APP OF THE DAY: Draw Something review (iPhone/Android/iPad)
If mobile gaming is your thing, then you've probably found it difficult to avoid the chatter of the latest craze sweeping though Facebook and Twitter, thanks to this simple little game.
While some are talking about the instant hit it has proven to be and some are blown away by the $180 million purchase of OMGPOP by social gaming giant Zynga, we find ourselves revelling in the simplicity of this app. Yes, it's time for us to Draw Something.
Draw Something is a simple game that lets you pair up in a drawing game on your mobile phone. The aim of the game is to guess what your opponent is drawing. It is turn-based, so you're not reliant on both being online at the same time, making it well suited to casual mobile gaming.
To get playing all you have to do is signup. This can be done via Facebook, which will then produce the list of your Facebook friends also playing, so you can easily pick someone and get started. You can also email people, or tap in their username, if you happen to know it, so you can leave Facebook out of the equation if that concerns you.
Finally there is the random option, which pairs you up with a stranger. It's a game that always needs an opponent so it's great that you can play against anyone, but as far as we’re concerned, it's much more fun playing against people you know, because it will lead to plenty of banter in the real world.
In each round you are presented with a list of words, each of differing difficulty and you choose one to draw. You get to change the thickness of your pen and alter the colour, but that's about it, the rest is down to skill and vision.
Once you are done, the picture is sent to your opponent who watches you drawing it and guesses, with a selection of letters to tap, so it's not complete guesswork.
Once they've worked it out, the situation reverses – and you get to see how quickly they interpreted your artwork. If you're really geeky you can check out their stats too.
Like most mobile gaming hits, the secret is in the simplicity. It's not really a new concept, as fans of Pictionary will tell you, but it's one that works. It really is down to how well to can use a basic sketch to convey the right message.
But unlike Pictionary, where you have other players to police things, Draw Something doesn't. As a result, you may well find yourself playing against people who simply write the word. Sure, adding the word "moo" to a picture will probably be accepted, but drawing a box and writing "Google", when the answer is in fact Google, may come across as a little too obvious.
And the more you play, the higher the chance of coming across things you've seen before, or words you've drawn before - at which point it gets easier.
You also earn coins, which can be exchanged for more bombs or more colours. The bombs are used to blow up the letters you have to choose from, narrowing down the options and making it easier to guess.
We've tested Draw Something on Android, iPhone and iPad, although played predominantly on the Android version. Both free and paid-for versions are available, the latter costing 62p on Google Play, which is worth the investment as the adverts are a little intrusive and it's hardly expensive.
It's addictive, fun and so very easy. It can easily fill a couple of minutes on the bus, or while away a couple of hours on a sunny afternoon. Everyone's talking about it and it's easy to see why.