There is a scene in Sex and the City when Carrie Bradshaw begins writing for Vogue and her editor scrutinizes Bradshaw’s knowledge about fashion. “Men I may not know. But shoes — shoes I know,” she quips back.
This is exactly how I feel about video games — you can challenge me on just about any random skill or topic in the entire world, but when it comes to puzzle games, I will take you down. Which is why a new competitive version of TwoDots may just be the death of me and my wallet.
The Sparcade version of ‘TwoDots’ includes three stages for easy, intermediate, and hard levels
In partnership with mobile competitive gaming platform Sparcade, TwoDots is now available to play against other gamers for virtual coins or real money. The more you play, the more the game recognizes your skill level based on your score and how quickly you beat timed levels. It then uses this data to pair you with another equally skilled player.
The Sparcade version of TwoDots includes three stages for easy, intermediate, and hard levels — the more difficult the level, the bigger the prize. The most expensive buy-in is for the hardest level at $10; to play for cash, you must be 18 and older. Sparcade also uses your device’s GPS location to make sure you are in a state where skill-based online gaming is legal.
You can elect to be paired with a random player or pick a friend to battle. Once you’ve both accepted the challenge, Sparcade presents you with the same game level — down to the order in which dots drop on to your screen, so the game is as fair as possible. Most of the mechanics in this version of TwoDots are from earlier stages in the game, so you won’t see newer or more difficult mechanics like mud or water. At the end of the round, the winner takes home about 95 percent of the pooled money. You can opt for a PayPal or paper check payout when you’re done testing your skills.
It’s a fun and potentially addictive way to prove once and for all who’s the better player
Dots CEO Paul Murphy says there was always a market for a competitive version of its games (the company released a special edition of Dots at SXSW in 2015, which I also slayed), but the team wanted to focus on creating new games rather than build out a whole new feature for TwoDots. The collaboration with Sparcade helps to centralize the competitive gamers into one dedicated space.
If you’re looking to battle your friends on TwoDots beyond taking their gold medals from the original game, the Sparcade version is a fun and potentially addictive (read: dangerous!) way to prove once and for all who’s the better player. The platform also offers other games to compete with other players, including PAC-MAN, Tetris, and Centipede. At this time, each game is limited between two players. Sparcade says this is to avoid waiting for multiple players to accept a challenge, thus delaying the start of a match.
Sparcade is available today on iOS. An Android version is expected to arrive in early 2017.
Update December 19, 12:45PM ET: The original version of this story compared Sparcade’s TwoDots to gambling. We’ve changed the wording to reflect the legal definition of ‘gamble,’ which denotes chance. Sparcade is skill-based.