Hundreds Review

Semi Secret Software made a noticeable splash with their endless runner Canabalt, but they’re back with something completely different. Hundreds is the epitome of a completely simple idea made into transfixing gameplay. Like the simplicity of Tetris’ block dropping, Hundreds merely tasks players with tapping on circles to expand their size until the numbers in them add up to 100.

To reach 100, you can tap a bunch of circles to make smaller numbers add up to 100, or (if there’s space) just focus on a single or couple circles to blow up. The caveat is that when pressing down on a circle it turns red, and if a red circle touches anything else, the game is over. It’s an absurdly simple premise that leads to a completely boggling variety of levels.

Blades and bubbles.

In Hundreds, every level– of which there are many– is different. There’s never any explanation for anything in the game. Even just starting the game requires tapping on the screen with no prompting. Levels throw in popping bubbles, blockers, and other obstacles. Some of the levels crowd the screen with circles to expand, while others are nearly empty.

A lot of games aim for a Zen-like sparse and creative experience, but Hundreds achieves this goal by truly being a minimal design. Even the internal scoring system of the game is utterly mysterious. It’s hard to say what the game considers the best or optimal way to succeed in any level. This might turn some off, but in the end it hardly matters.

I got 59 problems.

Hundreds takes seconds to learn to play, but offers hours of game play in reward. Since it supports multi-touch, it can even be an impromptu multiplayer game on the iPad, where two players try to outscore each other. There aren’t many games that are both simple and versatile, but Hundreds manages to fit the bill.

The graphics are excellently minimal as well, as is the audio work– the soundtrack is particularly good. The only real complaint is that the game, while universal, is definitely geared for a larger screen. It’s far too easy for your finger to get in the way, leading to an accidental fail because you couldn’t see the colliding objects.

Describing Hundreds to someone will probably result in confused looks, but it’s easily worth the price of admission. The game is relaxing, frustrating, creative, and intelligent with its hook of minimalism and simple game play. The 100+ levels are intriguing and the ability to seamlessly play by yourself or with a partner is a brilliant touch. All in all, it’s one of the brightest iOS games we’ve yet seen during the new year.

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