Namco Bandai Games wants you to increase your brain activity with Quickspot for the Nintendo DS. In this memory pictorial game your concentration, judgment, recognition, stability and intuition will be tested as you spot the differences in fast moving pictorials.
Quickspot's simple design does wonders for creating a refreshing and easy brain game to get into. In Quickspot you use the stylus to draw circles around differences you find in the two pictures that are displayed on the Nintendo’s dual screens. The illustrations are intricately detailed with a number of differences. Sometimes the differences are noticeable like a new character in the picture, or other times they are small things like a missing step on a staircase. If you have even been a fan of the classic card game memory, then Quickspot will be right up your alley.
Being a Namco Bandai game you had to know they would sneak in a few of their trademark characters during the game. Some of the Namco Bandai franchises featured in Quickspot are Pac-Man, Mr. Driller, Ridge Racer, Taiko Drum Master, and everyone favorite prince Katamari Damacy. Besides the trademark characters the have a number of interesting art selections that include some bizarre themes, normal artistic renders, comic book styled action and more. This jumps around from an old man holding a baby to a superhero woman kicking a giant space rock-monster in the head. Then you might get a crayon drawn frog, or a nice warm drawing of people walking on railroad tracks as a train is headed their way. The pictures eventually will start repeating, but Quickspot varies the selection up and has a number of different changes that go along with each picture. After typing this down, it might seem a little dull, but really Quickspot never falls into that trapping.
I found Namco Bandai’s Quickspot to be a lot of fun and a nice switch up from the normal market of puzzle block games, and other activities in other games like Brain Age. Quickspot sticks to one idea and rolls with it the entire game reporting your brain activity and progress along the way. The concept is so simple that any gamer of any age, or skill level can get into. The simplistic premise is one reason why Quickspot works so well. It might not keep you entertained for months on end, but for the time it takes to complete you will probably be hooked.
During the entire game of Quickspot you will be drawing circles this even goes for menu selection. The pen draws out a thick red line that is impossible to miss. More points are given out if you can more accurately trace and item that has been added or missing from a puzzle, although this can be tricky when you’re playing against the clock. With all the action on the touch screen, Quickspot could only be released for the Nintendo DS. It’s been a while since I’ve used this touch screen this much in a game, and it’s refreshing.
The single player mode is called “Rapid-Play”. In this mode you progress through each stage starting at one and working your way to the final stage of level 5. The levels consist of multi screens that flash quickly on the screen as you spot and circle the differences. This happens while you are being timed which usually doesn’t factor in too much. The final stage of each level offers up a boss stage that has you working a little harder to solve the puzzle, this includes blowing on the screen and rubbing the screen clear so you can see the puzzle. Quickspot doesn’t hold too much of a challenge and if you get stuck you will eventually learn all the tricks Quickspot throws at you. The challenge of the finding differences translates more into fun and never really seems like a chore.
At the end of each Rapid Play level you are given a Brain Activity score that reflects your progress in the game. This is shown like a pentagon pie chart with your progress and previous progress shown. Their are five categories that are tested according to Quickspot. The categories are Intuition which measures you ability to find differences quickly, Concentration that measures your level of concentration and time between tasks. Recognition which is your ability to circle differences in its exact shape, Stability measures how relaxed your are during the game testing your circle shapes, and lastly is Judgment which improves when you don't make errors or get timed out. My Pentagons high points at the end of the game where on concentration and judgment. The Brain Activity is an extra bonus that is fun to see how your progressing in the game. I don't know how accurate it is but at least my Brain Activity seems high with a find 170 rating.
Quickspot also features a “Focus Mode” which allows you to work with one set of pictures with a longer time limit. This mode is harder then you would believe with some pictures only having slight differences between each other. The Focus mode has a total of 50 pictures to relax, sit back and focus your detective skills upon. The last mode in Quickspot is the quirky mode called “Today’s Fortune”. Today’s Fortune is a simple game like Rapid Play that gives you a fortune at the end of the level. You can revile one fortune once a day for each category. The categories that Quickspot will predict your fortune are broken down into Health, Work, Romance, and Money. Since I’m working on this review right now, I tried the Work fortune today and it came back with
“You’ll make great progress at Work! It’s okay to express your thoughts today. You’ll get your own way! Your endurance is high, so you can work till late today! Take deep breaths to relax yourself.”
Great, overtime, sounds like a try premonition for me.
Multiplayer is also added to Quickspot with support for up to eight players with Download Play that supports up to four players. Two multiplayer modes are offered one being a hot potato styled game, “Time Bomb”. In this game you have time find the difference and then it passes onto the next player, the one who doesn’t solve the puzzle has the bomb, and looses. The other mode is “Scramble” which has each gamer trying to solve the same puzzles. If your faster then your friends then you will start winning and you can also gain some power-ups to hurt the progress of your opponents like a negative viewing screen or send a swarm of frogs over to distract the other players. If you have a friend with a DS Quickspot is good for a few laughs and some fun light hearted head to head gaming.
Quickspot is bound to surprise any gamer who lingers long enough to play a few rounds. At $20, this delightful match game might not be the next Tetris, or Brain Age, but for what it accomplishes, its spot on. I’d recommend any Nintendo DS owner to give Quickspot a once over, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Gameplay: 6, Graphics/Sound: 6.5, Innovation: 6.5, Mojo: 7. Final: 7 / 10