Dotto - Gameplay

Gameplay

Dotto was based on the children's game of Connect the dots. Contestants answered general-knowledge questions to connect dots that made a portrait of a famous or historical person.

Two contestants--a champion and challenger--were each given the same portrait (though they couldn't see the other player's) and started with 50 unconnected dots. Then, each contestant, with the challenger going first, answered questions in various categories to connect the dots. Each category had questions that connected 5, 8 or 10 dots, with the number corresponding to the difficulty of each question.

A correct answer by a contestant connected the dots on that player's portrait, but an incorrect answer or failing to answer in time meant the dots connected on the opponent's portrait. After a contestant has connected 25, 35 and 45 dots, s/he was given phrase- or word-like clues for additional help.

At any time, a contestant may signal (a buzzer for the challenger and an alarm bell for the champion) to guess the person being drawn. The contestant who signals then steps over to a "Dottograph" and writes the answer, with the writing angled so that the opponent can't see. If the contestant is incorrect, s/he automatically loses, but if correct, then the opponent is given 10 seconds to study the picture and give a verbal answer. If the opponent is correct, the game is tied and another game is played with new portraits for higher cash prizes, but if the opponent is incorrect, then the contestant (who signaled first and wrote the correct answer) wins the game plus cash for however many dots were left unconnected, and goes on to face another contestant.

On the daytime version, each unconnected dot was worth $10, with tied games increasing the value to $20 and $40. On the nighttime version, each unconnected dot was worth $100, with ties increasing the value to $200 and $300.

After a game was completed, usually during the middle of each episode, a "Home Viewer Dotto" game was played, in which a person selected by postcard drawing was called by telephone live on the air for a chance to guess the person being drawn. If correct, the home viewer won a new car or other valuable prizes, and if incorrect, the viewer received a consolation prize (the daytime version gave away a supply of products advertised by the show's sponsor, Colgate-Palmolive, while the nighttime version gave away a trip). At the end of each episode, additional dots were connected and a clue was displayed for the next episode's "Home Viewer Dotto" game.

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