There is a bit of a renaissance of flat, minimal mobile games. Hundreds is a prime example: Its clean aesthetic and innovative (if occasionally frustrating) gameplay won it a spot on Dr. Rita El Khoury's Interesting Games channel, not to mention reviews from heavyweights like the New York Times, Wired, Boing Boing, and others. So, what makes Hundreds so compelling?
First, a video:
In case you don't have time to watch the video, the core mechanic can be explained in just a few words: Tap a circle to make it grow. When it reachs 100, you win. Simple, right? Well, not really. First of all, it's not just one circle: You can reach 100 using 3 circles (sized 30, 30, and 40, for example). Oh, and if your circle touches another circle while you're inflating it, you die. And then there are the bubbles which you must pop to make room for your circle to grow, and the spinning blades that deflate your circles if they touch them. Don't forget the linked circles, too -- these inflate only in pairs, so you must tap and hold two linked circles at the same time to get them to inflate. There are other surprises along the way, but you get the idea.
While the graphics are strictly 2D, the game is very kinetic. Circles will bump against each other and fly off at all sorts of odd angles, and if you're not careful, things will quickly get out of hand. Passing a level often requires a combination of determination, fast reflexes, and sheer dumb luck. Fortunately, if you really do become stuck, you can skip ahead.
Hundreds is flat, and not particularly colorful. But rather than coming off as anemic or sparse, the game exudes style. Screen elements are responsive, and the simplistic geometry feels alive in your hand.
In terms of sound, the game is best enjoyed with a pair of headphones. The soundtrack is ambient and electronic, and can best be described as "not too distracting."
Hundreds is a classy game. It may not be everyone's cup of tea (especially if you become easily frustrated), but if you've got the patience, Hundreds has a lot to offer.