Wohlwend sent Vollmer concepts for the game, based on number of ideas. There was a version where the tiles were sushi, and you got ahead by matching fish and rice. They tried it with animals. There was a chess-based version where you mixed two knights to create a king. They would often show these versions of the game to friends, who suddenly couldn’t understand what was going on.
“It looks like the entire time we were striving for simplicity and minimalism, and that’s not true at all,” Wohlwend said. “That’s just where we ended up going. The game resisted complexity because it was such a small game, it was four by four grid, and numbers, and just the four directions. It always wanted to be simple.”
I've had a serious crush on Threes from day one, it's just so well executed: the looks, the feel, the sounds, and of course the gameplay. It's funny to think that down the evolutionary tree of Threes there was a game consisting of “sushi tiles”, because like a lot of things where I ask myself, “why didn't I think of that?”, Threes seems so…easy.
Of course Threes isn't actually all that easy to play, or more precisely, garnering a score worthy of sharing on Twitter isn't all that easy. Naturally practice makes perfect, but if you want a nice jumpstart to get past your pathetic “192” tile, check out Eric Pramono's playing tips at geekswithjuniors.com. With a high score of 22,782 and a coveted “768” tile under his belt, Eric's advice might just come in handy.