Hundreds isn’t your normal iPhone game. For starters it oozes design cool, with hip greys playing off against razor sharp typography. It’s not just minimal for the sake of it, either, the main block of screen real estate is large and simple for a reason – that’s where all the action is and this is a puzzler that blends action with a huge amount of style and grace.
The idea of each of the levels is to reach 100, and that total is garnered from the absolute sizes of the circles in play. Not every circle counts towards the sum, but it’s obvious soon enough which ones don’t. To increase the size of circle, you just tap and hold it, and watch the score shoot up.
The tricky bits are that when you’re holding a circle it turns red, and any contact with a red circle spells instant game over; this is simple enough in the beginning when things don’t move around so much or come with spikes and strings, but there’s a decent enough learning curve here that should hopefully mean the few frustratingly difficult levels aren’t overshadowing, and the overall experience is a pleasant one.
It’s tough, though. Things do commence on a gradual slope but you’re soon tasked with physics and using multiple fingers at once, whilst trying to watch the rest of the screen in case something makes contact that shouldn’t. You can’t push the circles around, only make them bigger, which leads to some interesting puzzles later on.
Aside from this main game are a series of unlockable diversionary puzzles called Cyphers. These are distinct from the main Hundreds mechanics, and are actually quite clever in execution. The first is smart, the second a little buggy in its implementation, but they grow from there and discovering them is a joy, and these Cyphers are what seem to be the thing most people are talking about just now.
There’s some talent behind the game (including Canabalt dev Adam Saltsman) and it shows – the presentation is top notch (if not a little fiddly) and the visuals and music blend together brilliantly. It’s not perfect by any stretch – some of the levels will have you tearing your hair out – but it’s well worth the asking fee, especially as it’s currently on sale.
Hundreds is £1.99 at the moment, from the App Store.