Hundreds is a minimalist puzzle game from Semi Secret Software, the makers of Canabalt. Each of its 100 levels is filled with one or more floating circles. When you press down on a circle, its numerical value and size increases. Your goal is to enlarge the circles until their combined values add up to 100. But as a circle grows, it turns red, and if anything touches a red circle, it’s game over.
The game is deliberately cryptic, challenging you to figure things out for yourself. There are no instructions. Instead, the game’s levels gradually introduce gameplay elements. The first level is almost insultingly easy, with only a single circle, but the challenges soon grow to include more circles, linked circles, burstable bubbles, and hazards like value-destroying buzz saws.
A riddle minigame adds to the mystery, with a new riddle unlocked every few levels. The riddles can be accessed by tapping the center of the main menu. Solving conundrums such as “A MOUSE HAS ONE SNOUT BUT A HAND HAS FIVE,” earn players Game Center achievements. The riddles are a nice distraction, and it’s impressive that the developers were able to fit a minigame into such a simple game.
Solving every level and riddle requires zen-like patience. In fact, later levels often feel as though they rely on patience and luck more than wits or skill. Fortunately, the game’s neutral grays and relaxing soundtrack (by Loscil) help prevent you from throwing your iPhone across the room.
Despite being conceived as a Flash game, Hundreds feels like it was made for iOS, with its simple, elegant design and inherent touch-friendliness. On larger iPad screens, the game can even be played co-operatively with a friend.
Hundreds is a well crafted time killer, and like its predecessor Canabalt, impressively crafted, if often frustrating. For those seeking a stylish, challenging puzzle game, it’s worth every penny of $4.99 in the App Store.