Find the Bug

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JohnBFind the Bug is a set of four flash-based spot-the-difference games by Ketevan Iakobishvili and Manfred Weber. Each game in the trio has a different set of themed images—nature, space, and classic paintings. You are given one out of dozens of images paired with a slightly altered version. It's your job to spot the five differences and click them before time runs out.

Find the BugThe game works with a simple scoring system based on how quickly you find the changes. Incorrect guesses take a chunk of your time away, so you can only afford to make one or two mistakes. When you find all five alterations your remaining time is added to your score and you proceed to another picture. The images are random, but the farther you progress the faster the time decreases. You have three "freebies" you can use at any time to reveal differences, but use them wisely.

Find the Bug is not Where's Waldo or Sesame Street's "One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other" game. It pulls some really sly Photoshop tricks to make you do everything but pixel hunt to find what's been changed. The images range from extremely difficult to moderately challenging, but none of them are laughably easy. The good news is that after playing (and losing) several times, images will repeat and you'll remember where the differences are located. The more you play, the easier the game is and the better your score.

Although the idea certainly isn't a new one, Find the Bug has a very clean and interesting interface. Catchy music loops in the background and the images are always fun to look at. The website also has a memory matching game using the same style as the Find the Bug games. Good for when you just can't compare another set of pictures.

Here's a few tips to get you started with Find the Bug:

  • Don't focus on finding something "wrong" in an image, as the alterations almost always blend in.
  • The best way to compare the pictures is to look at a small area and dart your eyes back and forth between the images. Methodically move through each set to get a better score.
  • Look at the negative space and overall shape of objects in each image.
  • A few common alterations: subtle changes of shadow, lengthening/shortening of objects, slight color changes, objects move in front of/behind other objects.
  • Don't look for the same defect twice. For example, if a petal on a flower is missing, don't waste time looking for more missing petals.

Find the bugs, or else.

Play Find the Bug

Thanks to Stebu for sending this one in!


The easiest way to spot the differences is to cross your eyes so the pictures align and see where the images don't perfectly mesh...a bit straining but boy you find what's wrong uber fast.

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Matthew J. Dugger April 21, 2006 9:56 PM

Here's a tip: cross or unfocus your eyes until the two images overlap, kind of like you're focusing on a stereoscopic pair, and the differences between the two images will stand out as blurry, shimmering spots in an otherwise perfect image. This takes a lot of the fun out of it, as it's almost too easy, but it's a good way to impress someone :P.

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Ulg, found this last week, I think, and it totally ate up the rest of my day. Very Addicting, I never got past the third level, even after memorizing a lot. Some puzzles are easy, some much harder, and the game doesn't distinguish. The timer is the only difference btwn levels.

I would've liked an option to turn the music off, but it's not too bad (and maybe I just missed that!). Great game, great review.

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I've been reading your site for a few months now Jay, and have enjoyed the benefits of your great taste in games. Thanks for many an enjoyable diversion! I loved this one particularly, but I wish there was a way to see what I missed on the ones I could never get!

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One of the puzzle seems to really have a bug in it. I find a noticable difference, and it is DEFINITELY one of them. I click and it gives me an error. Next time I tried using the joker, and it didn't even give me a circle but let me pass! Besides that however, after level 5 it's just plain impossible to do new puzzles without using jokers.

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actually, my mistake. The puzzle (marketplace) does seem to give me 5 circles... except that there's a 6th error

right in the middle, that small yellow thing in the black background


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I think the nature game is easier than the other two. Classic art is harder than space.

For me, at least.

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Oh great. Now that I finally forgot about the game, it pops up here. >
So addictive!

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Zarif999 April 23, 2006 4:16 AM

Here's a little tip for all you people who can't seem to cross your eyes

Take two pieces of A4 paper an roll it into tubes, then put it over your eyes, then move them so you get a clear picture of both pictures
Yes, I know you'll look like an idiot, but it really helps

P.S.:I haven't tried it yet, I've only read it somewhere

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I find Space to be the easiest. However, I noticed one of the pictures is a blown up section of another picture which really put me off.

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Create a Photoshop macro that copies left picture on top of the right one and set layer mode to "difference". The resulting image will be black except from the differing areas.

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