It’s not often that two indie gaming rock-stars join forces, but when it happens everyone should really pay attention. Adam Saltsman, the creator of Canabalt of Semi Secret Software, and Greg Wohlwend, the “Greg” half of Mikengreg, creators of such titles as Solipskier and Gasketball, have combined their vast powers to bring us Hundreds, a wonderfully elegant puzzler based on an old Flash game. This isn’t just a simple port though. The game has been reworked heavily from the ground up, adding more complex and varied mechanics and an extra coat or three of polish.
Essentially, your job is to grow circles in size by touching them. The larger they get, the more points they are worth. In all of the game’s one hundred levels, you need to get the circles to add up to one hundred in any combination. Gee, I wonder why this game is called Hundreds. It’s not so simple though, as while you’re filling a circle, they can’t touch anything else at all, or you lose. Naturally, as more circles pack the screen, this can become a harrowing task of timing and finesse. Soon, you’re dealing with negative circles, saws that drain all the size from any circle they touch, bubbles that you can pop, chained circles that must be grown in pairs, saws that you can turn off for a short time, and so on. There were a crazy number of new mechanics that I came across, and I only got about halfway through the game.
The art is minimalistic yet fits the game perfectly. The music is ambient and fantastic, and as with Adam Saltsman’s other games, headphones are recommended. There are leaderboards to climb and the game is iOS Universal too, though I just felt it works a bit better on the iPad. This game exudes elegance and personifies good design. Every mechanic introduced changes the formula in two or three good ways, and the game is constantly building on itself. If you’re a puzzle game fan, or just a fan of clever indie games in general, then don’t pass this one up. Hundreds is available for three dollars at the time of this review, and that is actually a special launch price. It will go up a bit in the future, so grab it now.