Hundreds review: a stylish iOS puzzler from the makers of Canabalt

Hundreds review

Hundreds is an astoundingly harmonious mix of art and design. It’s a game about circles, and the spaces between them, so pared down in its aesthetics that even that iOS standard, the corner-hogging pause button, has been excised. Restarts only come after failure in Hundreds, though failure comes easy enough.

Touch a circle floating slowly or zipping rapidly around one of Hundreds’ levels and it’ll inflate, a digit in its centre ticking upwards as it does so. When the total of all your pumped-up circles reaches 100, the level is won. Normally, circles bounce lazily off one another like billiard balls in perpetual motion, but should the expanding circumference of an inflating circle come into contact with another circle or object, the level is lost.

Hundreds review

It’s a simple premise perfectly suited for a multi-touch screen, with subversions and twists (linked circles that must be pressed together, whirring gears that deflate your circles) adding occasional moments of time pressure to levels that can otherwise be taken at your own pace. It’s perhaps too much a test of patience rather than dexterity, occasionally, when success hinges upon seizing the moment a single untouched circle is knocked away from the pack.

These freeform levels are interspersed with more tightly locked down puzzles with prescribed solutions, lending Semi-Secret software’s puzzler an unusual sense of pace. The presence of a set of arcane codes and ciphers, meanwhile, might have done the same if they were a little less peripheral and obscure. Handsomely uncluttered, if more than a little austere, this is a modish, elegant puzzler.