Threes mixes matching and math for a minimalistic strategy game

Threes 1Sudoku intimidates me. It’s not that I don’t like math. It’s just that puzzle games based on numbers reminds me of middle school. I feel like some unseen teacher is hovering over me, judging my abilities.

Threes is a minimalistic matching game that doesn’t require you to solve any kind of puzzle, so you can get your math fix without feeling like you have to show your work…

The game is simple. Players push tiles into each other to make multiples of three. When tiles combine, the two old ones disappear and create a single new one. As you add tiles, it becomes more difficult to combine numbers to make multiples of three.

Threes 3To create a three, combine a one and a two tile. Do so by swiping the rows and columns left, right, up, or down. When you swipe the screen, every card that can be combined to make a multiple of three will move at the same time. So, if you have 10 cards on the grid of 16 and there is a three and a six next to each other, swipe the screen to combine them. Those two, plus any other two tiles that, when combined, make a multiple of three, will join up and make one tile with the new number. If there are two twos next to each other, they will not move.

Every time you swipe the screen in any direction, a new tile appears. This can be helpful for combining tiles to create multiples of three, but can also make it more difficult if you have too many ones or twos next to each other.

Although it is a simple math matching title, it has a sneaky additional game mechanic. If you want to maximize your score, which is the only point of the game, you’ll need a strategy. If you don’t plan ahead, you will not be able to get your high cards higher. The goal is to see how high you can get one tile to add up to.

Threes 2So, if you combine a few threes into sixes and a few sixes into 12s, you’ll be closer to turning those 12s into 24s and then into 48s. However, if you have a 48 that is surrounded by ones and twos, there won’t be anywhere to move the tile to make a multiple of three. If you keep in mind that all capable tiles move when you swipe the screen, you will be able to plan ahead for how to get that one and two to turn into a three before it gets to your 48. Get it?


Threes is available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for $1.99. Download it in the App Store today.

Do you like math? Will you be solving for multiples of three with this game?