga now.” ~ Pocket Gamer

“It\'s surprisingly adorable, for a game starring numbers.” ~ Joystiq

“It’s the kind of game that embosses the rules on your brain within 30 seconds, but then compels you to spend the next two hours playing.” ~ Pocket Tactics

Explore our little game’s deep challenge and grow your mind beyond imagination. Optimized for iOS7 and human brains. Universal app for iPhone and iPads.

³ Endless challenge from one simple game mode ³ An endearing cast of characters ³ A heart-warming soundtrack ³ No IAP - Threes is a complete experience the moment you download it

Honorably mentioned for Excellence in Design by the Independent Games Festival.

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From the makers of PUZZLEJUICE: ³ Designed by Asher Vollmer ³ Illustrated by Greg Wohlwend (Ridiculous Fishing, Hundreds) ³ Scored by Jimmy Hinson (Black Ops 2, Mass Effect 2)

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Threes grows with you and you’ll grow with Threes.

The Rest

Devices
  • iPad2Wifi
  • iPhone5c
  • iPhone4
  • iPhone5
  • iPad23G
  • iPadMini
  • iPadFourthGen4G
  • iPhone5s
  • iPadThirdGen
  • iPhone4S
  • iPhone-3GS
  • iPadMini4G
  • iPadThirdGen4G
  • iPodTouchFifthGen
  • iPadFourthGen
  • iPodTouchourthGen
Features
  • gameCenter
  • iosUniversal
Developer Publisher
Release Notes

None

Comments (2)

Rank: Sling God with 68760 points
By wrw01 (@wrw01)

This appears and reads like more of a Candy Crush or Juice Cubes type of game that uses numbers and colors to solve the puzzle and/or strategy. Looks interesting.

Rank: DaBomb with 285 points
By AppyMama (@appymama)

In a way the concept is similar to those games, but there’s no switching or swapping of tiles, only combining. You should try it out and let us know what you think!

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