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eSoft Interactive Spot! and Earth Day – Palm OS Game Review

By: Mark Adkins
on July 8, 2008 8:19 pm

As I was a cruzin’ for new games, I found that eSoft Interactive, the home of one of my ‘All Time Favorite’ games, Traffic Jam, had several titles I had not seen before, including the previously reviewed Traffic Jam 2. I also asked for codes for a couple of other games that looked interesting- Earth Day, and Spot!, They were kind enough to provide codes for all of them.

My momma always said ‘if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all’. Thankfully, there are nice things to say about these two programs- they look really cool! On most Palms, especially those with larger screens, they really look great. Now, on to the rest of the story.

Spot! is a ‘spot the differences’ game, which is a bit limited by the small screen and resolution of a Palm. You really cannot make a ‘Where’s Waldo’ kind of game on this small field, so what we have is basically 2 small screens with nearly identical images. Each image appears to be in three layers- a background n(such as large, translucent watermelons), a foreground (like dozens of nearly identical pieces of pie), and a mid-ground where the items that are different hide (maybe some green apples). You have a strictly limited time to locate all of the items in the midground of the lower image and tag them.

alt="Spot 1"/>
alt="Spot 2"/>

[Seeing and tagging differences- the heart of the game.] Note the timer on the top edge- .06, counting down to .01- tight time limits are a big part of the challenge.

Spot has three ‘different’ games, and several fields. I leave it to you to determine how different everything is:

alt="Spot 3"/>
alt="Spot 4"/>
alt="Spot 5"/>
alt="Spot 6"/>

[Game Selection, and sample screens.]

A lot of work went into this game, but I am not sure who the audience is. It does not motivate me to try to win, my teens won’t bother with it, and younger kids seem frustrated by the time limits. I want SOOOO badly to end this by quoting Mary Poppins- “Spit Spot!” even though it does not quite make sense… but I am not sure the game does either.

Earth Day got my hopes up, but a.) I found it annoying to figure out the settings and controls, and b.) I’ve played this game before. It is basically a clone of Asteroids, with a bit of some other games that got into the teleportation chamber and fused their DNA together. “Help me!” indeed! (Yeesh. I am really going for the dorky movie quotes today, huh?)

alt="Earth Day 1"/>
alt="Earth Day 2"/>

[Point at'em and blow'em up]

This is not a bad game, just nothing that caught my attention in a good sense. The main thing I noticed was that the controls felt annoying no matter how I tried to reset them. Both games occasionally hung my Palm Tx up as well- but the poor Palm was already dying when I was trying the games, so it might not have been their fault.

alt="Settings"/>
alt="Control Panel"/>

[The control panel I never mastered]

Maybe it was just me, maybe I am too far outside the target audience for these games, but I was almost glad to see…

alt="Game Over"/>

 

Product Information

Price:9.95
Manufacturer:eSoft Interactive
Pros:
  • Good graphics
Cons:
  • Spot:
  • Too easy to find differences
  • Too hard to tap them in the allotted time
  • Earth Day:
  • Not very different than other games
  • Awkward controls

Comments

  1. 1
    Andrew Baker says:

    I’ve played spot, Fun game if you like looking at those images. Good way to kill some time. There are many pack addons for free on there website. Some are MUCH harder then the default pack that comes.

    I however do not like the fact you have to install them on main memory. Rather the expansion packs stay on the card.

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