QuickSpot - NDS - Preview

QuickSpot is one of those weird-sounding games that, to a hardcore player like myself, does not give an indication as to what it’s really about. Had I been thinking more casually, I might’ve stopped reminiscing about the SNES era (I kept having visions of that 7Up-sponsored Cool Spot game) and realized that “QuickSpot’s message is crystal clear.

The goal is simple: view two pictures, both of which look nearly identical. The top screen displays the correct picture. The bottom screen displays the flawed one. Your goal is to spot the flaw in the image and circle it with your stylus.

 

Three game types have been revealed: Rapid Play, Focus Play, and Today’s Fortune. Rapid Play seems like it’d be the easiest (locate one flaw), whereas Focus Play could’ve been the hardest (locate several flaws). However, Rapid Play is timed at about 90 seconds. Images have an individual time limit, increasing the overall challenge. With only one flaw to discover, your eyes might not instantly notice when something is a little off.

Sometimes that’s all it is – a small change in the image that, if studied very carefully, doesn’t look quite right. But you don’t have the time to examine the picture with a fine-tooth comb. Get in, circle, and get out. That is Rapid Play’s motto (unofficially).

To make the game more challenging, and consequently more interesting, QuickSpot tosses in a few unexpected surprises: animation and boss battles. In the beginning the game is pretty straightforward. Both images are stationary. Once they start moving the goal changes. Now you have to study the animations and circle the one that doesn’t match up with the top image.

Boss battles require you to rub the screen to remove an image overlay. As the image is cleared up, you should be able to quickly spot the flaw. Circle it and you’ll move onto the next. It’s not a huge change (like the animation aspect), but it definitely makes the game a little more intense. You’ll move more frantically, that’s for sure. And that – stylus accuracy – goes into your overall rating.

Player progress is rated by Intuition (speed), Concentration (another speed-related variable), Recognition (recognizes your ability to draw circles based on the shape of the flawed item), Stability (sloppy circles indicate that you’re in a hurry), and Judgment (number of errors).

 

The second game mode, Focus Play, does not have a time limit. The reason why is obvious: the developers know that most of us could spend what feels like a millennium trying to find each and every flaw. I have no trouble finding every flaw but the last. It’s that final imperfection that gets me every single time.

Today’s Fortune is QuickSpot’s answer to the Fortune Cookie. Instead of cracking open a delicious cookie, you find flaws in additional images. Your speed and accuracy determines the outcome of the fortune.

Study Fortune:

“Your study isn’t going well… Today’s the perfect day to overcome your weaknesses! But you’ll be told off by your teacher if you lose concentration. Don’t pluck your eyebrows today!”

Change your “job” to Worker and you’ll get the following in place of your Study Fortune:

“Your work won’t go well today… Today’s the perfect day to finish off any remaining work. If you daydream at work you’ll end up in trouble. Don’t pluck your eyebrows today!”

So apparently I’m not supposed to pluck my eyebrows today? Got it.

Money Fortune:

“Your Money Fortune is excellent! I smell money all around today! You might get a lot of it! Starting something new today will result in success! Plan it wisely! Be careful not to catch a cold!”

 

This sounded great until I checked my Health Fortune:

“Your health is neither good nor bad… Be careful of your posture when lifting heavy objects. Swimming isn’t a sport. It’s aerobics for the whole body. Eating fish is good for your brain!”

(Of course, now I have a craving for fish ‘n’ chips.)

My love life didn’t sound too good until I realized that this couldn’t have been meant for me – I must’ve gotten a woman’s fortune by mistake:

“Your romance is going down. Be careful today. A little flirt might end up as a big disaster. Make the effort to read and learn from fashion magazines. Blueberries are good for your eyes!”

It is not currently known if the job setup will have a significant impact on the game. For now it merely determines whether or not you’ll receive a “Study” or “Work” fortune.

 

Expected in stores before summer hits, QuickSpot is one the Nintendo DS’s most interesting options for casual game players. Hardcore gamers are in for a special treat thanks to the publisher’s huge database – many of the images feature characters and/or objects from Namco’s past, including Ridge Racer, Klonoa, and Taiko Drum Master. Count on spotting several other cameos when the game is released this spring.

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