Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
Consider a drop of red wine spilled on a paper napkin. A crimson stain will spread as more wine is absorbed and the paper is weakened, prone to tearing while wet. Once dried, however, the stain remains as an impression, and the colored paper is fortified and sturdy. If you were to attempt to control this process, spreading the stain without tearing the napkin, you’d be playing a fair approximation of Hundreds, a minimalist puzzle game that is difficult to explain yet easy to understand.
The goal is simply to inflate the circles on screen so that the sum total of their values equals one-hundred, but Hundreds steadily introduces complications. Bubbles that pop, stones that obstruct, blades that deflate, snowballs that freeze, combinations of the above, and more all stand between you and triple-digit success. There’s also a series of increasingly complex ciphers for those of us who fancy ourselves amateur code-crackers. These word puzzles require the player to step outside of the established game world and reinforce the idea of thinking differently.
Hundreds is that unique sort of puzzle game that is as exhilarating as it is mentally taxing, where success requires a combination of quick wits and dexterous fingers. It’s a reminder that understanding the solution to a problem and acting on it are two different things, and while we may only be juggling three or four ideas at a time, it can often feel like hundreds.