Apr 14, 2017

Posted by in Video Game Reviews | 0 Comments

Mobile Game Review: Two Dots

The opening screen of the game.

Let me start off by saying: sorry, not sorry. Once you start playing, you’ll understand.

The game I’d like to review is called Two Dots, and it’s available for both Android and iPhone users. Totally free to download, this puzzle game is highly addictive. I cannot stress that enough. It is highly addictive. Well, so long as you like puzzle games anyways. I thought I’d get it for some casual play, especially since puzzle games help get my brain in gear for studying. Now, I find myself obsessively playing. I introduced a friend in school to it, and we have entire conversations about the game, while we are playing it. Fellow classmates have finally come to understand that our foreign dots language happens, and are calling us the Dots Crew. It’s ridiculous.

A glance of the levels completed, current, and available to play.

So obviously, I love the game. It’s an extremely simple one to play, but the way it’s structured it offers a lot of challenge. At first I was aiming to always get at least three stars for completing a level, as that’s the max you can earn. Then, as levels started to get more and more challenging, I realized I needed to sometime accept that I was only going to get a single star or two, and move on. That’s where the game gets you, there are ways to do better in the challenging boards, but they cost money.

I’m not surprised that there are things that cost money, it’s how these games seem to work nowadays. Long gone are the days where you buy a game, and it contains everything you need to play the game. Even when you do buy games these days, you can get more DLC (downloadable content) for extra money that enhance the game play or make it easier to overcome challenges. In many ways it kind of feels like a scam. A brilliant one though, because so many give in to that temptation and game companies have now found a new profit revenue. I don’t have exact facts and figures, but I’d guess that they’ve seen record profit years since the introduction of DLC.

Right before you start, it gives you the objective required to clear the level, and if you’re connected to Facebook it shows how your friends did.

Back to Two Dots though. So the whole idea of this game is to link together two or more dots that are next to each other, to make them disappear. That’s it. Nothing fancy. Swipe to get two or more consecutive dots connected, they disappear, do it again. It’s a very simple game play mechanic. The challenge comes in with the goals they set, and the amount of moves they give you to complete the goals. Each level is different, and depending on the background behind the levels you will have different challenges. For example, in the snowy background you have a lot of ice blocks around dots, which take three hits to break. In the desert, there are fire dots spreading and making combos more difficult. Right now I’m in space and there are teleportation pads that move dots across the board, which is just messing with my poor brain something fierce.

A basic board that you see as a level begins.

As with any game, there are special moves you can do too. The basic is to make a square. A square of dots, when combined as a square, will clear all dots of that color off the board. It’s an extremely handy tool, and the more squares you can make the more likely you are to complete a level; sometimes with a very high score. Adding onto this concept, you can make a square around other dots, and now not only will all the colored dots that match the square color disappear, but everything in the middle becomes a bomb to destroy adjacent dots. Extremely handy.

There are also special objects in the boards as you get higher, to provide both challenges and support. You can get bombs, bugs, ice, tunnels, thunder clouds, etc. Each operates a little bit differently, and they take some getting used to. That would be one complaint I have with this game as well. The game has a tutorial at the beginning, and at intervals throughout levels when the developers think that you need to learn a new function, but it completely lacks a help guide to explain any of the special objects. It’s completely up to you, the player, to figure out how they work and how best to use them. I’d review and explain them all, but there are a lot and I don’t feel confident in my ability to properly explain anything to that degree. I’m not even sure I 100% understand some of them, anyways (or know of all of them at this point). Honestly though, if you play enough you’ll figure them out relatively quickly so it’s not like they’re overly complicated either.

On the left, see the four red dots? You can make a square with those and all red dots disappear. The anchors are special objects that disappear when they make it to the bottom.

One of the best things about the game though is that there’s no timer while you’re working to complete a level. You can even minimize the screen (like I do when I have to return to class from a break), leave it going in the background, and return to it hours later to finish a level. The lack of a timer means you can play this game completely on your own time, with an easy way to pause as necessary. So it makes it a wonderful game for killing time as far as I’m concerned. The only things that have timers are special quests and lives, but those timers are for how long they’re available to play and when you can try a level again, respectively.

So I would highly recommend this game if you are at all like me and enjoy puzzles. It’s a simple game, but addictive and challenging in its own right. Connect it to your Facebook, and you can even see where you rank among your friends which is fun. Best part is that the game really doesn’t post anything, I can say this from experience. It doesn’t even prompt you in an obnoxious manner to post anything (there’s just a little share arrow in a corner should you ever feel inclined to do so). So I consider it minimally invasive, highly addictive, simple, and fun.

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