Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Draw Something

Draw Something: This is a game you can get on your cell phone and possibly other platforms.  It's basically a version of Pictionary in which you pick a word from three choices (supposedly one easy choice, one medium and one hard).  You then draw something on your phone and your teammate then attempts to guess what you've drawn.  Sounds like fun and is mildly entertaining but it has several problems.  First of all, it isn't much of  a game as far as games go.  It's too easy.  There really isn't anyone you are competing against and there don't seem to be any rules.  When you guess a word, it gives you a selection of letter tiles to choose from and it tells you how many letters are in the answer.  You can then guess as many times as you'd like with those letters.  I find that often I can guess the word before my co-player even begins drawing.  There's no penalty for guessing wrong and there's no time limit.  There is a 'hint' button that will remove some of the extra letter tiles to narrow down your choices, but I've never had to use it.  (Though I've accidentally used it several times as the button for it is right next to the letters and it's easy to mishit it.) Getting correct answers earns you coins (1 coin for an easy word, 2 for medium, 3 for hard), but there isn't much you can do with the coins.  You start out with a limited number of color choices to draw with and you can buy new colors with your coins.  However, once you've bought two of the packs of colors you now have every color you'd ever need.  So gaining further coins doesn't help or gain you anything.  Because there is nobody you are competing against, there's also nobody to keep you from cheating.  You can draw pictures, but you can also write words.  (Which would seem to be against the spirit of "drawing something" but there's nobody to stop you.) I've seen others playing rounds in which they've all but written out the word to be guessed.  To give an example (which I'm making up on the spot but is pretty accurate to what I've seen), if the word was "Santa" I've seen people write, "Chris Kringle".  The words you get to pick from are pretty decent, though often the hard word isn't hard at all and the medium words are often laughably easy.  Sometimes the hard words are people's names and unless you are really up on current pop culture you may find you don't even know who some of them are.  But no worries you can just pick one of the other two words.  If you want to play for free you can download a version with ads in between turns.  The pay version is only a dollar and gives you 400 coins for free.  Which serves the purpose of making the collection of coins pointless that much quicker.  The pay version is also supposed to give you 1000+ more words than the free version, but either that's a lie or the game's algorithm for choosing words is very poor.  I've had the same word appear in multiple games and I've even had the same words appear in the same game. Finally the game also has issues with updating.  My phone will alert me that it's my turn in a game but then when you open the game or click on the notice to that it opens the game, nothing happens.  So, you know that it's your turn, but the game won't let you take it and there is no button you can push to force it to update.  If the game sounds like something you might like, I would suggest playing the free version for as long as it takes for you to get tired of it.  Also, I would suggest you avoid writing words and actually draw something.

Draw Something: C-

Addendum: Talking today with some friends I was reminded of a thought I'd had previously.  Draw Something is like hangman with pictures.  But instead of just six wrong guesses you get 26.

Second Addendum: In Draw Something's defense, there have been several updates and the game now seems to run and update smoothly.  The general problems with game play still exist.

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