Review: Draw Something for iOS and Android
- — 19 March, 2012 23:00
|Name||Mobile game: Draw Something for iOS and Android|
|Summary:||A cute game, but the lack of competition gets boring after a while.|
In a short space of time - it seems like mere days - a little app by a developer called OMGPop has taken over the world. Draw Something is currently the most popular game on Facebook, and possibly the most popular game in the world. Everyone's talking about it.
Draw Something is simple - it's the classic game Pictionary, made for mobile devices. Rather than forming teams and competing against each other, though, Draw Something is two-player and more co-operative. At the start of a turn, you pick one of three words - one is labeled 'easy', one 'medium', and one 'hard'. Then you draw an image to represent whatever that word is. If the other player can correctly guess the image, both of you get rewarded with virtual coins. The higher the word's difficulty, the more coins you'll get.
Guessing the drawn image is made easier by eliminating freeform guesses. You try to guess the word that matches the drawn image based on available letters. There's only a limited selection of letters - enough to get the correct answer, and a handful more. You don't have the full alphabet to choose from. If you have enough coins, you can purchase bombs, which get rid of some of the letters you don't need in a given round and make it easier to guess. You can use your coins to buy additional colours for your drawings, too.
There's a paid version of the game which comes with 400 coins, 2,000 more words, and no ads, but there's also a free version. The free version makes money through advertising and microtransactions. If you need a certain colour, it's going to take a long time to save up enough coins to buy it. But you can just spend a couple of bucks and buy enough coins to unlock a pack of extra colours.
There's deep Facebook integration in Draw Something, but you don't have to use it if you don't want to. You can instead create a login with the app. If you choose to login through Facebook, however, you get the advantage of being able to start games easily with friends who are also playing. You can always invite others to play via email, though, or by entering their Draw Something username. However, you're unlikely to get as many friends to play with you as you would using Facebook. There are obviously privacy risks, but if you're comfortable giving some of your information away, matchmaking is markedly improved.
The great thing about Draw Something is that you don't have to be a good artist. Almost everyone is terrible, although some are worse than others, for a very good reason. The touchscreen input doesn't exactly allow for accurate pictures, especially when you only have a few colours at your disposal to start with (black, blue, red and yellow). And the words can get pretty difficult - trying to draw 'Macarena' or 'Snooki' in a way that can be interpreted by another person is fairly challenging.
Almost everyone likes to draw, therefore Draw Something is a lot of fun. The lack of competition makes it a little less exciting. It's co-op, but it's not like you're jointly defeating some vicious enemy. You're just quietly helping each other collect more coins and unlock more stuff. Of course, making a game like Draw Something competitive would be difficult with just two players: it would be too easy to sabotage one another. It's probably better that it's structured the way it is, but it gets boring after a while.
Draw Something is polished, and it looks the same both on an iPad or on an Android phone. It also seemed stable, as it never crashed on either device and didn't lag even once. It's a fun, popular game based on an old idea, recreated for new technology. However, we suspect that in a few weeks' time, Farmville will have reclaimed its place at the top of the casual gaming heap. That's if Zynga doesn't buy Draw Something first.