For the past week, I have been obsessed with the game TwoDots. I downloaded it on my phone a few weeks ago and have finally started to really play it. The game is a sequel to Dots, which is pretty much a game in which you have to connect dots of the same color in order to reach a goal number. Two Dots is more interesting because it loosely follows a storyline and has different elements, such as bombs that you can use to blow up groups of dots and anchors that you have to move to the bottom of the dots. It is also highly addictive (at least for me).
I have been playing TwoDots because I really enjoy puzzle/strategy games. The bulk of the games that I have on my phone are of that genre, and although they can be very frustrating at times, I do enjoy playing them and feel a small sense of accomplishment when I do complete a really tough level.
I’ve been playing TwoDots mostly at night before I go to sleep, but I’ll also play during the day for a few minutes here and there. Since it’s on my phone, I play it whenever I’m bored or have some time to kill and nothing else to do. In TwoDots, you are given five lives and if you can’t reach your goal, you lose a life. The lives don’t take that long to regenerate, and you can usually play again within twenty minutes. Depending on the difficulty of the levels and how well I do, I usually spend a maximum of ten or fifteen minutes playing TwoDots.
When I start to play TwoDots, I feel like I’m starting with a clean slate. I’m pretty relaxed and glad to be playing my new favorite game. By the time I’m done though, I’m frustrated and annoyed. Some of the levels may be very easy, but there are others that seem impossible and even reading strategy hints online doesn’t help me. As I’ve said before, even though these types of games really irk me sometimes, I really do love playing them. I feel accomplished when I solve a difficult level and I feel as though these games do help me to see things from various angles and to think differently about things.
One of the things that stands out to me most about the game is the very clean design. Gameplay takes place within a neat square of different colored dots. At the top of the screen, you are given a count of how may of the dots you have captured. The maps of the different levels feature minimalistic characters and settings (all of which are pretty adorable). I pay a lot of attention to design in the games I am playing, and I really think the creators of TwoDots got it right.
I really do love this game even though it can be very frustrating. I think the only thing I have found wrong with it so far is that it’s extremely addictive.
I’m still hooked on Two Dots, but while I have been playing/getting frustrated with that, I have also been playing a wonderful game on my phone called Monument Valley (monumentvalleygame.com). I’m not sure how long it’s been out, but I learned about it and downloaded it in April. It’s a fun puzzle game with absolutely gorgeous graphics and smooth gameplay. The objective of the game is to get your character, a princess named Ida, through levels that are actually optical illusion puzzles. The game uses isometric perspective, so in order to get Ida through a level, you may have to look at the surroundings from different angles. The game isn’t too challenging and is way too short (there are mainly positive reviews on the Apple store site, but also many complaints that it isn’t long enough).
I played this game before, right after I downloaded it. It only took me a couple of hours to solve the ten levels (which was the only disappointing thing about the game) but the beautiful graphics and calming ambient soundtrack make up for its brevity. I started playing it again this past week mainly because I missed it and also I enjoyed the way it relaxed me. I started playing it on Monday in the evening and finished it on Thursday afternoon. I was busy all week, so I couldn’t finish it in the two-hour time that I did when I first played it.
Like I said, this game is very calming and nice to look at. I was pretty relaxed when I started playing it because I knew what to expect. The puzzles can be complicated at first, but it’s not like Two Dots, where you want to throw your phone across the room. After each time I played, I still felt calm. The graphics in the game are enough to mellow me out. I find the optical illusions relaxing and fun to solve (usually optical illusions make me nauseous).
If you haven’t played Monument Valley, you really should. It’s a gorgeous game and I think it has definitely set itself apart from other games because of its mysterious main character, gorgeous graphics, and use of geometry and illusion.
The game I am playing now is Super Meat Boy. I learned about it last year, when I watched a documentary called Indie Game: The Movie. I’ve been wanting to play it because I liked what I saw in the movie: the graphics, characters, and story seemed fun, and the game play looked like it would be challenging. The documentary that it was featured in also provided an emotional appeal to me because of the game’s story and the hardships the creators faced while making Super Meat Boy, so that made my desire to play it even stronger.
The game centers around the hero, Super Meat Boy. He is a cube of meat who must save his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from an evil doctor. This is pretty much a jumping game in which Super Meat Boy must jump onto platforms, bounce against walls, and avoid strategically placed buzzsaws. You need to control the hero very carefully and the game requires good timing, because if Super Meat Boy lands on the buzzsaws, he becomes minced meat.
The game is extremely difficult (at least for me). Watching it being played on the documentary and actually playing it were two totally different things. It’s especially hard to play on a computer with a keyboard. It’s also available for XBox and maybe I would be more successful playing it through a console, but I had to make do with what I have.
Super Meat Boy really frustrated me. I played for about fifteen to twenty minutes each day, until I practically threw my laptop across the room. At first, I played it because I had wanted to for a while and I needed to for this diary. After this week of playing it, I definitely don’t want to see it again any time soon. Maybe I will play it again some day, but it would have to be on a game console.
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