iPhone App Review: LinkDots

iPhone App Review: LinkDots

November 2nd, 2011 by

Claiming to draw from an ancient Egyptian puzzle as inspiration, LinkDots is a new turn-based abstract strategy game in which you connect dots and try to form complex structures in order to score points. Using familiar gameplay elements from tic tac toe and Go, it’s a unique strategy game that pits up to four human or computer players against one another for overall control of the playing field.

How It Works

From the startup screen you can choose to a Quick Play game, which automatically starts a single-player versus computer match, or build your own game in detail with the Play button. There is also a detailed Instructions tutorial available from the main screen.

The gameplay itself is an interesting twist on the classic territory-gathering board games. You tap spaces to add a dot in your color. Dots added in adjacent spaces cause a line to be drawn between the dots. In this way you can draw more complex figures with lines extending up, down, left, and right to other squares, scoring more points for dots that have more connections to others. Since lines can’t cross lines of other colors, you can block your opponent by placing your own marks near their figures and prevent them from maximizing their connections.

Pros And Cons

The game itself is a fun, interesting strategy game that combines features of other classic games and gives them a new twist. Having the option to play against the computer is great, but having the ability to play with multiple human opponents is even better. You can set your device down on a surface and play a quick four-player game. Each game goes quickly, giving you a perfect thing to do in those stitches of time where you need a quick diversion.

While the game itself is good, the app isn’t perfect. My main issue with the app is that it does not support task switching. If you swing away from it for any reason it completely forgets the game’s state, dropping you back out to the language selection screen.

And there lies the other issue I had with the app: it completely forgets your language option with each launch. While this is a minor detail (it’s a screen that you bypass with a single tap), it’s also a minor and an obvious thing to fix. While they’re at it they can make the app remember my name so I don’t have to type it each time I start a new game.

Overall

LinkDots is a great new type of game that features strategic, fast-paced gameplay for groups or solo play. If the developers can toss in some app-switching magic and the ability for the app to remember your choices between launches, they’d have a near-perfect app on their hands.

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