I think every Playground Dad who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s will attest that video games were a big part of our lives. But wiith kids, we get no time at all to play the loud, action-packed, blockbusters we crave. Forget Halo 4, I still haven’t finished Gears of War 2, and there has been a third! Nowadays a game cannot expect me to invest a lot of time, has to require strategy, and should allow me to pick it up and play whenever I want. Xbox 360 games fail two of those, and none of the social casual games appeal to me. But every now and then I will find a game on the iPad that hooks me. Hundreds is the latest game to do so.
Like all great games, Hundreds has a simple premise. Here it is to make a number of circles add up to 100 after you press down on them. For example, three grey circles are floating around, you press down on one of them and you see the count increase from 0. The longer you press down, the higher the number gets until you reach 100. Here is the hook, as you press down, the circle turns red and continues to grow until you let go, at which point it goes back to grey. If the red circle touches another grey circle, game over. You keep growing the circles and switching between them, while avoiding a red-grey collision until you reach 100. Then you advance. As you progress, the game introduces new things like balloons, ropes, etc to keep it challenging.
In addition to great gameplay, Hundreds is beautifully designed. It goes with a straight black, white, grey look; simple geometric shapes with sharp lines; and the only color used is red which makes the screen pop at various points. Then you have this very soothing accompanying music, which totally relaxes you. The game never feels pressured or intense, but is still very addictive. Exactly what I need at the end of a long day.
Also, Hundreds is great for the family. You can teach it to a five year old within minutes (I did), making it a game you can play with your kids. It’s tough for me to find “edutainment” apps or games for kids. Either they are way too simple or too much like school. To me, Tetris is still probably the best edutainment game out there. The reason being it stayed with being a game first. Like Tetris, Hundreds will teach kids about math, spacing, and strategy. The final verdict for this game came from my wife. If she can get hooked into a game very quickly, then I know it’s done a great job. She’s been known to get completely addicted and will play any chance she gets even though she’s got three kids to watch after. The ones that got her in the past were were The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hour Glass and Plants vs Zombies. Now add Hundreds to the list as her first session lasted an hour.