Developer: Betaworks One
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.5.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Dots‘s gameplay is as simple as its name. With such simplicity comes the potential of great addiction, but also the occasional urge for there to be a little more to it.

dots4Players are presented with a clean, minimalist interface. A screen full of colorful dots is the focus here, with a timer and score bar at the top. All that’s needed is the player to draw a line between matching dots, with two or more connections clearing them from the screen and handing out some points. Form a square from the dots and all the dots of that color are cleared from the screen, thereby scoring plenty of points in one movement. For the most part, that’s all that needs to be known.

It’s a simple idea but one that lends itself to the “just one more go” mentality that works so well for brief, mobile games. At the end of the round, the game lets one know whether they’ve beaten their previous high score, as well as how they rank against others via Facebook and Twitter connectivity. It’s all very simply done but in a subtly appealing way.

There are power-ups to be purchased, via the clearance of dots. These can either freeze the timer briefly, clear all the dots of one color or vanquish individual dots. The best of these might take a little while to gain, but they’re sensibly priced so it’s not essential to pay out for an in-app purchase. Given how much fun can be gained here, though, I’d recommend buying the $0.99 one, purely because Dots feels worthy of that asking price.

Dots is an extremely lean gaming experience, with not an ounce of superfluous fat to be seen. Everything has a purpose, in its aim to keep things simple yet fun. It won’t be one for showing off the potential of iOS gaming, but it is one to show off how easily a heck of a lot of time can vanish in short, colorful dots-based entertainment.

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