Everybody’s seen a game like The Container before – though never on a mobile phone. The concept couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is look at a container full of objects and guess how many it contains.

The classic, funfair example is jellybeans in a jar, but The Container leverages the awesome power of smartphone technology to give you a much greater variety of challenges.

For instance, you might have to estimate the number of jacks in a cuboid glass box, surmise the quantity of messages in a bottle, or guess how many pigs in a blanket there are in a single heap.

Oh, and don’t worry if you’re a traditionalist: there’s a jar of jellybeans too, along with dozens more things.

Of course, the problem with the real life game of ‘guess how many jellybeans there are in this jar’ is that the whole process is drawn out over a long period. Hours, days, weeks, or even months can pass between submitting your guesstimate and learning the result.

That’s the genius of The Container as an app: there are no long waits.

Contain yourself

But that’s not all. The app lets you view the container you’re looking at from several different angles, and pinch to zoom for a closer look. Plus, there are three different types of hint to use.

Hi-Lo tells you whether the number of items in the container is higher or lower than X, Measure lets you measure the container, and Wisdom of the Crowd gives you a more or less reliable crowdsourced suggestion to inform your own decision.

The closer you get to the true number, the more coins you win, and you use these coins to unlock new levels and buy hints. You can replay levels too.

The Container has its origins in competitions, and that’s why developer John Bennardo is about to launch national contests. These will work a lot like the classic game, with players submitting their guesses one day and learning who got closest the next. Naturally, there will be prizes.

For all its vintage, The Container is a surprisingly fresh experience on mobile, and the daily contests are sure to make it even more compelling.

Download it for free right now on the App Store.