Mini-Guide: Splashy Dots

LQ: 9.0

Fun score: 9.2

Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 6+ Thinking Skills Used: ,

Splashy Dots is an easy-to-use, connect-the-dots puzzle game. Each level presents the player with a set of colorful “puddles” of paint. The player must then connect the first dot with the final dot (represented by an open circle, rather than a filled in circle) without missing any of the other dots on the board. There are no written guidelines, but once the player has completed the tutorial, they will know the game. The player connects the dots by following a vertical or horizontal path and, other than the last dot, may splash dots more than once. The last dot splashed must be the only open circle on the board. Completing the puzzle creates a brightly colored, visually appealing “painting”. According to the website, there are thousands of levels and a variety of themes and color schemes available. There are in-app purchases. It received an E for Everyone rating. Ages 6 and up will get the most benefit from the planning and self-control practice this game provides.

Splashy Dots helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Planning

Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

Splashy Dots provides an excellent opportunity to practice the cognitive skill of problem solving. The game is simple to use and deceptively easy. When a game board first opens up, the player will see many different ways to connect the dots. The trick to being successful, however, is to examine the board from the point of view of the one constant: how to connect the dots while following the rules of the game. To solve the problem presented by each board, the player must connect the dots (without going diagonally), starting at the black dot, and ending at the open circle. To be successful, the player must solve the problem for each level's set of unique dots. Planning multiple steps ahead (like in chess) is necessary in order to solve the puzzle quickly and move on to the next level. Without exercising the planning skill, the player can get stuck on a level and be unable to advance.

Self-Control

Managing our actions, feelings, and behaviors.

Impulse control is another skill kids will need to employ to be successful at Splashy Dots. The player cannot just move the black dot in whatever direction they want. They must control that impulse and take a moment to use their planning skills in order to find the correct path from black dot to open circle. If they don't, they will be unable to solve the puzzle and may use up all their hints on easy levels, rather than saving them for harder levels down the road.