App • Available from iTunes • 0.69p
Not since Angry Birds has there been a games app that has had such an impact on the app market place (50 million downloads) as Draw Something. It has been the key icon on the iTunes app store for weeks – not even the much anticipated Angry Birds Space managed to shunt it off the #1 slot, a fact that must have Angry Bird creators, Rovio spitting digital feathers!
Despite its strong presence at the app store, I had been resisting even downloading the free version of the game, particularly when I discovered that it wanted to access my Facebook account in order to function properly. At that time, I cancelled the download for fear of yet another programme with access to my information. I realise now that this was a foolish reservation, because the genius (and joy) of Draw Something is rooted in that functionality. Let me explain…
For those of you that have not played Draw Something, nor know how it works, the basic premise is a hi-tech version of the board game favourite Pictionary. Draw Something enables you to play the game remotely with your friends from Facebook. Once a game has been begun with a friend, the player chooses to draw one of 3 proffered word options, each of which has a different coin value (more on that later), and must set about trying to communicate that word pictorially. The drawing when complete is then sent to your friend’s mobile device who watches your artistic effort recreated, exactly as you drew it, stroke by stroke, in real time… It’s fascinating watching someone’s thought process unfold, observing them erase their mistakes or even start over from scratch when things descend a little too far into the indiscernable realms of the expressionistic.
The aim is of course to provide your gaming partner with an illustration from which (s)he can discern the correct word, formed from some (not all) of 12 letters beneath the ‘drawing’ zone. For each correct guess, you both win the coin value of the word and these coins can be cashed in, when amassed, to buy colour palettes to extend your options and further your creativity.
The game is seriously addictive, sometimes challenging, and often funny. I am frequently surprised by the ways in which my friends interpret words and the way they bring them to life. It offers an insight to the way their minds work and how they perceive the world around them. Asides from the fact it can be played by all ages, I’m in no doubt that this is the key to Draw Something‘s great success, in that it connects you with your friends in a totally unique way. In a world that is increasingly digital and often alienating, OMGPOP the game’s creators have developed an app which utilises the world’s biggest social network infrastructure to bring people together in a surprisingly revealing and altogether human way.
And on that final esoteric note, I leave you with a drawing I prepared earlier… to quote the legendary Rolf Harris, “Can you guess what it is yet?”