Three Things: Phone Games
You're Awesome, Two Dots

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.
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February 9, 2016

TwoDots_mountains_iphone

Clicker Heroes

This game is pretty ridiculous. All you do is level up, basically. It’s an idle game, which means that basically all you have to do is check it every so often and give your dudes levels and you earn a meta-currency called hero souls which lets you level up meta-heroes which give you extra damage and gold and it’s weirdly addictive. It also doesn’t take itself too seriously and isn’t super-annoying with the monetization–you can buy rubies (which can let you progress a little bit faster)–but you don’t have to in order to play. It’s also available on Steam, but I’ll note that the mobile & desktop versions are tuned very differently and your games don’t sync.

Blendoku and Blendoku 2

These are a pair of puzzle games which are based on blending colors–it starts out pretty easy but gets progressively harder. Which I like! And as you progress, you unlock painting levels where you have to try to arrange colors in such a way that they blend in the right ways for famous works of art (which are simplified).  Fun and meditative.  You can buy extra levels in each difficulty mode, but I’m nowhere near to that point.

Two Dots

The successor to a long-time favorite of mine, Dots. I’ve just started playing this one and am not very far into it–I’d downloaded it when it first came out, but took it off my phone for some reason or another.. It’s well-designed and is definitely a refinement on the previous concept–it’s added lives, levels, and some different mechanics, instead of having four different modes and minimal monetization there are a lot more ways for you to move money from your bank account to the developers. I don’t mind attempts at monetization and it’s not obnoxious about it and the game is definitely playable without it, it’s just…more obvious. I love the graphic design and illustrations in this game–and they’ve added some different twists to the gameplay in order to differentiate it from its predecessor and make it a lot more fun to play.

Also, their blog is adorable.

youre-awesome-twodots

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4 Comments

  1. Steve

    My 6yo has me playing Dragonvale. It pleases him to no end when we discuss what dragons we have and how we got them.

    Other than dragon breeding, it’s a simple resource accumulation game with a few associated achievement flags. Most of the monetization is on “you can go faster”, and isn’t too intrusive.

  2. Karaeir

    Best phone game I’ve played is 80 Days.
    Absolutely amazing writing, great music and visuals, highest possible recommendation from me. It’s based on Verne’s “Around the world in 80 days” but in a sort of alternative reality with different technology (and, well, a lot of other things).
    You play as Passepartout (whose name I had to look up, copy and paste because I can never remember it), who is a servant of Phileas Fogg. And one day you are informed that you are going around the world because of a bet, and you really need to hurry.
    Your main role as a player is picking a route, managing your finances and luggage and taking care of Fogg. You also talk with other people and get in trouble a lot.
    In the course of one game I had (very general spoilers):
    – accidentally started at least two revolutions, one of which did not end well
    – had a very brief but passionate romance with Death. In New Orleans. Where else?
    – got kidnapped by Captain Nemo
    – staged a mutiny on a ship
    …and more. Just writing this makes me want to dive right back in again.

  3. Selki

    80 Days looks great! On my wishlist now.

  4. PK

    Blendoku is amazing. There’s also a Benjamin Moore paint branded one that Lonely Few did as a promo, called Bendoku. It’s free if you don’t mind that it tells you what paint colours correspond to the solution, and there aren’t other ads in the version I have except being BM branded.

    My current obsession is Transmission, which is also available to play in-browser with the Unity plug-in. SCIENCE LEARNINGS. Be warned that it does chew up battery.

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