At base level, Hundreds could be explained as a “puzzle game with numbers”. But that’s simplifying it to a dumb degree. What you really get out of it is a concept that manages to keep amazing you and playing with your head as you continue. It’s what you want out of a mobile experience and makes an easy case of never putting your phone or iPad away.
Hundreds was originally based on a flash game of the same name. But back then, it was super preliminary and now, four guys at Semi Secret Software (including Canabalt creator Adam Saltzman) took the core concept and made it so much better with the input, design, and message deciphering.
The way you play Hundreds all starts with a bunch of circles. They all equate to the number zero but holding down on a circle increases its value. You must equal 100 in order to advance to the next stage. However, if you increase a circle’s value and it collides with another circle, it’s game over. It all sounds basic in premise but once you begin, the going gets tough.
You’ll notice more obstacles in the way such as buzzsaws that immediately decreases the circles to zero or ice that freezes the circle. You have to be careful and plan out when it’s the best time to increase the circle. Some circles will even be in the negatives, allowing you to figure out that taking them up to zero will help the rest of the circles.
Hundreds has a very minimalist style. Once you begin the game, you’re greeted with one logo and two menu options. It’s tasteful in a way that’s not overloading the player with options and colors. From there, players can select the specific round they’d like. There are – you guessed it – 100 puzzles to solve so it’ll keep you busy for a good while.
The music in the game is very hypnotic. It’s a soundscape that plays over and over but it’s not annoying, it’s soothing. It makes going through each level all the more entertaining and you feel like you want to accomplish certain levels.
While there isn’t a narrative, red-colored levels will garner messages after completion. The first one is already given to you but the later ones all involve deciphering letters correctly with random assortments and trickling graphics on those letters. I haven’t tried to decipher them yet but they have deeper meaning the further in the game.
I couldn’t think of any negatives personally other than the fact that I lack an iPad. While the game is superbly gorgeous on an iPhone, it straight up sings on the iPad. The amount of added space for some of the trickier circles definitely helps. It’s not that it’s bad on the iPhone since it’s totally playable. It just makes you want to play it on a bigger device all the more.
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Hundreds is currently on sale for the first week at $2.99 when it bumps back up to $4.99 on January 10. I’d recommended picking it up now on sale since even if you don’t have an iPad, it’s a universal app that’ll work on both devices.
It looks like we’ve gotten our first real hit of 2013 and all it took was some circles. But again, that’s simplifying it when it’s really a special game that’ll stump you just as it will gratify you. You may never want to stop tapping after playing this game. Just get lost in the soundscape and count.
Hundreds was developed and published by Semi Secret Software. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.