Just around the time Flappy Bird flew into our lives and distressed us with its supremely difficult premise and ugly interface, Mia Blume, the head of product design at Pinterest, got sucked into a more pleasant game: Threes.
The “tiny puzzle that grows on you,” as its creators describe it, is a math game. Players attempt to rack up as many points as possible by connecting numbered cards so that they either make three or multiples of three. A “1” with a “2” makes a “3.” Any card of “3” or higher can be connected only to its matching double to make bigger multiples of three: two “6” cards make a “12,” for example. It works a lot like many puzzle-oriented phone games, asking people to find patterns–ahem: Candy Crush.
It’s also very addictive, which is one reason Blume finds it so enticing. If you find yourself similarly glued to it, Kotaku has some tips. At least it’s a math game, so it’s possibly a decent workout for your brain?
Blume also, however, loves Threes for its design. “It has so much character, it’s really inspiring to use,” she told Fast Company. Each of the tiles has a little face. When you connect two that match, the faces turn into a bigger face. “It’s really subtle and really nuanced. But it’s very playful, and there’s a lot character to it.” The app also incorporates pleasant music and the little cards talk to you while you play. In other words: it has the exact opposite aesthetic of Candy Crush’s barfed up Pretty Pretty Princess look.
Blume, a former designer at Square and Ideo, appreciates simplicity–she was also a fan of Dots. “I love simple design and that’s why I love a simple product.”
Download Threes here.