Hundreds for iPhone and iPad review

Hundreds is a new puzzle game by Semi Secret Software where the goal is to make enough of the circles in each level to grow to at least 100 points total between them. But here's the catch, when a circle is growing, it becomes very volatile and cannot make contact with anything while being grown. If a collision occurs, it's game over.

Gameplay in Hundreds is rather basic. Simply hold a finger down on a circle to make it grow. While it's growing, the circle will turn red, and the bigger it gets, the larger its value becomes. When the value of all the circles adds up to 100, you win.

As you progress through the levels, new elements are introduced into the game. For example, some circles are paired together with a line and will only grow together at the same time. There are also bubbles that can be popped, spinning gears that will deflate your circles, circles that can be shrunk, nodes that can be paused, and more. Hundreds does a great job of introducing each new element at a pace that is bearable, yet not boring.

After every 10 completed levels, you will be presented with a message. Unless these messages are in a different language, they are actually cryptic ciphers that I quite honestly have no idea what to do with. Periodically, a letter in the message with flicker and change, but there doesn't appear to be a way to interact with the ciphers. (EDIT Tap the white circle in the main menu to reach the cipher menu!)

Hundreds features an ambient soundtrack that is relaxing and helps you get into the zone. It is also designed in a way that is very minimalistic, beautiful, and fast. One of my favorite features about Hundreds is that when you die, you can restart the level in less than a second. It's the little things like this that make Hundreds a really great game.

The good

  • Over 100 puzzles
  • Minimalist graphics
  • Good music and sound effects
  • Quick turnover between failing a level and restarting it
  • Challenging
  • Fun and addicting
  • Progress syncs between devices over iCloud

The bad

  • Not sure what's up with the ciphers. Are they a puzzle? Is it a different language? Tap the white circle in the main menu to reach the cipher menu!)

The conclusion

Hundreds is a very fun, though admittedly frustrating, puzzle game. It's very challenging, but in a way that keeps you coming back for more, because you repeatedly tell yourself that "you'll get it this time", and eventually you do. Hundreds has a very simple concept that even young children will understand and thus be able to enjoy the game. Even my 2-year-old likes to play Hundreds even though she doesn't understand how to play. Tapping the circles and watching them grow, turn read, and pop is very exciting for her.

If you're a fan of challenging puzzle games, you'll definitely want to pick this one up. And, please, will someone please tell me what is up with the cryptic messages?! Thank you, commenters, for your help!

Hundreds is currently 40% off until Jan 10, 2013.