I tried Dots. I loved it. Here’s my story.
It’s a crazy clever little iOS app which some have described as a cross between Tetris and a Rubic Cube. In just 60 seconds it grabs you and sucks you in. Find a pattern, draw a line. Dots disappear, the phone buzzes, more dots appear…. and the time counts down.
After a couple of casual attempts I was hooked. Suddenly, hours of my weekend were spent gripping my phone and swiping at multi coloured dots. I swore loudly. I clicked ‘Play Again’ over and over. Just one more. Just one more.
I began to feel like a problem gambler. I kept playing the game, again and again, my high score slowly creeping up as my confidence rose. I became bold, cleverly spotting patterns even before the dots had time to settle. I punched the air when I swiped a square or a rectangle – my phone buzzed appreciatively and my score leapt up and up. I discovered I had a lot more spare time than I realised. Or I thought I did.
And then I read this.
It’s the strategy. It’s how to win. It’s how to beat the dots and bask in the glow of high scores in the 400s (or at least 300s). It uses all the extra features. You buy these ‘shrinkers’ and ‘expanders’ using the Dots currency equivalent of Bitcoin.
I became harsh on myself. I muttered over and over ‘must make squares’. My eyes drilled holes into the screen, looking and searching for a partially completed square – anywhere. I panicked when I swiped dots that did not advance my square making ability. The pressure was immense – I must make squares. I could feel the multi coloured dots polluting my screen – uninvited and unnecessary. I slowed my Dots pace down to a crawl, buying 100s of shrinkers and splurging them all where they weren’t needed. My battery slowly, thankfully died, providing a brief respite.
I turned to Twitter and found there were many other Dots sufferers like me. Some still purists, some just starting, others in full bloom – their garbled Dot tweets full of mysterious terms and terrifying high scores. Some spoke of dreaming in Dots, others merely mumbled incoherently.
My Dots obsession turned to Dots Fatigue. I must make squares. The challenge and freedom swiping any colour in any pattern had gone. Gone! I must make squares. Dots became a chore – unfulfilling, unexciting, uninteresting. Too many rules, too many restrictions, too many damn dots.
And just like that, I escaped its clutches.
You can too.