Threes! may not look like much at first sight, but it's actually one of the more potent, more addictive games for tablets and smartphones that's now been ported to Xbox One. The concept is simple — you basically make big numbers by adding up smaller numbers; 3+3 makes 6 and so it goes.
The game is based around a board consisting of 16 tiles. You're supposed to create as many large numbers as possible, matching two tiles of the same value together by swiping them into each other. Doing this creates a single new tile with a higher value and, of course, the higher the tile number on your board, the higher the end score. Each time you swipe numbers, a new tile is placed on the board.
On the smaller devices, such as tablets and phones, Threes! was a slightly unexpected success of the "only one more game" calibre. You'd pick up your device, play a game or two and then one more, another one and... another one, always feeling like you'd do better on your next try. The smooth format, the colourful but simplistic design and the quick plays you got out of it, was enough to make you give it a go on the bus, on coffee breaks, or wherever else you might have needed the entertainment while waiting for some bigger event.
The translation from smaller devices to the Xbox One works surprisingly well. The swiping motion has been replaced by a button press, but the simplicity is still there. The colours, the sounds and all other little extras that this game consists of, is there. It doesn't look any different and it doesn't feel that much different, despite the move.
However, this isn't a game you'd buy to play on it's own for hours on end. Of course if you want to, you can (the game is most definitely capable of keeping you spellbound for that long) — but it's clear that this is more an app that will give you entertainment while you wait. The biggest thing with Threes! on Xbox is that it's snappable. That means that instead of picking up your phone, you can snap the game and play it on your console while waiting for a game to load, a commercial break to pass, or maybe a download to finish. And you can pick up where you left off, should you unsnap and then go back again a bit later.
It was a smart deal by Microsoft, buying into this game's small success. It's probably the first of many more app-like games to come and they're really putting their money on a safe bet with this one in order to really introduce the feature. It's a smart feature — use your Xbox to play while playing. No need for smartphones this or tablets that!
Another thing that was slightly surprising to find here, was that for being this kind of app-like, snappable game, Threes! is surprisingly well-packed with achievements. For an achievement hunter, this would be an easy addition to your game score — you unlock the achievements easily during play, and they pay off really well score-wise.
Threes! plays as well on console as it does on phones and tablets — there's not much, if anything, to complain about or point out when it comes to the mechanics or the looks of it. Basically, it feels and looks the same as it did when it was "just" an app. If you tend to like little games like this or are interested in trying to play a game while playing another game, then this is a really good place to start, given the disappointment that was Nutjitsu. It's light entertainment, it works, and it's something you can go back to without getting tired of.
Sounds pretty neat and the idea of snapping it whilst something a bit boring is going on (like waiting for un-skippable credits to finish at the of AC: Unity!) is very cool indeed.
The one and only issue I have with it is the cost - £5.59 or about US$9... for a what is essentially a mobile game is rather steep.
However... I think I'll be picking this up for the novelty value of having a snappable game and since you mentioned it, I do like getting achievements. Besides, I'd spend that much money on a couple of coffees and have nothing to show for it afterwards
@stylon Yeah, the cost is definitely a little steep for what's offered here. But I will say that I don't regret my purchase at all. Both my wife and I have already got a good deal of play time from Threes, especially thanks to Snap Mode.
Spot-on review, Emma. This is a great time killer and a fantastic game to download for anyone that wants to get a non-gamer's hands on an Xbox One controller.
it reminds me of the mobile device game 2048. its quite similar.
@Emanouel indeed, but Threes came first!
2048 was created in response to Threes early when it was released on iOS. There's been a lot of clones but 2048 was the most popular.
This game is addictiv!
Got this last night and have to agree with the review... it took me a few goes to "get" the game but once I did a few games turned into 20 and a good hour had passed. It's definitely got that 'just one more go' quality - even the music is great!
Thanks for the review - would probably have just ignored it otherwise.
@stylon Happy to read this! I was obsessed with this as an iOS game. So when it popped over to Xbox, it was a must try and like I say in the review, it transferred really well.
Best score is 27708, which I've yet to beat on the Xbox.
@renatto it really is, isn't it?! Just one more go turns into 50 more gos.
@PeTitosaurus 27708 - that's incredible... my best is a couple of thousand when I managed to get a few 96's on the board... don't know how you managed to get that high!
@PeTitosaurus Of Course it is... just one last try. We got 768 for best, but keep trying...
@stylon Beast mode!!
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