Last week I blogged about two video games that helped me get through the coldest days this winter. Since I normally get excited about a video game about once a year, I thought that would be it for a while, but then John introduced the iPhone game Threes to me over the weekend. I’m in love!

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Threes is a tiny game about matching numbers. I love this modest description. It’s accurate—this is not a complicated math game, as you might think at first glance—but everything that the game does around its simple premise, it does extremely well. What initially caught my eye about this game, though, were the characters that embody each number. I saw John sliding around numbers with cute, animated faces on them, and I had to play what he was playing.

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I’ve always thought that numbers—at least the first 20 or so—have personalities. The odd ones tend to be more interesting, almost villainous sometimes, while the even ones are goody-goodies who occasionally cheat on tests to maintain their 4.0 GPA. I bet I’m not alone in my numerical character assignments. Threes takes that idea and runs with it: We’re actually introduced to each of the numbers as individual characters, some of whom have bigger personalities than others.

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The characters in Threes are charming, but I hardly noticed them after a while, because the game itself is just really great. John just wrote a piece for The A.V. Club about how perfect its opening tutorial is, and he’s right—this game has one of the best introductions I’ve ever played. Threes is a $1.99 right now in the iTunes app store. SO worth it!

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