You already know if you like “photo hunt” games if you’ve ever played ESPN Cameraman, which for some reason is now called ESPN Zoom Cameraman (gosh that sounds so much cooler!). Traditional photo hunts have you examining two seemingly identical photos for really subtle differences and can be so frustrating that you just want to reach out and choke the crap out of someone, but at the same time they can be pretty fun when you’re looking in all the right places.
PixPop… which comes in several varieties, Dogs being one of them… is kind of like a photo hunt but without so much built-in rage. It’s a kinder, gentler photo hunt that shows only ONE photo and your mission is to tap the parts of the pic that match the partial photo tiles on the side of the screen. You can’t tell just by looking, but the photos are already pre-divided in a grid-like fashion so if you tap on the right piece it will match the corresponding tile exactly.
This may sound hard in theory, but certain photos can be super easy while others will drive you up the frakkin wall; it all really depends on how repetitive the photo’s patterns are. In PixPop Dogs it’s usually not too hard to find the right tiles, and if you’re really having a tough time you can tap a little cheat button to have a tile’s location revealed.
So if it’s that easy, what’s the point of playing? Umm… glory and attention on the worldwide scoreboard. Duh!
PixPop as a whole isn’t the fanciest app you’ll ever see, but it’s got a great scoreboard that shows local scores, best worldwide scores today, and the best all-time scores. In Competition mode you get 180 seconds to rack up as many points as you can by searching out as many tiles as you can, and certain tiles are worth more than others. Finding the matching tiles may be relatively easy, but climbing to the top of the leaderboard isn’t.
If the pressure of competition is too much to handle ‘cuz you’re a gigantic wuss, there’s also a Zen mode which lets you set the total time limit from 10 seconds up to eternity, and there are several game parameters you can customize such as number of tiles to match per photo and how many hints (cheats) you get.
Spinapse, Inc. has put together a pretty good app here and it’s a nice alternative to the more hardcore photo hunts (ie: ESPN) that cause so much violent frustration in this world. The overall game design is kind of blah, but the gameplay itself is great and you can listen to the iPod while playing, so I’m gonna give PixPop a thumbs up! If you like the game concept but photos of cute dogs and puppies make you want to vomit, the other flavors this game comes in are Extreme Sports, Art, and Around the World, and as you can see in the price image above there’s also a free version to try out.