Monday, 6 May 2013

The good: Dots for iOS is easy to pick up and play, with excellent minimalist graphics and pitch-perfect audio to match the gameplay.
The bad: The gameplay never changes. There aren't enough rewards.
The bottom line: Dots is worth picking up for its fast-paced gameplay and elegantly simple graphics, but it lacks complexity.Dots by Betaworks is a simple, yet very well-designed color-matching game that's fun, but it needs something more.
The object of the game is simple: connect same-colored dots to clear them from an ever-refilling board to get the highest score possible in 1 minute. You do this by connecting as many dots as possible horizontally or vertically with your finger to make them disappear. Your score is counted exactly by how many dots you eliminate in 60 seconds.
The game initially will remind you of Bejeweled, but with an elegant, minimalist graphical style. The all-white background makes the primary colors of the dots stand out. Simple bouncing animations as dots fall add to the overall feel, while musical notes chime with each extra dot you connect together in a chain.

Dots keeps the graphics simple (pictures)

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As you complete games, the dots you have collected can be used to purchase one of three superpowers. A Time Stop stops the clock for 5 seconds so you can add on to your score. The Shrinker lets you double-tap a dot to make it disappear, so -- with some planning -- you can make longer multiple-dot connections with surrounding colors. The Expander is the most powerful of the three (and the most expensive at 5,000 dots), letting you choose one dot to remove all the dots of that color from the board. You can use each of these superpowers only once per round.
Dots is a fun game and I think there are definitely people who will enjoy it as is, but I think it needs something more. While a game like Bejeweled might be a little busy graphically, there are some things it does better than Dots. You're not going to see big explosions or bonus multipliers in Dots, and I'm quite sure that was a stylistic choice made for this game. But I think Dots could really benefit from some sort of bonus for connecting large numbers of dots in one move. As it is, you score exactly as many points as the number of dots you connect, so the only reason to make multiple-dot connections is to save yourself time. In other words, I don't need explosions, but maybe some sort of reward for going after the big chains would make it more exciting.
Overall, Dots is a good game for its easy learning curve, graphical simplicity, and musical sounds as you furiously go for the high score. But if there were some added extra bonus for when you pull off your best connections, this game would be a lot more fun.


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