3 in 1 Numbers
| 3 in 1 Numbers

A talent for mathematics is a rare gift these days. While some people can whiz through a Sudoku puzzle with a deftness that would impress Carol Vorderman, most of us need to take off our shoes and socks just to figure out a 10 percent restaurant tip.

If you fall into that category then 3 in 1 Numbers will fill you with deep feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. If, however, you can work out the infinite fraction created by dividing 3 into 1, this game will please you no end. You see, it offers a reciprocal amount of pleasure - math-based gaming times three, as it includes three number games: Sudoku, and two less well-known Japanese number games, Kakuro and Futoshiki.

Kakuro is a bit like a cross between Sudoku and a crossword. In the grid there are number clues in some of the boxes - either in the bottom left or the top right (or both in some cases).

The idea is to make the horizontal rows add up to the bottom left clue and the vertical rows add up to the top right clue of the same row. The pinch is that no row can contain any number more than once (shock!) which, as you can imagine, results in furrowed brows all round. It's certainly not for the arithmetically feeble but pretty good fun when you get embroiled in its brain-tangling charm.

The second of the two less familiar titles is the much easier Futoshiki. The aim of this is to fill a grid with the square root number of the quantity of squares and the numbers preceding it. For example, an easy grid containing nine squares would need to be filled with the numbers one through three with each horizontal and vertical row only containing each number once.

The tricky part is that there are strategically-placed greater than signs ('>') meaning that not only do you have to make sure all of the vertical and horizontal rows make numerical sense, but that the numbers are positioned in such a way so as to make sense in relation to the> symbols too.

Though it sounds awfully complicated, Futoshiki is perhaps even simpler in concept than Sudoku and is very easy to get the hang of, even if actually solving the puzzles requires a bit of bonce scratching.

The Sudoko part (as in the game that requires you to fill in a grid so that every row every column and every 3x3 box contains the numbers one through nine) is as straight up a mobile Sudoko game as you could imagine. The controls and difficulty pitch have both been set with care, as is the case throughout the package.

Thankfully though, there's also the option in all three of the games to jump straight to the solved puzzle (in case your frustration gets the better of you), or, if you are of a more stubborn/determined disposition, you can drip feed clues one at a time.

Still it can be tough work getting excited about a mobile game package that consists exclusively of mental arithmetic but 3 in 1 Numbers is as polished and complete a package as you're ever likely to need.

There's also the feeling that Kakuro might be a bit on the tough side at times but if that's the case then this isn't likely to be the sort of game you would buy anyway. On that basis then, 3 in 1 Numbers is great for fans of the genre but one to steer clear of if you're happy being blissfully ignorant of your mathematical shortcomings.

3 in 1 Numbers

If number puzzles are your thing, 3 in 1 Numbers has enough to keep your brain in knots for months