Well, another plane ride along with the pre/post-flight time in the airport means only one thing. No, not buying an overpriced bottle of water and hoping that I don’t get strip searched, downloading another mobile game for some quick casual gaming. For this trip my in-flight entertainment choice was “Dots.”
As you would guess, this game is about, well, dots. Dots is a game in the same style made popular by Popcap’s “Big Money” but with a small twist. Instead of simply demolishing pockets of like-colored circles to gain points, you choose the path, dot by dot, of how you want to get rid of those colorful little orbs.
This app has shot up in popularity and is one of those developer coveted “wonder apps.” According to Betaworks, the game’s developer, the game has been downloaded to mobile devices over 5 million times and has nearly reached 1 billion games played, and this is all since launching in May. Originally only on iOS, it is now also available for free download on Android and Kindle devices.
There are 2 basic game modes, 30 moves (where you get…you guessed it! 30 moves to collect as many points as possible), and timed (where you are given 60 seconds and an unlimited amount of moves to get the highest possible score). I personally prefer, and recommend, that you play 30 moves to start. Once you get used to the flow of the game and the patterns you are looking for, timed becomes much more enjoyable.
Dots also offers power ups, which are in-game purchases that you make with the points gained from previous games. Or, if you’re impatient, points can also be purchased with micro transactions within the game.
There are 3 power ups:
Expanders: Removes all of the dots of a selected color from the grid. Can only be used once per game.
Shrinkers: Removes a single dot of your choice from the board. Can be used as many times as you’d like during each game.
Time Stopper: Depending on your selected game mode, it will either add 5 more moves to your “moves left” or stop the clock while allowing you to continue playing for 5 seconds. Can only be used once per game.
Now, basic strategy. This game is all about squares. A simple 2×2 square if fully connected (as with any size square) will collect all dots on the board of that color. The entire color disappearing will often create another square somewhere on the grid. If you are lucky, you will be able to complete square after square and rack up the points quickly. Also, use your power ups. Getting more points to purchase more power ups is fast and easy, so use them as you wish.
Dots is surprisingly addicting. My girlfriend and I found ourselves playing together (each on our own device) to compete for the best score on timed mode. It had been over half an hour before we realized we were sitting on a couch playing a mobile game right next to each other. For those that are competitive, there is also a world-wide leader board, so you can stack up against the rest of humanity. All in all, I really enjoy this game. It is one of the few that I have downloaded and actually kept for more than a day or 2. And with the current price point of FREE, it’s definitely worth a try.