Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
A Numbers Game isn’t a bad game, but it’s so milquetoast that it’s hard to call it a good one, either. Ultimately it’s as neutral as its color palette and as unexciting as its title.
Instead of walking players through its systems with a tutorial, A Numbers Game plops them in cold and expects them to read the wordy instructions. Even if they do, translating the confusing explanations into actual gameplay will still take some practice.
Each round, number tiles surround the board and players must slide one onto the field. It’ll keep traveling until it hits a wall, another number, or the cross in the center. A new set of tiles then appears and the process repeats. The goal is to slide tiles into each other to create rows and columns of four matching numbers and then tap them away for points. However, the messy randomness tends to complicate plans, so players must be able to deal with unexpected tough decisions. They can undo moves and easier difficulties offer power-ups like tile-removing scissors, but in the end success comes down to controlling space.
This isn’t a bad idea for a puzzle game. At times it almost feels like Threes! as players manage multiple number strings at once while hoping for the right tile to appear at the right time to complete the combo. But with so many different digits to deal with the board quickly gets cramped, making matches almost impossible. Brief, low-scoring games suck the joy out of the experience. Meanwhile, the sleep-inducing beige aesthetic sucks any other feelings out of the experience. Visuals are flat and plain, colors are drab, and the grooviest thing about the game - it’s apparently dynamic music - barely makes an impression. It’s all so painfully mild.
There are so many puzzle games on the App Store that even great ones still get lost in the shuffle. So in that context, the adequate but lifeless A Numbers Game might as well be invisible.