Originally posted March 29th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Title: Dot Arcade
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 3/26/2015
The main game/story
This is an interesting one: a new indie game inspired by retro games, but not the kind that most developers go for (NES games) Instead, this is a game that is a throwback to the days before Atari even became famous, to the era of the late 1970s. Dot Arcade is a compilation of three very simple games, where the only goal is to get a high score.
So simple to the point that you might as well ignore this entire section. The games themselves are simple light-up dot games, where the dot moves around on an in-game LED screen. (Similar to the Microvision) The only thing besides that are the arcade cabinet borders that accompany each game, which look really nice and perfectly capture the feel of these older games. (And you can hold the trigger buttons in the menu to use an alternate border for all three of the games)
Music and Sound:
There’s a catchy retro main theme that plays when you select a game and that’s the only song in the entire game. Nothing else but beeps. Move on.
The games included in this compilation are:
Mr. Snake: A simple game of Snake where you eat dots to grow longer without hitting yourself or the moving walls. Leads to clever strategy when deciding how to move in a way to get the next dot without crashing. An OK game at best.
Dodge Club: A rather strange game where you are supposed to avoid the other square on screen, while also avoiding the moving dotted line on the edge of the screen. (I assume that’s representing the end of the stage) Every time the stage flashes, you get a point. Simply keep it up and avoid everything to get a better score! The weakest of the bunch due to the limited space of mobility leading to games that likely won’t last long.
Rally Driver: By far the best game in this compilation. You simply move left or right to avoid cars you pass by, as well as the walls nearby. Very addicting and in my opinion the one you’ll want to share your high scores to Miiverse with the most.
In conclusion, Dot Arcade does succeed at doing a minimalist experience, with fun arcade styled games that are just about getting high scores. However, the $5 price tag (The same price as every NES game on the Wii U Virtual Console by the way) may turn some people off, especially when you consider how Rally Driver is the only game that lets you get a large amount of points. (Mr. Snake becomes insanely difficult around 20 points and when Dodge Club speeds up you are pretty much done for) Still, if you want a game to spend the weekend relaxing with, or to have your friends come over and compete with you, Dot Arcade will do a decent job. I give Dot Arcade a 6 out of 10 and only recommend it to fans of the Microvision, Game & Watch or just simply anyone who wants a simple experience.
Thanks to James Montagna for the review code.