Draw Something: Why Can’t You Purchase Colors in the Shop?

Note: since this article was originally published, Draw Something was updated to actually let you purchase colors from the shop. I’m sure it was a direct result of this article =)

Draw Something (iTunes link) is the new hotness for mobile phones.  If you aren’t familiar, it’s basically turn-based Pictionary.  Player 1 draws something, player 2 sees the drawing (it’s animated so you can watch the person draw the picture, which is pretty cool) and guesses the word.  Pretty straightforward stuff.

As is the case so often for mobile apps these days, it’s a freemium app that tries to get you to purchase things with “coins”, the in-game currency.  What can you purchase with coins?  Two things.  You can get bombs that help you either get a new set of words to draw, or more colors to add to your palette.

UX-wise, there’s not a whole lot going on in Draw Something, so it’s pretty solid.  I do get a little frustrated when drawing, because it always seems to default to a bigger size of brush than I want, though that’s not a major issue.

There’s just one thing that makes me scratch my head.   Continue reading

MiniTroopers: Mini is More

MiniTroopers has the right formula: simplicity. Cut the fat and present the player with a limited set of meaningful choices and your product becomes easier to grasp and enjoy. Hit the link above and be ready for a casual gaming treat. Forget signing up, screw password strength and nagging terms of use – the terms are easy: you, fun, now. Continue reading

Kinect Sports: A New World Record!

A New World Record!

Earning a new world record in my first Kinect Sports track & field event...

Kinect Sports: Season One is an entertaining, if not terribly deep, game.  Among the things that I appreciate about the game is the inclusion of “World Records” in all of the track and field events.  There’s five track and field events, and pretty much the first time you successfully complete one of them, you’re going to break the world record.  You get a little bit of extra applause from the crowd, a dramatic replay set to the epic Chariots of Fire theme, and a short chance to bask in the glory of your easily-earned success. Continue reading

NHL 12: Curse of the Abbreviation

OHL team home

There are a lot of abbreviations there...

Here’s an interesting problem I’ve had with NHL 12 – while playing the Be a GM mode, primarily I like to play as the NHL team. I’d say, probably a fair guess that most other people do too. But occasionally I do like to drop into an OHL team game for various reasons. Sometimes I want to see how well a prospect does, sometimes I just want to try and help out the team when playing a tough opponent.

However, finding out who are tough opponents isn’t always as easy as you might think. Continue reading

Mass Effect 2: The Galaxy Map Offers Information When You Need It

Mass Effect 2's Galaxy Map

Mass Effect 2's Galaxy Map

I’m a latecomer to the Mass Effect party, so I had the chance to play Mass Effect 2 immediately after playing the original.  This gave me a good look at how things changed between the two games.  Other than getting rid of the Mako (a frustrating to control tank-like vehicle), my favorite upgrade in ME2 was the galaxy map.

The galaxy map in Mass Effect is used, as you might imagine, to pilot your ship around the galaxy.  In the original game, while the main story locations were indicated on the map, there were lots of side missions and other smaller quests that weren’t listed.  So if you wanted to go take care of a side mission, you would have to read about where you needed to go in another menu, and come back to the galaxy map and try and locate the place. Continue reading