21 March 2012

OMGPOP and Draw Something

My daughter C1 introduced me to the gaming site OMGPOP several months ago. C1 and her siblings all signed up and played for a couple weeks but eventually abandoned it. Although there were a few fun games, none of their friends were playing. When I played, it almost seemed as if the other users of the site were NPCs rather than real people so I didn't stick around long, either.  Imagine my surprise when I found that the game C1 has been playing obsessively on her iPod Touch these days is Draw Something, a game from OMGPOP that has been ported to iOS, Android, and Facebook.  It has caught so much attention that Zynga is now interested in buying OMGPOP. This news prompted me to give the site another look.

I spent about an hour poking around the OMGPOP site and found that I still don't like it much. While the graphics are engaging, most of the games are brightly colored takes on game concepts like match-3 and solitaire with no new twists added. None of my online friends play on this site and playing with strangers wasn't much fun. Since the last time I played, OMGPOP has added an option where you can post a link on Twitter or Facebook to get your friends to play. I tried that but didn't get any takers from my feeds, just random OMGPOP players. The only way I see myself revisiting this site is if Zynga buys it. Many of my Facebook friends are Zynga-loyal, so I imagine I could find others to play with me once Zynga puts their PR machine to work.

My experience with Draw Something was more pleasant. The game is basically like Pictionary between two people. You can invite one of your friends or let the game match you with a random opponent. When it is your turn to draw, you get a choice between three words and each word has a coin value. You draw the word with your finger on the touchscreen and send it to your friend. If your friend guesses it, you get the coins for that word. You are given a basic palette of colors but you can spend the coins you earn to buy more colors. I didn't have any trouble finding people to play with and it is fun to see the word picture being drawn rather than being presented with the completed picture all at once.  Although I couldn't get the Facebook version of the game to load, the Android and iOS versions worked fine for me. If you log in with your Facebook info, then your games follow you from device to device. I prefer playing the game on my Android tablet just because it gives me a bigger screen to draw on. This game almost makes me wish I had my old Palm back with its stylus so my drawings would be more accurate.

I would definitely recommend skipping the site and downloading Draw Something to one of your devices instead. It is the best of the OMGPOP bunch.

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