Hundreds Review: A Satisfying Challenge for Mind and Fingers
Look, it’s still January, so to those who have been so quick to throw the label “Game of 2013” at Semi Secret Software’s Hundreds, I say let’s calm down just a bit… After playing through the 100 puzzles packaged in Hundreds and experiencing plenty of roadblocks and triumphs along the way, I feel like what we have here is a game that’s going to be plenty divisive amongst those who get their hands on it… Yes, it’s almost frustratingly simple, and yes, it can be quite challenging at times—so whether you react in a love/hate way might just depend on the day or the level you just played… So, while opinions will differ about the greatness of Hundreds, let’s get one thing straight: Semi Secret Software has delivered something totally new and noteworthy.
Your first bout of confusion about Hundred will likely come right at the beginning, but hopefully it only lasts a moment. The game wastes absolutely no time on training the player, and instead you’re thrown into a blank environment featuring only a circle with ‘0’ plastered on it. Naturally, you start tapping around on the screen and find that when you touch the circle it turns red and the number counts upward very quickly. When it reaches ‘100’ the level is done and it’s onto the next one.
That’s it for gameplay. Hundreds is about tapping circles at just the right time so that the sum total eventually reaches ‘100.’ But these circles don’t always behave the same way, and you better believe there’s usually more than one, and they like to move. Oh, and let’s not forget the game’s most important tagline:
“IF THEY TOUCH WHEN RED THEN YOU ARE DEAD”
The phrase “when red” should be understood as “when expanding” or “when counting up.” See, the challenge of Hundreds—which gets more complex as the circles multiply in behavior type and quantity—is to tap strategically, and only when there’s enough room around the circle. It’s tough to put into words, but you find that Semi Secret is justified in saying this is a game “about the space between…”
Visually, I’d expect the same differing reactions to Hundreds the gameplay might cause. The app relies on a very specific color scheme that only includes, red, gray, black, and white. It makes for a very vivid, memorable look, even though you can’t really call it “colorful.” The colors look just as starkly brilliant when put into motion, and all the animations in Hundreds are smooth and precise, which leaves you to focus solely on how you’re going to tackle the challenge at hand.
If you can get past the first few levels of Hundreds to understand what the developers are asking of you (and let’s hope your iOS-game attention span hasn’t been that severely damaged by Temple Run knockoffs) you’ll find that the game progresses at a nice rate. New types of circles get introduced here and there, requiring the formulation of new strategies to “make space” for your circles and get to ‘100.’ I’m of the mind that there’s not a ton of replay value here, though Hundreds does keep track of your PRs—even so, there are 100 levels, which I’d say makes $2.99 an acceptable price even if you only play them each once (and if you don’t have to “retry round” at least 100 times along the way, you’re a god).
So, back to where we started… Is this “Game of 2013”? It might sounds like a cop-out, but it’s just going to depend on the person, and that’s evidenced by the range of reviews that have already been garnered by Hundreds… One thing is for sure, though, you won’t know if you love Hundreds until you try it, and giving it a miss would be a big blunder.
Our Score: 4 Out of 5 Stars