10000000 may not look like much, but that’s the point. The always-running puzzle game has roots in the match-three genre but it goes beyond that, with a system of power-ups and in-game currency that works to keep you motivated. Motivated to do what, exactly? Get out of the seemingly-endless dungeon by amassing an impossible score of, yes, 10000000.
The game was initially released for iOS but has recently come to Android. Priced at $1.99, there are no in-app purchases to worry about, so any loot you gain is for the purposes of staying alive. There are RPG elements included in the game, as you need to obtain keys to unlock doors, swords to fell enemies and wood to eventually reveal unexplored parts of the dungeon. Interaction is fairly easy to understand, though the tense grip it has on you while playing is a satisfying anxiety. You rotate rows of symbols vertically or horizontally to form sets of three or more; if up against a skeleton, it’s wiser to match three swords than three keys, but you can store certain attacks for later in the four compartments up top.
As you progress through the game, you’re given new challenges to complete, many of which involve collecting a certain number of points or types of currency. In attempting to reach Freedom 10000000 (that’s 10 million), at which time the game ostensibly ends, you’ll either die or run out of time again and again. The beauty and subsequent addictive quality of 10000000 is that you always want to come back. The game won a number of Puzzle of the Year awards in 2012 despite its seemingly low-budget aesthetic. The very nature of the game — its wise simplicity and difficult-to-master RPG elements — is what keeps you coming back, and why it has such a high rating on both platforms for which it is available.