Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. These are some of the feelings I had when playing Spot the 3 Differences! these past few days. The game is the first for YouTuber turned Indie @ZackScott and you can download it for free on PC starting today. Such a career choice isn’t unprecedented in the industry. Zack following in the footsteps of creators like Pewdiepie and Tobuscus, who both managed to dabble in game development on top of their day-to-day jobs.
While most modern video games use elaborate fantasy backdrops to tell their story, Spot the 3 Differences! takes place in Scott’s office. But things aren’t as simple as they seem on the surface. Half of the video game takes place in an alternative dimension, where aspects of the otherwise completely ordinary landscape are transformed in some way. The objective of the adventure harkens back to the title, and serves as the central theme as everything unfolds.
I only had a few days to play this, so the stress was certainly there to get this done. Starting on the left side of each individual photo, I studied the cushions of both the black chair and the brown couch far back in the distance. The reflections of the light were my first guess as to what was different between the two pictures, but it ended up being a dead end. I had my suspicions about the shadows that envelop the right side of the photo, and hang over the top of Zack’s head across the back of the room. Again, I had no luck finding anything worth pursuing from that aspect.
Then it hit me. Was Spot the 3 Differences! even about Zack’s room at all? I looked back at the top of the photo for answers. There it was, right in front of me the whole time. “A game by @ZackScott,” read the second half of the title. The answer was Zack himself. This was the big break I needed. Observing the figure in the center of the room finally, my eyes were drawn to the pigmentation on Zack’s shirt. One was green, and the other was blue. At last, I unlocked one of the differences. Looking at each of the photos deeper, I came across a second difference. There was a third eye on the right photo. How clever! Game developers tend to add subtle commentary and messaging to their titles, and clearly this was one of those times.
I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you in this review, but it all comes together by the time the credits roll. You can make the game last 20 hours if you want, but many gamers will probably clock in something under that. Surprisingly, Spot the 3 Differences! manages to run at a consistent 60 FPS. I was tempted to see if my NVIDIA card would push that even further, but I didn’t want to risk crashing the game during my run.
The only available language for the game at the time of launch is English, which is disappointing to say the least. Big limitation on the potential for this in international markets. Diversity isn’t this game’s strong suit either, as the only person featured is a white male. It’s 2017 for goodness sake, the casting could’ve used a bit of a shake-up. It passed the Australian Ratings Board, thankfully. There were concerns that they might confuse Zack’s third eye as a sideways vagina or a nipple, but thankfully the issue never came up in their look at the product.
Zack wanted me to stress in my review that “this is a totally free game with no micro-transactions,”but there’s still no word on post-launch DLC, prequels, sequels, or movie tie-ins as of yet.
This post is a joke, based on this tweet by Zack.
I just made a game. I am now a game dev. Journalists hit me up for a review copy. pic.twitter.com/4ArbIuX6Sv
— ZackScott (@ZackScott) March 16, 2017