Dark Dot Review
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Dark Dot Review

Our Review by Dan Lee on November 9th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EVIL!
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Top down shooter with a shape-based twist!

Developer: Gambit Game Lab
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

In a rather bizarre turn of events, it appears that little dots have feelings. Well, that’s what top down shooter Dark Dot would have us believe, as the head Dot has been recently insulted by the Cyclone King and has decided to a) get revenge and b) take over the entire world. Of course, this will involve lots of shooting. What a charming little chap.

Now we all know that iOS devices are home to some sublime shooters, but Dark Dot has an ace up its sleeve. Rather than a single ship, the game puts the player in control of a number of little creatures called Darklets. Before each level starts the player is asked to draw a shape on the screen, and once this is done Dot’s little Darklets will form up in that shape. Players then control the group by swiping left, right, up or down. It’s an interesting little twist, as players could draw a close-knit circle and have the Darklet’s firepower concentrated in one, narrow direction, or create a line across the screen that will provide greater coverage at a much lower strength. Shapes can also be rotated at will.

At points the player will also have to modify their shape to fit through gaps, and this is done by utilising the multi-touch screen and pinching your finger/thumb together as one might do when zooming in on a photo. The game also introduces ‘Aether Chargers’ which require the Darklets to hover over them in a certain formation to activate, with the reward being a bar added to the Darkness Breaks meter.

Darkness Breaks can be used in a particularly hectic situation, as when activated it grants temporary invulnerability as well as spewing out double the amount of bullets over a wide area and increasing the score multiplier. This can be a real life saver as a level progresses, because each one of the Darklets can die meaning the overall firepower strength decreases. Look after the little guys!

Graphically Dark Dot looks great, with some charming animated scenes showing Dot growl and shriek his way through sentences. The music is catchy too, and will no doubt stick in the player’s head after a couple of levels.

Unfortunately a couple of levels are all the player can expect, with just three in total plus a tutorial. They aren’t overly difficult, either. Obviously the game is free, but it feels like so much more could have been done, with the shapes mechanic ripe for expansion. It feels like a trial version of a much grander game.

The amount of content is the only negative that can be found with Dark Dot. It’s an absolutely charming game that’s well worth a download.


iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Dark Dot screenshot 1 Dark Dot screenshot 2 Dark Dot screenshot 3 Dark Dot screenshot 4 Dark Dot screenshot 5
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