Review: Splat the Difference (3DS)

From the people behind the interesting little variation on Guess WhoDan McFox: Head Hunter, comes a more straightforward offering for the Nintendo 3DS. Splat the Difference is a game where players spot the difference between two pictures shown on both screens of the handheld. Yes, it’s one of those games, and it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the genre so your enjoyment of this title depends entirely on if you are one to engage in these spot-the-difference games.


Aside from the loads of stock pictures the average player can witness, there is some potential to be had with the colorful backdrops. Unfortunately, there is no animation to be seen at all. Everything is static. The “splat” graphic, which is important enough to make it onto the title of the game, is nothing more than a cute little aesthetic thing to indicate a difference has been spotted. Not the most visually interesting game you may come across on the Nintendo eShop.


While the music is most likely stock as well, it suits the mood and provides a calm and relaxed tone. It effectively makes the overall atmosphere more charming than it could be with only the graphical side of things.


Use your eyeballs to scan differences between the two pictures. Tap anywhere on the bottom screen that has those differences. Rinse and repeat. There is no way anyone could expect anything different from Splat the Difference. What I like is that there’s a timer to keep things moving, so players have to act quickly and find the differences before the timer runs out. What I don’t like is that Casual Mode ditches the timer. Furthermore, while the basic gameplay (as minimalist and bare as it is) can be engaging for people of all ages, there seems to be a major lack of incentive to come back and play again.

There are four game modes, and up to four people can join in via Download Play. There’s Classic, Casual, Frenzy, and Mirror. Frenzy has a fast timer, while Mirror flips the top screen picture upside down. That’s all fine and good, but Dan McFox‘s staying power came from having a series of missions and online leaderboards. Why aren’t those things here as well? The best reason anyone could come up with for replaying Splat the Difference is to beat his or her own high score.


It’s tough to recommend Splat the Difference as a result of these omissions. I don’t suppose there are too many games of this kind on the Nintendo 3DS’s library and there is an arcade-like vibe when it comes to retrying for a better score. However people that don’t play games like these won’t find anything to enjoy here, and even those that do may have to wonder just how Splat the Difference could really last with the little incentive there is to come back to it.

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