First Impressions – Spot the Differences!
To be honest the idea of a Spot the Differences mini didn’t exactly set my pulse racing when it was first announced. But I was quite prepared to be proved wrong – I’d never expected to like Mahjongg Artefacts after all, and that turned out to be a fantastic game.
Sadly, this time around it looks as if first impressions may well be the lasting ones. Everything that Spot the Differences has to offer will be revealed to you within the first half-hour of gameplay, if not sooner. After that, it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s something that appeals to you.
When you load the game, the menu screen looks very glossy and shiny, complete with cheesy jazzy background music. After taking a second or two to set up your Profile, you can then choose either Arcade or Custom mode.
Arcade mode has four difficulty settings: Rookie, Amateur, Connoisseur and Expert. Only Rookie is unlocked to begin with, so that’s where you start. You’re then presented with two almost-identical photos from a randomly generated category, such as Yummy, Playtime, Wildlife or Sports, and must spot five differences within 90 seconds or it’s ‘Game Over’.
You can scroll around the photos using either the d-pad or the analog stick, and select any ‘difference’ that you spot, which will be something like one cat with a tail and one without, by pressing X.
In Custom Game there are two modes: Time Attack and Select Scenes, which is initially locked. In Time Attack you have three minutes to find as many differences as you can, one at a time, in a succession of pictures. This quick-fire mode was actually a lot more fun than Arcade mode, as it felt less like taking a test at the opticians.
Spot the Differences is quite challenging to play, even on Rookie mode, where you’ll find yourself going cross-eyed poring over the fine detail in some of the photos, especially some of the landscape ones which are a bit fuzzy and far away.
First impressions: This feels so much like a casual gamer’s game. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not too much for PSP owners to get excited about either.