Numtris (Free) by Ivanovich Games is an addictive puzzle game that is similar to Letris, but instead of letters, there are numbers. Even if you’re not a numbers kind of person, you’ll still find this one to be incredibly hard to put down.
It’s been a while since I’ve played Letris, but it was basically like Tetris with letter tiles. You had to create words to clear out tiles and prevent the screen from filling up. It was a combination of a classic with word game, and for a while, it was difficult to pull myself away from it. Those days are past me now, but when I saw Numtris, I knew I was in for a treat, even though I’m much more fond of words than numbers. Fortunately, no complicated math is involved here, so that’s a plus!
The game features beautiful visuals throughout, from the detailed map where you select your levels to the flat board and colored number tiles that fall from the top of the screen. It’s a nice combination of minimalism and vector shaped monsters, topped off with beautiful animations from falling tiles to breaking blocks. There is also a soothing soundtrack in the background that is a delight to listen to, especially when you are so focused on the game.
Even though this is a free game, there are plenty of levels to go through. On the level selection screen, you’ll find a roadmap that leads to various monsters who are frozen in ice. Each of these serves as a chapter, with about nine levels each, and then a boss battle. To unlock the next chapter, you will need to earn a certain amount of stars, which is determined by how well you score and meet the challenges that are presented in each level. If you count up all of the levels, there are almost 300 to go through, and these are all available with the initial free download.
So what do you do in Numtris? Just like in Letris, you will need to match up the number tiles before the screen is filled up with the falling tiles. To clear out tiles, you need to match up as many pieces that are indicated by the number on it. For example, if you want to eliminate “number 2” from the board, you need to match up two number twos. If you want to get rid of “number 3,” you’ll need to join up three of them to clear them off the screen. But what about the tiles with the “1” on them? These can be joined together with other tiles to create a new tile. An example is creating a “3” from a “1” and “2” tile. To help newbies out, the game has several tutorial dialogues in the beginning so there is no confusion.
As you progress, you will get access to larger numbers, and you will figure out that you can create combos to create laser blocks. You can only create a combo by combining enough tiles as indicated by the number. So if you want to create a combo for the “2” tile, you will need to combine four of them. If you want to make a combo with the “3,” you’ll need at least six of them.
I mentioned that each level will have a challenge presented that you must meet before you can clear it. These will always show themselves at the top of the screen, and will always vary. Some will just ask you to make a certain amount of combinations, others will want you to destroy all of the rock or ice tiles, and sometimes you will need to survive for a certain amount of time. No matter what it is, you will always be told before the level begins and you can see your progress at the top while playing. Stars are earned depending on the amount of points you earn, and you can see the threshold once the level is complete.
If you play on the iPad, then Numtris will also have a local multiplayer option, and it will split the screen in half for two people to compete with each other. There is also Game Center integration for leaderboards, and you can even link your Facebook account for weekly tournaments, though this is completely optional. And if you use multiple devices and don’t want to lose your progress, there is synchronization by either iCloud or Facebook as well.
Numtris is of course free, but you will find ads that show up every now and then. If these don’t bother you, then you can continue to play for free. If you prefer to not have ads, and support a developer for making such an awesome little game like this, then you can remove ads for $1.99, or obtain infinite lives while you’re at it for $2.99. The infinite lives just means you won’t have to use up coins to continue if you fail at a level.
I have to admit that I’m really enjoying Numtris so far. I thought it simply looked interesting in the App Store, but now that I’m getting the hang of the game, it’s downright addictive, and I’ve spent most of my morning already playing it. The game starts out relatively simple, and you may not think much of it, but once you start to get into the more challenging levels, you will find that there is much more to this game than meets the eye.
If you are one to enjoy numbers and fast-paced puzzle games, then I highly recommend that you pick this one up. You can find it for free in the App Store as a universal download.