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Threes tips

If you’re anything like us, then the clever new puzzle game Threes, by Puzzlejuice developer Asher Vollmer, already has you hooked. If you haven’t tried it yet, Threes is currently the number one paid app in the AppStore, and is 33.33% off during launch. If you’re on the fence, make sure to check out our review.

Threes is not easy, and we know that wildly sliding numbers can only get you so far. To help you out, we’ve compiled not three, but six tips for you to get a high score in Threes. It’ll take some patience and practice, but these tips will have you reaching the thousands in every game.

threessgiftut11. Don’t get too crazy!

Threes doesn’t have a time-limit; you can close the app, and pick up exactly where you left off, so games don’t have to be finished in 30 seconds. You can get a couple hundred points by sliding randomly at the beginning, but the real fun comes from thinking your way out of a tough situations—like any puzzle game should. If you just love swiping franticly at the screen, then try doing it just until the board is down to its last row, and then take it slow from there.

2. Look into the future

tut2Make use of this feature! By holding, but not releasing, a move, you will be able to see how cards will align, and where gaps on the board are going to be. When 3s are bunched up together, it can get confusing as to which are going to combine and where gaps will be left. There’s often at least two ways to combine the same set of 3s (or other bunched numbers), so check to see which will make the new number end up near its twin and prevent low numbers from getting lost in the middle of much larger numbers. Using this feature can also help predict where your next card will come in.

3. Know your next card

At the end of every move, a new card will come in, and a preview of it is shown at the top of the screen in the ‘next’ box. Pink represents a 2, blue a 1, and white usually represents a 3. The new card comes behind one of the rows or columns in the direction they moved during your turn. If the same row/column is moved during your next turn, and no others move, the new card will come behind the initial one again. If that row/column is then obstructed by a wall however, and there is another row that is not yet stuck, the new card will enter behind that one instead. By using this knowledge, you can predict where the next card will enter and prepare for it.

4. Strategize your 1s and 2s

1s and 2s are stone-cold game killers: They prance around like they own the place, clumping together and preventing you from making combos, and they don’t even give you their number at the end! Getting rid of these low numerals as soon as possible should be your number one priority. If you see one coming next, make sure it will end up next to or near its pair. If there are no other 1s or 2s already on the board, make sure the new one remains near the edge, and preferably near a 3 as well. Also, avoid putting two 1s or two 2s together, as it will just cause chaos for you later on.

5. Prepare for the unexpected

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One of the most important things to take into consideration as the game gets tense, is the randomness. It becomes difficult to predict which row/column the next card will come in on once the board gets full. Moreover, if you see a white card in the ‘next’ area, don’t anticipate a 3—it has the chance of being a 6 or even higher. I’ve seen it come in as a 48, and it sure threw me for a loop. You can prepare for this by forcing the card into an ideal spot. If you see a white card coming, make your move so that it closes any gaps and leaves open an area that has the most variety of adjacent multiples. Every so often you’ll get unlucky, and the number won’t be what you hoped it would be, or it won’t enter where you wanted it to, but that just adds to the fun.

6. Don’t give up

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No matter how hopeless a situation looks, there’s almost always a way out. Once you’re down to one or two spaces open on the grid, make sure you slow down and really start to think about your moves. Take a look into the future to see how to combine the most numbers in a single turn, or align a series of combinations in successive turns. At the same time, consider what the next card will be and whether or not your move will put that card into a hopeless spot. If it’s a 1 or a 2 coming, your first priority should be to put it near its pair. If you remember these tips and use them all in conjunction, you’ll be able to slide out of tough situations every time, and meet Capt. Triad on the daily.

Think you’ve got Threes Mastered? Comment your tips for the game and Tweet your high score to @indiegamemag. Ours is 9,792!