This Week's Gaming Distraction: Logic Dots

Everyone probably remembers the Sudoku craze of the 2000s, when the number puzzle game took over millions of households and turned everyone into a logic master—at least for a few months. Developer Ayopa Games remembers, and it's put a new spin on the formula with Logic Dots. If you have a hankering for some puzzles you can solve on your commute, then this game is definitely for you.

Logic Dots (Free)

iPhone Life Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

In Logic Dots, you're presented with a board where each row and column is labeled with a number, as well as a certain number of dot arrangements. The arrangements are always straight lines of two, three, four, or more dots. You must ensure that each row and column is filled with the right number of dots, and that the dots are clustered into the correct amount of lines. Tapping a space twice puts a dot there; tapping once or swiping over it fills it in entirely. Dot clusters can't touch each other; there always has to be a clear border around each shape. Where Sudoku always had a few numbers filled in to get you started, Logic Dots will have a few clues scattered on each board to help you start.

With these simple rules, there are endless hours of challenge. Logic Dots starts at a 5x5 board and goes all the way up to 12x12, with thirty levels each. There's a simple joy in solving the boards step by step; as with Sudoku, you technically never need a hint if you work through the logic properly, but it occasionally means trying a configuration and only realizing you're wrong after several steps. Logic Dots anticipates this sort of gameplay, and provides a save system that allows you to preserve a board layout with just the tap of a button. If you get lost or realize you've guessed wrong, you can load up the saved board and try another path without having to start again from the very beginning. It's a really neat feature that I wish more puzzle games would use, and it makes Logic Dots a pleasure to play. There is a hints system, of course, with in-app purchases available. The full set of puzzles will also cost you $3.49. but it's well worth the money; you'll spend more than enough time on these little puzzles to justify the cost. You can also gain free hints by watching videos.

My only real complaint with Logic Dots is a bit of a nitpick, but it speaks to the fundamental ergonomics of mobile games. In any good casual game, you should never have to wait too long between hitting Start and beginning play. Logic Dots has one too many animations between levels, which slows you down just a little bit—it's not much, but it's a bit of a damper when you're on a roll. It's not a fault of the gameplay, just the casing around it. Also, you cannot save your board progress if you quit the app, which can be frustrating if you're on the larger boards. But if you're looking for a puzzle game that challenges your brain while requiring very little of your fingers, Logic Dots will consume you for hours; it's easy to play, with varying levels of challenge and a pleasing visual design. You really can't ask for much more from a mobile puzzle game.

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Author Details

Author Details

Mia Steinberg

Mia Steinberg is a freelance writer and webmaster, living and working in Victoria, British Columbia. She is the host of Particles and Waves, an eclectic music radio show, and has written for XOJane, Cinefilles, and various Canadian university newspapers. Her website is <a href="http://particlesandwavesshow.com">particlesandwavesshow.com</a>, and she can be found talking about Game of Thrones at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/miasteinberg">twitter.com/miasteinberg</a>

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