Dots is a game that takes a stylish new twist on a tried and tested game genre. The objective of the game is to collect dots by connecting like colours in horizontal and vertical lines. It sounds simple, but you are playing against the clock. If you think your brain is up to some fast pattern recognition, read on.
Dots first appears as being a exceptionally abstract design. Fortunately though, there are simple tutorials that guide you through how to play. You learn that you must connect like-coloured dots and that once connected the dots disappear. You’ll also find that dots fall to fill the space left by the dots you’ve just collected.
It’s this falling mechanism that is somewhat reminiscent of the old Columns formula – an old game where you’d match different coloured jewels. One thing that Dots lacks in comparison is that there’s no chain reaction – the game doesn’t automatically match colours, you have to make the connections.
As you connect like colours, a bar will grow around the screen if the bar fills the screen’s perimeter you’ll clear every dot of that colour. However, there’s a shortcut if you can draw a square of like-coloured dots that also clears all like-colours.
It pays to keep playing because all of those dots you collect can be spent on buying extra tools that enable you to play even better. The acquisition of power extends a social achievement system. There are badges associated with various milestones in the game, such as the number of rounds completed and number of concurrent dots connected. The game also connects to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and shows you how your friends are doing in comparison to yourself.
Considering that Dots is free and doesn’t have any adverts, it’s a surprisingly high quality product. The challenge of the game lays in weighing up the configuration of the board, and making the most strategic choices for which dots to clear so that you might create squares or long lines of dots to collect on the next turn – all of which has to be done against the clock so you can’t spend too long thinking.
Ultimately, the longevity of the game will depend on your taste for puzzle and strategy games. It’s at least worth checking out for the refreshing design.