Fusion Dots is a recent release from Game Troopers that snuck in under the radar. It is a 2048-styled) game where you move dots around a gaming board, fusing identical dots as they collide and moving them into position to meet the puzzle's objectives.
Mechanics are simple and it may take a few games to get a feel for the puzzle objectives. Once you get a hang of things, Fusion Dots evolves into one of those games that can be described as easy to pick up but difficult to master. After playing Fusion Dots over the past few days from a Windows Phone, it makes a nice first impression and turns out being an entertaining game to pass the time with.
Your opening menu for Fusion Dots is about as simple as it can get with one option, a play button sitting in the center of the screen. From that play button, you will be sent to the gaming level map that will have your gem and heart counts at the top (more on this in a second). Along the bottom of the screen, you will find access to the game's settings, a button to jump back to the opening menu and an hourly bonus wheel feature.
Settings cover your sound and background music options, a chance to view the tutorial screens and an opportunity to view the About screen. Your hourly bonus wheel gives you the opportunity to win gems, power-ups and other items that can help you with game play.
To play Fusion Dots, it will cost you a heart and if you successfully complete the level, you will earn that heart back. Your hearts are replenished over time, can be restored with your gems or bought through in-app purchase. Gems, on the other hand, are earned during game play, can be won by bonus wheel spins or purchased in-app. Gems can be used to restore a heart or buy power-ups at the start of game play.
Prior to the start of each puzzle, you will be presented with the game's mission and the chance to pick up a few power-ups. These power-ups range from a hammer that will eliminate a dot from game play that will swap dots on the gaming board and more. Again, each power-up will cost you a few gems.
The mechanics of play is very similar to what you see with a game of 2048. The game board is a 4x4 grid. Some puzzles have blocked off squares while others have all sixteen squares open for movement. You swipe at a dot to move it vertically or horizontally and when one dot moves, they all move in the same direction. When two dots of the same color touch, they merge or fuse into one dot. They will change in color and an hour hand will appear on their face. With each fusion, the hour hand moves down the face by an hour.
The layout of the gaming screen has your gaming stats running across the top of the screen. These stats include your stage number, move count, timer, objective list and a pause button. Just below the stats, you will find your available power-ups and scoring meter. If you need to review the color combinations, just tap on the ? Button that sits above the game board.
The 120 gaming missions include a variety of goals that include simply clearing an occupied territory by creating a fusion at each designated square (dotted-line border), move a starred dot to a starred square, create a fusion with a specific time and move it to a designated square and more. Some missions have move or time limits and should you fill up your squares with dots the game is over and you fail.
Game Troopers has a solid reputation for bringing fun, entertaining and challenging games to the Windows 10 and Windows Phone Stores. Fusion Dots is no exception.
I have to admit it took me a few games to get the hang of the puzzle missions, but once I did the game flow was easier and I could concentrate on solving the puzzles. Graphics are on the minimal side but work rather well for the game. Puzzle missions will require a bit of strategy to avoid running out of space to move and I like the power-ups that can help you get out of a jam.
If I had to come up with something to ding Fusion Dots with, I would have liked the first level of play to have been a walk-through tutorial for the game. Some will pick up on the mission objectives quicker than others, but a walk-through tutorial would avoid some of the head scratching.
All in all, Fusion Dots is a fun puzzle game to pass the time with. The game is available from both the Windows 10 and Windows Phone Stores as a free gaming title. I do think the game is better suited for the mobility of our Windows Phones but playing from a tablet isn't too bad either. If you give Fusion Dots a try, let us know what you think of things in the comments below.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.