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Threes on Xbox One is the ideal Netflix companion

Threes on Xbox One is the ideal Netflix companion


Finally a use for Snap mode

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Last night I watched my favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix. It's the one where the crew of the Enterprise rescues a member of the Borg, and then brings him back on their ship for medical attention. Separated from the rest of the collective, this Borg, who Commander Laforge names Hugh, slowly starts to realize that he's an individual, not just an interchangeable part of a hive mind. At the same time as I was watching Hugh come to this important, life-changing realization, I was very close to getting a new high score in Threes. And I did both on the same television screen.

Developer Asher Vollmer announced that Threes was coming to the Xbox One back at E3 in June, and at the time it didn't make much sense to me. After all, Threes is just about the perfect mobile game: its elegant, minimalist control scheme is ideal for a touchscreen, and its pick-up-and-play structure is great for a device that's always with you. Who would want to take that and play it on a big screen with an Xbox controller? It didn't make sense until I played the game in Snap mode.

you can have a tiny version of the game running while you do something else

This Xbox One feature essentially lets you multi task: you can have certain programs, like Internet Explorer or Skype, running side-by-side with whatever else you're doing, whether it's playing a game or watching a movie. Threes is one of the first games that you can play in this mode, meaning you can have a tiny version of the game running to the side while you do something else.

I play a lot of mobile games while watching Netflix, especially for shows that don't need 100 percent of my attention (like when I rewatch a TNG episode for the dozenth time). But focusing on two screens at a time means I'm really just listening to a show while playing a game. With Snap mode, my attention is less divided; I can see what's happening in both the game and the show, and shift my focus accordingly. Threes is ideal game for this kind of play, because you can stop at any time and pick it right back up with no penalty.

Let's face it: I'm going to be doing multiple things at once anyways. I may as well do it all on the same screen. Threes is on Xbox One now for $6.99.