By March 20, 2012

Draw Something: A Sketch Game for Android and iOS

Draw Something by OMGPOP is a great game. You and a partner take turns drawing or guessing words. The game is done entirely over the Internet, and is a ton of fun.

This review will be about the Android version, but I have seen my pals play the iOS version so there will be a little bit of discussion about that as well.

You choose to draw one of three words, each word increasing in difficulty. The easiest words are worth one coin; the most difficult are worth three.

There are several brushes thicknesses to choose from. The default brush is a little too thick for detailed drawing. I wish there was a way to set defaults, such as what brush to use and the default color.

You start the game with a limited set of colors. Certain colors important for drawing things easily, such as orange, are not included in the default color palette.

You get as much time as you want to draw or guess the word. This is nice for folks who get stressed out by games like Hoopla. You are working cooperatively with your partner, so no competitive stress like Pictionary or similar games.


I’m guessing Fluid’s doodle

A neat thing about Draw Something is the playback feature. You can watch your partner try to guess your word.

Sometimes the results are funny:

but you can also use the replay to determine how your partner thinks about drawings, and if they are guessing your drawings easily or not. I have about fifteen games going at the same time, and it’s helpful to map out who is an imaginative guesser and who needs more realistic sketches.


Sedagive? getting the job done.

As I mentioned before, coins are earned by completing challenges. You can also buy coins for real money. Coins are then used to buy more bombs or to buy additional colors. I strongly recommend that you use your coins for colors. One of the reasons I used my bombs up early in my play sessions was because my partner lacked colors that would have made the sketch more obvious.

Draw Something requires an account. You can create your own account using an email address and a password, but the most useful method is integrating with Facebook. I normally dislike attaching my Facebook profile to a game, but Draw Something doesn’t spam your stream with “DrFaulken just played a game of Draw Something!” or similar. Spotify does this, and I hate it.

Integrating with Facebook allows you to easily determine which friends already have Draw Something installed. This avoids something else I dislike about Facebook games: I feel like I get several requests to join Facebook games a day, and it’s annoying. You can invite people to play Draw Something if you want to, but the default method is to browse friends with the game already installed. It’s a nice opt-in way to find playmates as opposed to the spam-centric method most games employ.

There is a free version and a paid version. The paid version adds another 2000 words and gives you four (maybe five?) bombs. The game is a dollar for either the Android or iOS version. I believe the iOS version works on both the iPhone and iPad, so you’ll get the benefits of a full-screen app on your iPad.

A few glitches and bitches

First off, the Android version doesn’t have notifications. This means that you have to keep checking in with the app to see if it’s your turn. This sucks, especially since the iOS version gets notifications like any other app.

I’ve noticed quite a word repeat. I bought the app for a buck, which gave me 400 coins as well as another 2000 words. I think the repeats happen when I play people with the free version. It is amusing to see different people draw the same thing, but I’d rather have a larger dictionary of terms. Hell, I’d even buy a bigger list, either with game coins or in real world coins.

I’d like to be able to save and rewatch the replays. It’s a lot of fun watching people guess, and sometimes I’d like to show my other pals how a session went. It would be even better if you could share replays on Facebook or similar, and would also help promote the game.

You don’t start out with many colors. I think green and orange are missing, which can be pretty important if you have to draw “money” or “orange.” You can “buy” colors with in-game coins, which is no problem. My gripe is that you buy entire packs of colors, and they quickly add up. My friend Big Dubb has all of the colors, and it’s a pain in the ass to swipe through them all. It would be better if a user could set five or so colors in a “my favorites” palette.

Speaking of favorites, it would be nice to be able to set defaults for the size of the brush and the size of the eraser.

Lastly, bugs show up every now and then. I use a security feature on Facebook that only allows certain computers to access my account. If an unknown device uses my Facebook credentials I have to enter a randomly-generated code to authorize it. I had to do this with Draw Something, and it was no big deal.

Except that Draw Something has a bug, and every once and awhile I not only have to login into Facebook again but I have to enter the secret code. It sucks, especially if I’m playing on my mobile phone and have to jump back and forth from Draw Something to the text message containing the one-time code.

Weirdness is not limited to the Android OS, however. Here’s a weird screenshot:

The weird thing is that that’s dynamite, but the right letters aren’t there. What’s even more odd is that the right letters were present in the actual game session, but the replay Big Dubb saw showed something different. Sedagive? was able to correctly guess the challenge and their streak is unbroken.

Conclusion

All in all, Draw Something is an amazing app. Despite the lack of notifications on the Android version, I’m super happy that this is a cross-operating system game. I like being able to play games with my friends, no matter if they are on their iPhone, Kindle Fire, or Galaxy Nexus. You hear that, app developers? It’s not just about having an app for each ecosystem, it’s acknowledging that our friends may own different devices yet we still want to play together.

Draw Something is an absolute bargain at $0.99 and I recommend that anyone who appreciates a modicum of fun pick it up.

Strongly recommended

Android version

iOS version

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