Dots is a complex version of the game played by school
kids over at least the last half-century. It is difficult to
pin down just when the game originated, but it remains a
popular lunch break pastime in many schools across the country.
When the game is played on paper, rows of dots are drawn
on a blank sheet to form a grid from ten to twenty dots square.
The first player draws a line between any two dots, then the
second player does the same. Play continues in turn as each
tries to draw lines that will keep the other from completing all
sides of a box. If a player succeeds in completing a box, he
marks it with his initials to claim it and then takes another
turn. When all of the dots have been used and no more lines
can be drawn play ends. Each player then counts the number of
boxes claimed. The player with the highest score wins.
The computer game is played by the same rules, but the
grid of dots is substantially larger and the computer
automatically marks each box claimed and tallies the scores as
play proceeds. Because of the size of the grid it becomes
possible to develop extremely complex strategies to claim
boxes later on in the game, which can take up to 45 minutes