Semi Secret Software, LLC | 26.6 MB | $2.99 (Sale Price, Regular $4.99)
The developer of the extremely popular endless runner Canabalt is at it again, with a minimalism-inspired puzzle game entitled Hundreds. As with Canabalt, Semi Secret Software has taken a simple mechanic and revitalized it in order to create something completely new and bizarre.
The gameplay in Hundreds consists of a seemingly easy task. In order to advance to the next level, the player must inflate the circles so that the net value equals 100. However, there is a catch. Whenever a circle is expanding, it turns red. Red circles cannot touch other objects in the level or you are greeted with this lovely message.
As the levels progress, various obstacles such as saw blades and immovable orbs make inflating the circles quite challenging. The various mechanics that the game introduces adds variety to the levels and presents perplexing challenges for the player. This game, although simple, is definitely a stylish test of the player’s visual-spatial abilities.
Hundreds uses very simple controls. Touch and hold a circle in order to expand it. The player cannot physically move the circles; instead, he or she must estimate the space a circle will take up and try to prevent collisions with red and gray circles. Devices such as the play/pause orb have similarly easy controls, though the game does not explicitly instruct players on how to operate them.
Hundreds’ art style is inspired by minimalism. As a result, the game is simple, classy, and elegant. The art direction isn’t new, but it is extremely well done. In addition, Hundreds also has a quasi-Portal vibe to it. Anyone who frequented the halls of Aperture Laboratories will recognize the similarities.
The color scheme is somewhat austere. Red, black, white, and gray. In this game however, the lack of vibrant colors fits the tone perfectly. It is clean, clinical, and simply beautiful. The art style justifies the price tag itself.
I liked the music quite a bit. It is a simple atmospheric tune that evolves the longer the player is in the game. What starts out simple with a few beats evolves into something of remarkable complexity and beauty, much like the game itself. The game also includes the standard sound effects when buttons are pressed, but this is not a music-intensive game. That is not the point of the game; however, the music and various sound effects work to further immerse the player into already addicting experience.
It seems odd that I would include a story section in this game. I personally did not go into this thinking that I would be enthralled in any sort of mystery. However, this is my favorite part of the game. After the completion of five or so levels, the player receives a cryptic message.
Throughout my playthrough, I constantly wondered the meaning of this message. Was there a purpose for the number 100? Did the color red symbolize anything? These questions only increased after more of these messages were received. The story is almost an enigma that slowly unravels to those patient enough to see it through.
Hundreds is unlike anything I’ve experienced on my iPhone. It is bizarre, yet has established mechanics. It is simple, yet intricate. Everything from the gameplay, graphics sound, and controls work flawlessly and come together in harmony to create a unique experience. Hundreds is a must buy for any iOS gamer. It is an absolute steal at $2.99.
- The app was purchased at full price by the reviewer.
- The app was tested on an iPhone 4S on iOS 6.0.1.