I just want to make squares… but not in Two Dots
September 22, 2021 5:30 AM   Subscribe

Guys, can you help recommend a game? I used to love playing Two Dots a few years ago, but gosh, it got so annoying, I had to uninstall. Looking for another IOS game in that vein. More inside…

Two Dots used to be great, but wow, I hate that new casino experience. Plus the find the items side game? OMG - did not like.

Here are some games I like: Fruit Ninja, Quell, Threes, Animal Hot Spring. They’re all pretty good, but none are quite hitting that spot of semi puzzle, semi mindless, and decent music/graphics. Fruit Ninja is probably closest? Quell has great music but maybe takes too much thinking? Dots & Co, I still play sometimes since it’s not as casino-fied, but it’s not as good as classic pre-suck TD somehow. I’m willing to pay for a game if it’s worth it.

Games I wanted to like, but that didn’t do it for me: Hue, Rings, Tiny Wings. I guess there’s something about just making squares? Original Dots is OK but feels like something is lacking? I did play Candy Crush but the same casino ick factor that made me uninstall TD is a couple points too high.

I’ve gotten some good game ideas here, so here’s hoping! Thank you in advance!
posted by ec2y to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Four Plus and/or Hex, both by FRVR? I will be watching this thread with interest.
posted by probably not that Karen Blair at 5:55 AM on September 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


Flow Free
posted by oceano at 6:11 AM on September 22, 2021 [4 favorites]


Heroes of Kalevala has reappeared on the App Store, and it hits exactly that sweet spot for me. It's a match-3 game, where you have to clear all the squares on the board by completing the matches. I like the music, I like the nod to Finnish mythology (however flimsy), I like the animations on the tiles when you tap them; and it has no ads, and it isn't as frenetic and panic-inducing as Bejeweled.

There's an overarching quest-type story - your people are fleeing a barren land in search of a new home, and there's a mythical object that you'll find if you complete all the levels - so in between the levels, you can use the coins you've earned to buy houses and trees and build villages and advance the story, which also gains you access to new playing areas with different music and graphics. When you complete the whole thing, a free play mode is enabled so you can carry on playing.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 6:46 AM on September 22, 2021 [3 favorites]


Ooh, do you like mazes? Most of the games you've listed are up my alley too (and I've also kinda tired of Two Dots) and I really enjoyed Via.
posted by saramour at 9:36 AM on September 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


Best answer: twenty
I'd love to find a version of be jeweled that just keeps going, with no bright lights, weird sounds, levels. Had a good one, the company killed.
posted by theora55 at 10:17 AM on September 22, 2021 [3 favorites]


Best answer: If you have Apple Arcade, there are a number of good match games on there, and none have in-app purchases, so they aren't casino-fied. I really like Grindstone there (also available as a paid game on Switch or PC).

Some other not-ad-driven light games that are on my phone right now are:
- Dr. Meep is a match-three-ish game that's a bit out of the ordinary. It didn't stick for me, but seems like a good game
- Infinity Island has more in common with idle games than match-3, even though you play actively, but it's relaxing and mindless and weirdly compelling
- Just Mowing is ... just mowing. It does have some loot box & timer mechanics, but I found them relatively inoffensive, and the gameplay is very relaxing
- twofold, inc. is a really nice little puzzle with somewhat unique mechanics
- Merge Magic and Merge Dragons are very easy to play without in-app purchases, and pretty satisfying. There's puzzle levels to unlock and a persistent area where you collect and merge the stuff you get from the puzzles. They predate the current crapware merge game trend, and are much better.

There's a lot of variability in the mechanics of those games, and none are all that close to Two Dots, but they all fill a similar semi-mindless niche for me.
posted by duien at 2:18 PM on September 22, 2021 [2 favorites]


Simon Tatham’s Puzzles! There are a bunch of different types of puzzle games and they are pure puzzle goodness.
posted by beandip at 6:41 PM on September 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Thank you to everyone who has answered so far! You all are the best! Please feel free to recommend more.

So far my favorites are the FRVR games for that winning combo of good mechanics and goofball “good job!” type sounds. Twenty was also great.

I might have to try Apple Arcade too!
posted by ec2y at 8:52 PM on September 22, 2021


Response by poster: Oh and I just bought Twofold, thanks duien!
posted by ec2y at 8:55 PM on September 22, 2021


Lily’s Garden really does it for me. No commercials (unless you ask for one to get double coins, and it’d always an ad for Penny and Flo), some “pay for premium content” screens that are easy to dismiss, and there are lots of opportunities for infinite-life time. I don’t watch (read: skip through) the narrative unless I need the 30 minutes of infinite lives you get at the beginning of a chapter.

Gameplay is a good mix of puzzle, strategy, and luck. I pay for the premium membership each month now just because I want to support a game that has been such a good mix of engaging and calming for me.
posted by itesser at 8:56 PM on September 22, 2021 [1 favorite]


I find Noodles pleasantly mindless.
posted by dame at 4:59 AM on September 23, 2021 [1 favorite]


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