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July 4, 2014

Liveblog: seeking independence from Threes!

My high score – so far.

My high score – so far.

If you know me, you know that I love the game Threes! – and not just because it has an unnecessary exclamation mark.

It’s become a bit too addicting, though. For at least 30 minutes each day for the past several months, I’ve been seeking what I now consider the holy grail: the tile marked 3,072. If I get that, I tell myself, I’ll be able to quit.

Consider this weekend my attempt at independence from a game that has started to dominate my free time.

The premise of Threes! is simple: slide tiles around a four-by-four grid, combining complementary tiles to build bigger numbers. You lose once you can’t make a legal move.

I’d describe it as the perfect game. Each board is different, and, unlike 2048, you can’t win just by following a pattern. You have to think spatially, and long-term: do I want to put a 6 next to a 384? That probably won’t work too well in the long run, even if it will allow me to combine a couple of 24’s on this same move.

You might have seen me compare the two games in my Guide to First-Mover Advantage.

I’ve been playing for four months now, and it was a few weeks in that I reached the record you see above. I have tiles numbered 1,536, 768, 384, 192, and 96, so if I could just make another 96, I could line those babies up and create the vaunted 3,072.

I’ve gotten 1,536 probably 30 times since, but never closer to my goal.

This weekend, I’m going to try to put this issue to bed. I’ll liveblog each of my attempts, in many cases just giving the final layout, in others updates at pivotal moments. We’ll see how my new liveblogging plug-in works.

UPDATE: looks like the plugin only works from a computer. Will provide thoughts when I’m back at home later tonight.

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