Released: March 2018

Platforms: PC (tested)

Dialing is such a simple mash-up of two games that it seems absurd it hasn’t been done before. It takes the 2048 block merging format (where pushing two blocks of the same number together creates one block with a doubled number) and places it inside a rotary phone setting that spins around at pace. Can you keep going before the dial runs out?

Chaining matches in the same lap will boost your score but you need to be precise
Chaining matches in the same lap will boost your score but you need to be precise

Graphically and UI wise, Dialing is very simplistic but with a clean sheen to everything. Ambient music plays but never takes over, and the game features an endless mode and an arcade mode. Initially when you begin Dialing gives you a small number of rotations to make your hi-score. The more you play and the higher scores you get, you gain XP to unlock additional spins. This means you’ll have more time to carefully judge combo’s and simply progress in the game. It’s a simple addition, but it adds in that “I can beat that score” approach whilst not really limiting the experience perse. The reason for that is that endless mode lets the dial button spin around infinitely so you can carefully dictate each move.

Things get busy quickly and Dialing perfectly judges risk vs reward
Things get busy quickly and Dialing perfectly judges risk vs reward

As Dialing works in a circular grid of circular blocks, there is a bit of an initial learning curve for where your fired blocks land. Sometimes a misjudged move will end your run and whilst I didn’t feel like the game was unfair, sometimes when you set off a chain of block merges, remaining blocks just seem to randomly slide about the grid. To combat that, you can switch between your current and next block tactically if you try to fire your block on a blocked space.

Positives

  • Simple to learn, difficult to master
  • Excellent twist on usual game mechanics
  • XP gaining means your time investment is rewarded

Negatives

  • Occasionally feels a bit random when creating chains of matches
  • No online or local leaderboards – just a hi-score and daily average stat for yourself

Conclusion

Ultimately, this is a game that will be a quick five or ten-minute visit, but Dialing is one of those puzzlers that will eat up your time. It’s excellently put together and you’ll be trying to beat your previous score time and time again.

Enjoy the review overview and review below:

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