Dots took the App Store by storm in 2013 by offering a minimalistic matching game that was all about connecting dots, with a focus on making squares. The problem with Dots is that it’s relatively simplistic with the main game mode offering a 60 second rush to score as much as you can. It has been updated since, but it’s really too shallow to have long term staying power on your device. Now, there’s TwoDots, which takes the base mechanics of Dots, and transforms it into an adventure game. The sequel includes 85 levels, which let you travel to new environments, and face subtle variations in the matching gameplay.
The heart of Dots remains the same with the minimalist style, and easy to pick up and play set-up. You simply drag your finger over matching dots, either vertically, or horizontally, to make as big of matches as you can, while aiming for specific goals. The levels usually give you a certain number of specific colors to match in a limited number of moves. As you progress, there will be anchors to clear under the sea, ice to get rid of in the mountains, and flames to put out in the forest. The mechanics don’t change that much as you need to get these special items to the bottom of the screen, or make a matching group around them, but it’s still nice to see the change of pace. It keeps things fresh as you go from level to level with constantly increasing challenge in giving you fewer moves, with more to shoot for.
The key to any level is forming squares, as that clears all of the dots of the same color off the board. What’s really good about TwoDots is that the original Dots mechanic is highly engaging, and now the levels entice you to keep going. There are new challenges, and board set-up as you go, and it’s simple fun for anyone. The art and music design are also worth commending which nicely enhances the core quality gameplay. It would be nice for the game board to take greater advantage of the screen real estate, and some levels eventually will. There’s also the inherent repetition in the dot matching set-up, but the game has enough challenge that you don’t often notice the redundancy. The game is free to play with the Candy Crush style set-up giving you optional in-app purchases to buy lives, power-ups, or more moves. At times, it feels like some of the levels are made especially difficult to entice IAPs, rather than create a smooth difficulty curve.
TwoDots (Free, Universal) is an engaging matching experience that nicely fleshes out the original quality concept to make it well worth your time.