Developer: Play++
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Product pitch meetings for iOS match 3 games must be a nightmare these days. Pretty much every combination and permutation has been tried, almost without exception. Case in point, the new release from Play++, Doctor Dot HD, which places players in the human body, using pills to eviscerate infection. Wasn’t there a certain Italian plumber, posing as a physician, that did the same thing, some twenty plus years ago?

Though the premise may induce a case of déjà vu, Doctor Dot HD, does its best to provide an interesting take on matching games through a couple of unique twists. For one, matching four or more of the same cells results in the creation of a bomb. This bomb is then detonated in order to eliminate the germs that gum up the patient’s body.

Another interesting concept is the idea that a box in the top left corner determines what cells can be matched or moved at any given time. For this very reason, planning and strategy are key in order to pair up and dispatch cellular abnormalities before it is too late. Players have to choose to either move a cell, or explode directly connected sets, further necessitating careful deliberation prior to each move.

Every few stages a new wrinkle is thrown in such as unmovable cells or items that can match up with any cell color, but ultimately it boils down to the same monotonous gameplay, round after round. The repetitive soundtrack and static backgrounds do little to dissuade the player of this conclusion, most likely after only a few stages. Developers please take note that the earlier you introduce variations to mechanics, the better. In the case of Doctor Dot, things took far too long to ramp up, and ultimately led to a premature waning of interest.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record of match 3 reviews long since passed, Doctor Dot HD doesn’t provide enough variation from its peers to justify a strong recommendation. Those that pick it up will certainly find a competent matching title, but nothing that will scratch any sort of a significant itch. While far from a terminal case, Dr Mario would probably not provide this fellow physician with a strong bill of health.

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