A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that TwoDots is a matching puzzle game that involves connecting and matching like-colored dots. It's a basic concept but one that proves to be fun. Users can buy extra lives to continue playing uninterrupted, but it's unnecessary -- as are the bombs, which open trap doors and increase the dots on-screen. Later levels can be extremely challenging without these tools. There's no seriously iffy content in the app, but, under the terms of service, kids younger than 13 may not use it.
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What's it about?
Players attempt to match a certain number of similarly colored dots within a certain number of moves. Horizontal and vertical connections count, but players cannot make connections diagonally. Also, making a square shape of connections will clear the board of all dots of that color. Along the way there are other obstacles and objectives, such as anchors that must fall through the puzzle (by removing dots below them) and trap doors, which can only be opened with bombs, which require an in-app purchase. (Users can win the round without removing the trap doors; it's just a bit harder.)
Is it any good?
TWODOTS takes the best parts of Candy Crush Saga to create a wonderful puzzle game that's equally challenging and inviting to players. The game is completely charming and has a minimalist play style that makes it a wonderful mental break. Unfortunately, it also takes some of the worst parts of Candy Crush Saga in the process.
As the difficulty ramps up -- and you lose a few times -- the game locks itself for further play unless you pay for additional hearts and lives or sit on the bench for 20 minutes or more. It's an annoying distraction that only gets more frustrating as you get further into the game. That said, the wait times for regeneration aren't extreme, so it's imminently possible to play the game without paying -- and those times you are playing are incredibly entertaining.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of patience rather than kids impulsively buying extra lives or power-ups.
Families also can talk about budgeting and why spending money on in-app purchases when it's not necessary often isn't the best thing to do.
Read 4 Ways to Curb Kids' In-App Purchases for more on the subject.