The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
For a game that's so simple,
Draw Something 2 has been hard to review. The game's core concept - sending
pictures back and forth between your friends and guessing what they represent -
is so simple that it's really hard to change it in any meaningful way. To boot,
it's not even a new concept; all the original Draw Something did was create a
mobile and social implementation of the classic board game Pictionary. That's
not to denigrate OMGPOP's work on the original game. It was a clever interface
that took great advantage of Facebook, the iPhone's touchscreen, and
asynchronous multiplayer gameplay. Like millions of people, I was pretty
addicted to Draw Something when it first released. Then, like many, I grew
tired of the experience and drifted off to other mobile games.
With the release of the sequel,
the question is: "Can Draw Something 2 bring back lapsed players?" Despite the
many new features, the answer to that question is "No." However, avid players
will find that OMGPOP and Zynga have added some intelligently designed
interface options as well as some interesting social functions.
The drawing interface has been
improved with some nice new tweaks (like a slider than scales your pen or brush
size) and is generally cleaner and more useful than the first game's. The
developers have also targeted more advanced artists with a host of new stamps,
brushes, and pens to unlock. Pattern pens lay down stripes or checkerboard
patterns, and you can even buy a pixel pen with in-game currency to create your
own 8-bit style art. Users with the requisite art skills and the will to either
grind or pay for these new tools will be able to create some impressive art. Unfortunately,
people like me, whose art skills peaked in 6th grade, won't be able to take
advantage of much of the new functionality. Also, both the paid and free
version of the game nickel-and-dimes players by putting many of the cooler
tools behind a paywall. Obviously, you could spend the time to grind for the
in-game coins, but it's going to take a long time to get everything this game
The new social functions are
interesting. Your home page is now an Instagram-style feed which shows off
artwork done by your friends, other players, and celebrities like Carly Rae
Jepsen. Seeing the high-quality and elaborate artwork that skilled players can
accomplish with all of the tools unlocked in the game is great. You can also
easily share your pictures to your own "My Drawing" gallery, or quickly post
them to Facebook or Twitter.
One of the big problems with
Draw Something was the annoyance of friends who didn't do their part to keep
the match going. Now, there are community-wide daily drawing and guessing
challenges, which provide another way to earn coins when the people you are
engaged in matches with aren't being responsive. I also like the addition of a
random match function, which pairs you up with another active mystery player
from the game's servers.
In many ways, this is a quality
sequel. Despite that much of the new functionality must be unlocked through
grinding or paying for coins, there is a lot to chew on for dedicated players.
The new matchmaking and social functions also add a new level of engagement to
the experience. However, for those who quickly burned out on the first game,
I'm not sure this is enough to get them to pick up their virtual art pad again.
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.