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QuickSpot Review

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Developer: Namco Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release Date: March 13, 2007 Also On: None

Last year Nintendo came out with a new genre of games known in America as brain games. Brain Age and Big Brain Academy were the resulting products. Meant to test your cognitive skills, the series of tests were an enormous hit with the public, selling millions across the globe. Imitators have begun to pop up and it’s hard to say that QuickSpot isn’t at least influenced by the craze that Nintendo started a year ago. In Namco Bandai’s latest Nintendo DS game, they have you using your brain to recognize differences between two pictures. You may think that sounds simple and boring, but it may just prove you wrong.

The best way that I can describe the gameplay of QuickSpot is to compare it to the children’s book “Where’s Waldo”. In it, you are looking for tiny little Waldo characters, whereas in QuickSpot, you are looking for small differences between two pictures. One of the pictures is displayed on the top screen and the bottom screen has the same picture, although slightly altered. As the title implies, the goal is to spot the difference as quickly as possible. Several Namco characters make the cut, including ones from Pac-Man, Mr. Driller, Klonoa and Katamari Damacy.

QuickSpot has a few different games modes. First off, there is both single and multi-player (up to 8). The single-player offers a Rapid Play, Focus Play and Today’s Fortune mode. Each of these have the same basic concept of needing to circle differences in the pictures. With Rapid Play, there are several sub-modes within it. You have five levels total with ten stages in each level. A series of pictures is displayed where you will have to quickly find the difference in ten seconds or less to advance to the next picture. This gets more difficult as the stages progress as you will need to rub the bottom screen or blow off leaves to clear it.

You also have five boss levels to choose from. In these you have whatever time you have remaining from the tenth stage in the level that you are on. A series of five pictures will appear and you will need to get five correct before the time runs out in order to complete the boss. There are also Special levels that you can unlock from gaining reward medals, won by timely completion. The Special levels, while short, are actually pretty neat. One of them takes the pictures from the other stages and animates them. All you have to do is find the difference. Another Special level flips the picture upside down, while yet another is a scrolling picture.

At the end of each stage they show how well you performed with the percentage you got correct, average time and such. They also show a chart that displays brain functions. The average brain is supposed to represent 100 “Rapid Points”. The graph shows five different characteristics, including: Judgment, Intuition, Concentration, Recognition and Stability. It’s obviously a flawed system, but if a game tells me I have good judgment, I’m not going to argue with it.

The other single-player game mode is Focus Play. This game mode has a total of fifty unique pictures, all of which you can choose at any time and in no specific order. Instead of finding one difference in the picture, you are now finding multiple differences. These pictures have no time limit involved, although you only have three attempts before you fail. Some are more apparent than others, and some blend in so well that it will take a very observant eye to take notice.

Overall, QuickSpot is an interesting game to play. It’s something that I really didn’t expect to see make an American release, but with the DS anymore I expect the unexpected. The game will clock you in at no more than five hours with the single-player. There is single card DS multi-player offline with up to eight friends, but unless you have friends that own DS’, you’re out of luck. Like I said at the beginning, QuickSpot really isn’t so much a video game as it is a casual “book game”. This is the type of game that you would have expected on paper just a few years ago. Now, with the dual and touch-screened Nintendo DS, that casual entertainment has gone digital.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide