No, we are not going to deliver our “it never ceases to surprise us how every few months along comes a game that manages to shake up the world with simple gameplay and less than compelling graphics” sermon again. Er… we just did. And with good reason. For, Dots, the game that made simple dot connecting a rage all over the world last year now has a sequel, called very appropriately, TwoDots.
For those who have not played Dots (you have been spared hours of addiction, truly), the game was an incredibly simple affair. You got a grid of dots and your job was simple – to connect two or more adjacent dots of the same colour. You could connect in any direction, other than diagonal, and making a square of the same coloured dots moved all dots of that colour off the grid. The dots you connected moved off the screen, and you went on and on, connecting more and more dots, until your time ran out. It was simple, executed with minimalistic perfection paired with some very good background music. It was a rage in no time at all.
TwoDots too is about linking two or more dots together. So what is different? Well, quite a few things. For, unlike its predecessor which was very open ended – you connected as many dots as you could in a certain amount of time or in a certain number of moves, here you start each level (oh yes, there are levels in this game as well) with a target and have to meet it within a certain number of moves. It could be remove twenty dots of this colour and twenty of another within twenty moves. And unlike in the initial Dots, where the grids were pretty much similar across the game, here you have different patterns, with empty spaces between rows and columns sometimes. The design still remains charmingly minimalistic and the music as unobtrusively addictive as ever. It is just that now you are operating with more restrictions and with clearer goals. To borrow a cricketing similie, if Dots was Test cricket where one tried to score as many as possible, Two Dots is like a one-day match, where you have clear targets and limited resources.
Of course, what makes it work is the fact that gameplay remains as brilliantly simple as ever. Some might snort that Dots is nothing but Bejewelled without the gems and plonked on a grid, but the sheer simplicity and speed with which it works has a charm of its own. And well, this is perfect for those who tired of the “same thing again and again” routine that Dots offered. Here there are dozens of levels and no two levels are the same. And evidently more will be added as time passes (so Angry Birds, yes?). The game itself is free but you are only allowed a certain number of efforts before you run out of “life” – you can replenish your stock by buying some, which is where the in-app purchases come in. But in a neat touch, you can also simply sit back and let your life build back up and get back into the fray.
All of which makes TwoDots a very worthy successor to Dots. Those who loved Dots might miss the openness of that title but will be charmed by the challenges that keep popping up. The core strengths of the game, however, remain unchanged – simple gameplay, minimalistic interface and brilliant background score. Enough to make you dotty. Bang it goes into our must-download section.
Available from: iTunes App Store