So, in my last blog I couldn’t help myself. I spilled the beans letting you all know that Two Dots would be the next game launching in Sparcade. As soon as we let the cat out of the bag, we were flooded by requests from fans demanding the game as soon as possible. I’m happy to announce that today’s the day: you can now play our hyper-competitive re-imagining of the super-beautiful, award-winning puzzle game Two Dots in Sparcade.
Our brilliant and sparkly design team here at Sparcade has been working like crazy on this one. But our excitement for Two Dots began way before last month’s announcement. It goes all the way back to the day we learned that we’d get the chance to dream up a new, competitive version of this contemporary mobile blockbuster.
Two Dots says a lot about how big an idea Sparcade really is. It marks the first time a massive, mobile-first franchise will launch in the app, and it shows the promise of Sparcade as a new kind of competitive social outpost in the world of mobile games. This release offers our fans a window into the future of Sparcade, as we continue to take inspiration from the coin-op arcades of the ‘80s, but also create a new kind of competitive social mecca for a new generation of players with more features and different kinds of games.
Designing Two Dots for Sparcade challenged us in ways that other games like Centipede®, PAC-MAN™ and Tetris® Burst have not. How do you introduce a real-money, competitive tournament format to an experience like Two Dots – a game beloved by millions for being a lean-back, zen-like experience? And how do you do that while still preserving the charm and core essence that makes Two Dots loved by millions in its free-to-play iteration? It’s a tough question, and one that Dots CEO Paul Murphy knows all too well:
“Having released the third game in our Dots series earlier this year, we can tell you that putting a new spin on an existing franchise isn’t something that you can do overnight. Crafting fresh experiences in familiar playgrounds takes time, effort, and ingenuity — and the Sparcade team brought all three to the table when creating Sparcade’s tournament edition of Two Dots. Two Dots in Sparcade is an experience that’s instantly familiar, yet wholly unique. It’s a new way to play, and we’re sure that fans of our Dots games are going to love it.”
Designing Two Dots for Competition
Unlike other games in Sparcade, Two Dots was originally built as a mobile-first design. This means we didn’t need to revise the art or control scheme to make it work on mobile. We focused less on reimagining the look and feel, and more on the way the game transforms when taken out of its free-to-play context and moved into a tournament format. Like many puzzle progression games, the original Two Dots gets challenging quickly. When you play the original Two Dots, you rely on the move counter and you have to be pretty careful and deliberate about each move — otherwise you can quickly run out of moves and have to buy a booster or additional moves just to get past a level.
The Sparcade edition of the game omits the traditional moves counter in Two Dots and replaces it with a timer. Players have to try to complete the objectives for five levels before time runs out. This change shifts the urgency — in some ways it’s more casual and forgiving and you can make moves at a faster pace, but you also have to think about how to beat that timer and maximize your points if you want to win your match.
We really wanted to keep the charm of Two Dot’s gorgeous art style and story approach. Each match scrolls players through one of the original Two Dots locations, making it feel like a hand-crafted, mini-expedition with a sense of both beginning and closure. The characters pop in with dialog that helps set the tone for the “expedition,” with lots of variations specific to each location.
We hope all those Two Dots fans out there will have as much fun playing Two Dots in Sparcade as we’ve had designing it. It’s been an honor for the Sparcade team and our awesome development partners at JoJu Games to team up with Dots.
Along with the launch of Two Dots, this new version lets you spend your Tokens on a special kind of Fan Mail called Express Mail where you can get a new Fan! Read our release notes for more details on what’s new in Sparcade, and make sure to check out Two Dots by downloading or updating Sparcade, available on the iOS App Store at: https://itunes.apple.com/app/sparcade/id1116239165.