Threes!

Threes! is at once nicotine and soul food, magnificent and deadly, a machine for playing.

While I love numbers-based puzzle game Threes!, I'm not particularly good at it. But there are plenty of people out there who are good at it - and someone has finally managed to beat it - over three years after the game came out.

Threes' free version doubled its dev's daily income

"It was a good business decision."

Last year game developer Asher Vollmer released a deceptively addictive tile puzzler called Threes. We, especially Wes, really liked it. Today, Vollmer revealed on Twitter that the free version he released last month doubled his daily income.

Limbo launches for everyone on Xbox One this Friday

Limbo launches for everyone on Xbox One this Friday

Along with mobile hit Threes and Boom Ball Kinect.

The Xbox One version of cult platforming hit Limbo will be available to buy for everyone on Friday, Microsoft has confirmed.

Early Xbox One adopters who had used their console during its launch weekend were gifted a free copy of the game a couple of weeks ago.

Also arriving on the Xbox Games Store this Friday are mobile puzzler Threes and the motion-sensing Boom Ball Kinect, a message posted to the ID@Xbox Twitter account revealed.

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Threes developer Sirvo LLC worked hard on its puzzle game phenomenon and it's non too happy about a series of clones popping up on the marketplace. To counter this worrying trend, the developer wrote an over 42K word blog post detailing the game's year-and-a-half development, explaining why a seemingly simple game like Threes is actually a ton of work to get the balance just right.

Threes! review

EssentialThrees! review

That's the magic number.

Like so many of the things installed on your iPhone, Threes! is a game of pattern-matching. A one and a two make a three. Threes and up can be matched only with identical tiles. 'Swipe to combine tiles' is all the instruction you really need to get started, and indeed the game offers little more than that as you complete its wonderfully light-touch tutorial sequence. Of course, by then it's too late. It's much too late.

Threes' best joke is that it's a match-two puzzler. It's not a maths game, and despite having numbers everywhere you look, it involves none of that tricky adding-up or taking-away. These numbers are used merely as identifiers. The game could equally have employed colours, or pictures of cats, or smells to identify its pieces. Do not be put off by the pictures of numbers, it is not they that will be making you feel a bit thick.

From the team responsible for the pain-is-pleasure sado-ludism of Puzzlejuice, Threes! is the video game equivalent of one of those hipster restaurants that serves unconscionably delightful food, but insists on doing so in the most terrifyingly smug surroundings imaginable. The brutalist mechanical simplicity of the gameplay is bonded to an audio landscape of shameless hipster whimsy - and if the graphic design loves Letterpress so much, why doesn't it just marry it?

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