Made-in-Singapore Games

Arcade-style shooter with a modern twist

Dark Dot is like playing Space Invaders on your mobile device

Dark Dot is a top-down arcade-style shooter game. Think Space Invaders, but with a modern twist that uses the touchscreen of your mobile device.

You control a group of darklets, which are small cute-looking dots that have their own unique abilities and elements-based attacks. Like other shooter games, the objective is to destroy the enemies and keep your darklets safe by dodging enemy fire.

Simply draw a pattern on your device's touchscreen, like a circle or a square, and your darklets will attempt to fill the space drawn.

A small, tight pattern leads to more powerful attacks as the packed darklets focus their energies in a narrow beam. Spread out the darklets by drawing a rectangle to get past certain obstacles or to increase the range of your attacks.

Adding more variety to the gameplay, the developers have placed circles, called Aether Chargers, on the map, arranged in specific patterns. By placing a darklet on each circle, usually by drawing the right pattern, you can increase the power of the darklets' attacks.

Like other shooter games, the objective in Dark Dot is to destroy the enemies and keep your darklets safe by dodging enemy fire.
Like other shooter games, the objective in Dark Dot is to destroy the enemies and keep your darklets safe by dodging enemy fire. PHOTO: INZEN STUDIO

There is quite a bit of depth to this game that makes it more than just another generic shooter. 

There is more. There are over 80 types of darklets to be collected, upgraded or evolved. Each darklet belongs to a certain elemental type (there are nine) that influences their attacks and weaknesses.

For instance, a Fire-based darklet does double damage to an Earth-type darklet, as well as receiving double damage from it.

In other words, there is quite a bit of depth to this game that makes it more than just another generic shooter.

Dark Dot was originally conceived as a short tech demo on the iOS platform in 2011. But the actual game is currently available only for Android devices.

It is still free to play, though like many mobile games, Dark Dot limits game time with a stamina mechanic, called action points. A certain number of points is required to play a level.

You can, of course, purchase more action points with in-app purchases, as well as other in-game items and power-ups. The alternative is to watch a 30-second video ad.

  • 8/10

    RATING

    PRICE: Free, with in-app purchases (Android)

    GENRE: Mobile action shooter

In fact, when my darklets were completely wiped out, I could continue the game, and not have to restart the level, by choosing to watch an ad.

This option is akin to inserting a token to continue a real arcade game and seems very fitting for a mobile arcade shooter.

•Verdict: This polished arcade shooter offers good depth and interesting gameplay.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'Arcade-style shooter with a modern twist'. Print Edition | Subscribe