Jun 10, 2014

Two Dots Review: Connect dots till you drop

in category Games

I played Dots for a while when it first came out. It had a simple premise, where you join dots in a fixed time to get a high score. It was fresh but it quickly got old. It was the kind of game where you can instinctively tap on out of boredom and entertain yourself for 5 minutes at a time, in between toilet breaks, waiting for trains and those awkward moment when you don’t really know what to talk about with your date.

In short, a good time waster.

If anything, Two Dots is more of the same, except this time, it has been given a candy-crush makeover. Do we have with us the next candy crush killer? Or is this just another clone failing to dethrone the King?

Two-Dots-Level

The game starts off deceptively simple, with three rules to remember:

  1. Join two same coloured dots together to clear them from the board. (Or in Candy Crush terms, Match 3 of the same candy to clear them from the board)
  2. Join them in a square and you clear all of the same coloured dots from the board (Join 4 or more to get a powerup)
  3. If you form a square with some dots in the middle, they become pretty bombs that explode the other dots around them (Join two powerups together to create even bigger explosions)

As you progress, you are introduced to new mechanisms, like ice blocks (jelly) to clear, anchors (fruits) to drop to the bottom of the board and dots that will only clear if you match dots near them (chocolates that disappear if you match 3 candy beside them).

I fell in love with how it was all presented. Polished animations and illustration, with a parallax effect that I absolutely adored. I could scroll up and down just to see how wonderfully everything tied together. It was beautiful and it sucked me right in.

Two-Dots-2-Animation

The best part of it was how gratifying it was at the start. Clear these coloured dots within 30 moves? No problem. Watch me form squares and more squares to ace a board? Piece of Cake. What else can you throw at me? More colours? Come on, is that all?

Sadly, it turns out that this is all. As you progress, the lack of variety starts to show. The gameplay can be distilled into 3 easy to remember steps:

Two-Dots-Square1. Look at the board and spot where you can form a Square
2. Form a square
3. Rinse and Repeat

Even as the game introduce more mechanism, the lack of variety slowly wears you down. With inconsistent difficulty (you could take forever to pass one level, only to breeze through the next 5), it builds a frustration which is hard to swallow.

As much as I love the visuals, it soon became as old as Dots.

Or perhaps I am just not as smart as I thought I am.

Let me just try that damn level 55 again.

 

Verdict
Two Dots is beautiful, delightful but frustrating. If you have the patience to grind through similar mechanisms through the levels, then you are in for a treat.