Review – Draw Something

Draw Something

Version played : Free App for Android System (Samsung Galaxy)
Also available on : iOS software –(iPhone and iPad) and most other Android systems
Developer : OMGPOP
Released : February 1st 2012
Time played by reviewer : Too many hours than I would care to admit!

Draw Something is a game available to download to Apple iOS and Android system holders. In some App Marketplaces you can pay for the full game which costs around the region of 60-69p or you can download the free game. It was originally developed by OMGPOP and the game has just been bought by Zynga who are better known for their Facebook games such as Poker, Words With Friends, Farmville and Hangman, for a figure reported to be around the $200 million mark back in March 2012.

Draw Something is an extremely popular game and has been designed on the concept of the well-known board game, Pictionary.  The basic jist is that you create a game with someone. This can be a friend who’s Username you know, a friend from your Facebook contacts, or a random opponent. Then you are given an option of 3 objects to draw. The easiest is worth 1 coin, medium worth 2, and hardest worth 3. You select which object you would like to draw and then using your finger or a stylus (on some devices) draw the object using your range of colours. Then you submit the drawing for your opponent to guess, and they do the same in return. When you are guessing a drawing you have a bunch of letters at the bottom of the screen with the word of the object you are guessing jumbled in them. You get the option to shuffle the letters around and use a bomb to take away some letters that are not spelling the object.

There is not really any level of competitiveness in this, as it’s more a concept of working together to get the most amount of coins. As you collect more coins you can use them in the ‘store’ to buy more objects to choose from, more colours to use, or buy more bombs.  I have heard from some of my friends who have bought the app or have a ‘jailbroken’ iPhone (naughty naughty ;-)) that all the colours are at their disposal from the start. (where’s the fun in that?!)

It is a great game, so simple yet so addictive! I downloaded it for free a few weeks back now and I am completely addicted. It is quite worrying how often I am on this game. My other half will come home from work or re-enter the room and only has to look at the phone glued to my hand before uttering “Let me guess, Draw Something?”  My morning and evening routine has just gotten about 20 minutes longer now! I always check what is going on in the world on Twitter and Facebook before bed and when I wake up and now that includes Draw Something! So it literally is the first thing I do in the morning and last thing I do at night – now you tell me that’s not worrying?!

My games all consist of people that I know, through the wonderful world of Facebook/Twitter or my friends that I see regularly. I even got my Mum addicted on Mother’s Day (aren’t I just the best daughter?) My brother and I were playing it in the same room (sad I know) and her curiosity got the better of her so she downloaded it (with our help!!) and started playing. But (bless her heart) she is very frustrating to play against as 9 times out of 10 you will get a text minutes after submitting your drawing saying “I don’t get it, what is it? Xxxxxx” which kind of defeats the object!

One aspect of the game I really love is that you can see your opponent guessing your drawing, if you want to. Or if you are in a rush, you can skip it. But if I have the time I like to watch to see how soon they twigged to what I was drawing. I like the idea of it having a goal of collecting coins for colours etc as it gives the game a bit more purpose than just a drawing game. It is incredibly popular and I have gotten several people addicted, including someone I work with, which is lethal as we struggle to get the work done 😀

The game does have some hiccups though. Until you can buy more words with your own money (which I refuse to do, seeing as I downloaded it for free) or with the coins you earn in the game, you do get on a bit of a loop. For example I think I have drawn the word ‘director’ about 5 times already, and at least twice for the same person! So new words would be a very welcomed addition. What would also be a really awesome feature to the game is to have the instant messaging feature that you get in Words With Friends, it would be great to communicate with your opponent through this and ask for clues or kudos on a drawing you may be particularly proud of!

Another really frustrating aspect to the game is the colours you can buy with real money or the coins you earn. I spent a long time playing to get the 289 needed to buy a new colour palette. (I’m not exaggerating, even if I played only the hard words AND my opponent guessed them correctly every time it would take me around 96 games to earn those coins!) I bought a new palette and loved it, all the neon colours, and added interesting colours to my games, becoming the Android Van Gogh of our generation and creating masterpieces with the flair of a professional….or so I thought anyway! Soon enough I had earned another 289 coins to buy a new palette so went for the shades of brown package as I didn’t have any. But I was gutted to find out that it replaced what I had bought, and what I had started with. What was once a colourful palette is now black, 4 shades of brown, red and a yellow. Not happy doesn’t begin to cover it! I can confirm that after reading about it on the internet I discovered it is a bug and they are hoping a new update will fix it.

One other thing that does irritate me, and perhaps I brought it on myself for downloading the free version, is that the game often crashes. It will freeze and for me, the only way to get it or my phone to work properly is to take the phone apart and reinsert the battery. It becomes a little tiresome and there have been occasions where I have gone to resume a game and then thought ‘Nah, sod it, can’t be bothered to take the phone to pieces’ There has also been an incident recently where one of my friends games caused my phone to crash completely. No one else’s, just hers! I had to delete the game and get her to do the same thing so we could start over again, which was a sad moment as we had a successful streak of 23 going on! Guess I’ll have to play some more to make up for lost time…what a shame….

In conclusion : Draw Something is very addictive and OMGPOP should be proud of such a basic idea taking off so well. It is great fun to play with your friends and family. There are a lot of colours to choose from and in case you were struggling to think of reasons to play it, just working at getting enough coins to buy new colours is reason enough! If you are willing to invest some of your own money, I urge you to be careful as I really think new words, colours and bombs etc could be too easily bought! (Unless you have better self-control than me) I can really appreciate why the game has been a global success. One concern on everybody’s lips is “Will it still be around in a few months’ time?” I guess only time can tell. Although I accept it is still new and a bit of a baby in the game world, there are certainly teething problems. If you decide to go for the free app and can tolerate ads, phone crashing/freezing, repetitive words and sticking to one set of colours until the bug has been patched – then I would definitely recommend this game to you. It could be worth paying the 60-69p and see if it makes a difference to my game experience. Watch this space, I may well do that…..but if that happens and it is better, you may not see me for a while, I’ll be too busy thinking a way to get away with drawing Darth Vader in wacky colours…..


A Few Fun Facts :-

  • It is reported at peak times, Draw Something generates over 3,000 drawings per second
  • Over 6 billion drawings have been created so far
  • The free version is rated the number 1 game in 85 countries and has roughly 10.8 million daily users
  • It generates over $100,000 revenue in a 24 hour period

The CEO of OMGPOP says Draw Something was supported by advertising when it was first released and this gave around 40,000 downloads. Then word of mouth kicked in – the best market possible – and these 40,000 people got their friends playing. The rest is history…literally – Draw Something is officially the fastest growing mobile game of all time.

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