Dots is a game that wants you to have a good time. From its stylish, understated, New Yorker-fonted presentation to its stripped-down and super-accessible gameplay, it does everything it can to ensure that after each 60-second round you want another.
The grid that you play on is only 6x6, and the dots that you have to connect - horizontally or vertically, but not diagonally - are clear and easily distinguishable. And because they only come in five colours, and you only need to connect two to make a match, you can always move.
When new dots fall into the grid they bounce gratifyingly like little rubber balls, and when you make matches they disappear with a mellifluous 'bloop'. Interacting with Dots feels as good as using a computer in Star Trek: The Next Generation looks like it feels.
Colour me glad
There are no complicated combos - just a simple multiplier to aim for by closing loops. Doing this is the key to getting a good score, but you don't wind up with astronomical pinball-styles totals in the hundreds of thousands - in fact, the number you end up with is typically fairly close to the number of dots you managed to eliminate. The highest score in the world at the time of writing is 722.
Dots is a freemium game, with power-ups that you can buy with in-game currency both earned through play and acquired through IAPs. These let you stop the clock momentarily, make a single dot disappear, or make every dot of a given colour vanish from the board.
While it's true that you'll probably need to spend some money to be truly competitive on the global leaderboard, you can have a perfectly good time without ever venturing into the more competitive quarters of the game's community. There are separate leaderboards on which to compare your score with your friends' on Facebook and Twitter.
And that's pretty much the game. There's not a lot to say against Dots, but there's not a lot to say about it full stop. This is simply a pure, elegant, and thoroughly pleasant alternative to some of the shriller and more demanding matching games on the App Store.