Threaded is a logic puzzle game about filling a grid by connecting identically numbered squares with lines that have the length indicated by the values of the linked squares. It’s basically a variant of the classic Numberlink game (perhaps better known as the Android game Flow Free or Steam’s Piczle Lines DX+α), yet implemented using a more accessible and easy-going approach.
While in the classic Numberlink there’s only one pair of colored dots / numbered dots and the purpose is to drag a line from one dot to another dot matching its color, in Threaded the pairs can occur multiple times and the restriction of having the connecting line of a certain length is added. This could imply that the complexity increases (the grid size is much bigger as well), but on the contrary, Threaded’s strongest point is simplifying an already catchy gameplay, making it much more relaxing and pleasant by placing the numbers close to each other so that the lines become shorter and easier to figure out. Say goodbye to head scratching moments trying to sort out tangled lines or trying to find ways to avoid crossing them – solving a level simply… flows.
At the moment of writing this review, the game contains 72 levels, with more to come in a future update. They are organized in collections of 8 levels based on their theme (most of them are nature-related themes) and inside each collection there are levels of various sizes, ranging from 15×15 to 40×40. The easier levels take as little as 1-2 minutes to solve, while in the bigger ones you’ll probably spend around 15-20 minutes.
Threaded has various features that ease the gameplay a lot and help the player have a very satisfying experience. For example, the incorrect links are immediately marked on the grid (you can also choose to display them only when pressing a button) and for those that are a bit lost in front of a puzzle that requires building long lines, there’s a button that you can press (with a very low cooldown as well) to have one random line of maximum length solved automatically. The numbered squares have individual colors, and this is extremely helpful in areas in which you have multiple pairs of the same number close to each other. It can happen that the shades are quite similar, but they are still distinguishable, even more so when zooming in. Additionally, the game gives you a way to automatically mark those redundant 1-squares in order to save a bit of your time, letting you focus on the rest of the puzzle. The fact that you can play the levels in any order (all of them are unlocked from the beginning) and that your progress is saved for all the levels you started are also bonus aspects.
The lines that you draw form in the end a lovely and colorful pixel-art drawing. In some ways, playing Threaded feels like an embroidery session where you fill a piece of tapestry with line stitches. At the end of the level there’s also a trivia question related to the item represented by the artwork, be that a flower, a bird, an animal or some other object / symbol. There’s no penalty if your answer is incorrect, but in any case, the answers can be easily found online.
It’s also a game in which you can easily obtain 100% achievements, since the requirements are only completing all the levels (some without using hints) and answering a certain amount of trivia questions correctly.
Threaded is a great example of a puzzle game done right. It takes a simple idea, removes everything that can be frustrating about it, keeping it mildly challenging by scaling the grid size, but at the same time balancing out the easier and more difficult levels. After spending around 10 fun hours in it, I warmly recommend it to anyone who seeks a relaxing, stress-free puzzle experience. There’s something oddly satisfying in stitching the grid line by line and assembling the beautiful end-pattern.