Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

After Nearly One Billion iOS Plays, Dots Game Heads to Android and Kindle Fire

The iOS game Dots has been downloaded more than five million times in less than four months, and has been played almost a billion times. It’s simple and mesmerizing and super addicting.

DotsshirtToday, Dots maker Betaworks is launching the game on Android and Kindle Fire, and adding a new game mode across all the platforms.

In case you didn’t get swept up in the Dots craze, here’s how the game works — though it’s so simple that I feel silly describing it. A grid of colored dots appears. Trace between two or more dots of the same color, and they’re zapped. Make a square of four dots, and you blast that color off the board until it’s replenished. For boosts like extra time, earn or buy more dots. Then see how your score matches up. (P.S.: How do people score the all-time high of 799? I want to know their tricks!)

A normal Dots game lasts 60 seconds. The new mode called “Moves” has no time restriction, but allows only 30 moves.

Plus, Dots now supports German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic, in addition to English.

Dots certainly isn’t the most popular game out there. For reference, Angry Birds has had something like two billion downloads. However, Betaworks said that the app has been ranked No. 1 by daily downloads in 15 countries, which isn’t too shabby.

Betaworks often develops stuff that’s a bit more cerebral — for instance, the tech tools Chartbeat and Bitly, the news aggregator Digg, and the storytelling app Tapestry — so Dots has been a fun diversion. Check out this interview with creators Patrick Moberg and Paul Murphy  by AllThingsD’s Lauren Goode.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work