iPad Game Review: FindIT 2 HD Reviewed by Guy Dayen
If you enjoy "Find the Difference" games, you might want to add FindIT 2 HD to your collection, especially if you'd like to be part of a community of players who create and share this type of puzzle. Some aspects of the game are very good, even while there is room for improvement in some others. There are not as many iPad-native games of this type yet as there are iPhone games, and the difference in the graphic quality is certainly noticeable. Still, there is room for improvement.
Typical of this kind of game, you are presented with two views of the same picture. Depending on the level of difficulty you choose, the time allowed for you to find five differences will be more or less limited. In the ?Very Easy Mode,? time is unlimited. ?Easy? gives you five minutes, ?Normal? affords you three and a half minutes, and ?Hard? brings your time down to two minutes to complete a stage.
For those players who want a variation on the ?find the differences? experience, there is also a ?Nightmare? mode, in which the pictures are mirrored. You are given three and a half minutes to complete each stage in this mode. Contrary to the developer?s intention, however, I actually found this mode easier to play than the other modes, because the details are much closer to each other (due to the mirroring effect), and it makes it easy to spot details that have been changed. Keeping it on ?Hard? presents a more difficult challenge.
There is a zoom feature in the game, which allows you to get a closer look at the details. You can then pan around the picture freely. The two pictures move nicely in tandem, and are well coordinated with each other. This is a very useful feature when your time to find all the differences is short. Make good use of it!
Each picture you complete successfully unlocks the next one. There is a hint button available if you find yourself stuck, and you are given one hint per picture. The faster you finish the puzzle, the more points you earn. There are a variety of achievements to unlock as well. The game uses ?OpenFeint? to keep track of your scores and achievements, and it allows you to challenge other players to beat your best.
There are three separate groups of pictures to play with in FindIT 2 HD. They are listed as: ?New 100 Amazing Levels,? ?Levels From the Community? and ?150 FindIT Classic Levels.? The 100 new levels is where the HD version of FindIT shines. The details are crisp, the colors are bright, and there is a good variety of images and the pictures load almost instantly.
Unfortunately, the same is not true for the other groupings. While the pictures in the classic levels are of the same high quality as those in the new levels, their load time is much too slow to the point you might think the app is frozen. It?s ridiculous to have to wait for a minute or more for a single picture to load, especially since the app takes up almost 90 MB and all the pictures are stored on the iPad itself. Hopefully this is a fixable bug in future updates.
The worst levels in the game are those created by the community of users. The problem here is that many pictures do not have as good a resolution as one would wish for a game of this type. Couple that with the same extended load time problem as the classic level, and you have a subpar experience on your hands. It is problematic that there is such a variety in the quality of the gameplay when the three levels are compared.
Another note is that there are a few glitches here and there in some of the pictures. A bit of the picture will not load completely, or a difference will not register correctly. This was a rare occurrence, but it is something the developer should fix in an update also.
There is a minimum of sound effects in the game; par for the course in app of this type. Chimes and beeps sound when you find one of the differences or when you make a mistake, and a short buzzer sounds when you make too may random taps. (Doing so cuts a few seconds off the game clock, by the way, so be careful where you touch...)
There are a few music loops to accompany your picture hunting journey, but they are nothing special. There is an option to play your own iPod music, but it's not in the Profile section where you set all options in the game. The music button is in the bottom left corner.
The sound quality is fine, but the music and effects are repetitive. Again, for a game of this size, a little more variety would be welcome.
For two dollars, this is a good way to spend a few minutes, or a few hours, depending on your liking for this type of game. The ?New Levels? are a joy to play, with their quick load times and bright, crisp pictures. The other levels, however, can stand some improvements: at the very least, cut down on the long load times between each new picture.
Another suggestion would be make sure that user-submitted pictures have a high enough resolution so that fine details are not blurry. The idea of having users submit picture challenges is an inspired one, but quality control has to be high to insure a pleasant gaming experience.
The one big problem with this kind of game is that there is little replay value. Once you have completed the picture, you know where the differences are, so the challenge is gone. However, magazines and books that offer this type of gameplay can cost three or four times as much as this app, and they offer many fewer images, so the value for the price is quite high. There is not much variation to the gameplay, but it?s an enjoyable exercise, and many people are addicted to spotting the difference games. With a few improvements, this fairly good game could become a great one.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5): 3.5
Graphics: - 3 - It would be a five if I were considering the new levels by themselves, but the other levels just do not show the same quality. Sound: - 3.5 - The sound quality is good, but there is too little variety. Controls: - 4 - The zoom-and-pan feature works quite well. The touch areas are generous and responsive. Gameplay: - 3.5 - It?s a good find the difference game, but there is little variation to the gameplay here. If you enjoy this type of game, you might find yourself playing for extended periods of time. For others, this is a good pick-up-and-play game to while away a few minutes of free time.
Playing Hints and Tips:
There is not much to say here. If you are an aficionado of find-the-difference games, there is probably nothing I can tell you that you do not know already. If this is your first plunge with this type of game, make sure to look everywhere in the picture, as authors try not to cluster all the different details in the same spot. Make careful use of your hint, and remember that using it will cost you time.