Social Gaming Goes Visual with Draw Something — iPad App Review

Yesterday All Things D broke the news that Zynga bought Draw Something developer OMGPOP for $180 million, plus an additional $30 million in “employee retention payments.” The acquisition speaks to game’s rapid ascension; it’s an unqualified success. Draw Something has topped both Apple’s free and paid game charts, with about 250,000 people playing the game each day.

Chances are that if you aren’t playing Draw Something already that you will be. The game combines Words With Friends-style social game play with the old school fun of Pictionary.

Initially players have the choice to sign in with Facebook or create a username and start a game outside the giant social network’s umbrella.

At the start of the game the player has the choice of three words, with easy, medium, or hard levels of difficulty. Three coins are awarded to the player if the opponent guesses the hard word correctly, followed by two coins for a medium word, and one coin for an easy word. If you don’t like your words, use a bomb to get new choices.

Drawing the word is easy enough. Players begin with black, red, yellow, and blue as well as several settings for line thickness. Players in the paid version begin with 400 coins which they can use to buy more colors.

While guessing players can use a bomb hint to get rid of extra letters. The game keeps track of each team’s winning streak. As long as you both guess correctly the game will award you coins and tell you that your work is “Drawsome.” Guess wrong, and you get nada. Players can also pass, though it’s rarely necessary unless you’re playing with either an extremely young (or lazy) opponent.

Draw Something has the inherent flexibility of iOS, so topics are timely. The game is just as likely to suggest drawings of Jeremy Lin or Justin Bieber as it is to offer Elvis as a suggestion.

Players can start guessing as soon as the drawing begins, but clever artists can obscure the meaning of an obvious word until the last moment. When drawing a door knob, for example, the artist could draw an entire house, with garden, and children playing in the yard, then at the last moment draw a knob on the front door with an arrow pointing to it. The artists ability to play with the context of the word they are drawing adds to the fun.

Families who are sharing a device will want to note the password that OMGPOP sends in the welcome email since they will be signing in and out of the app.

Download Draw Something for $0.99 from the App Store, or try out the free version of this universal app. The paid version includes more words than the free version, and players begin with 5 hints in addition 400 coins.

What I liked: Players don’t have to be great artists to make the game fun. While the game is easy to play on the small screen, it was great to have the iPad’s larger canvas on which to work.

What I didn’t like: Users who play multiple games at once may get similar words from different opponents, which makes the game a little too easy. Features that allow players to chat and share a completed drawing are purported to be underway, and both options would enhance the gaming experience.

To buy or not to buy: What are you waiting for? Everyone you know is probably already playing. Whether you choose the free version or the paid version, Draw Something is a must-try for all iDevice users.

  • App Name: Draw Something
  • Version Reviewed: 1.4.1
  • Category: Games
  • Developer: OMGPOP
  • Price: $0.99, free
  • Score:
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About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite