Draw Something surfaced in late February of this year, and within days it became a top seller, going so far as to reach 50 million downloads in only fifty days. It has blown up all over pop culture, causing many people to abandon their endless Words with Friends games and opt for the quicker, more amusing thrills of drawing.
The game certainly has an appeal, but it’s not without its flaws. In fact, ask anyone whose played it for more than thirty minutes, and you’ll hear more than a fair share of grousing about the technical aspects. Truth is, Draw Something is a shoddy, shoddy app whose smart concept has somehow kept it afloat despite its shortcomings.
Luckily, gaming giant Zygna purchased OMGPOP, the small publisher of Draw Something, and soon we will be treated to a much-needed update. Rumor has it the next iteration will feature better social media integration, more words, and who knows what else.
I’m hopeful that Zygna will fix all the major problems, but in case they don’t, here are the major things that should be improved with the game.
Update: Timing is everything. Turns out Zygna released an update JUST TODAY fixing several of these issues. Yay! But still far from perfect…
10. Passwords that are actually protected.
If you create an account using your email, you’ll have to enter a password every time you log-in. This calls up a dialog box, and as is the protocol, the password, as it’s typed in, looks like a series of bullets (•••••••). However, once you press OK, your password in full, blinding text appears on the screen. Not only is this terribly insecure, but what if you have an embarrassing password like PENIS? I’m not saying that I do, but I can foresee a terribly uncomfortable situation for many people out there who decide to log on in mixed company.
9. Allow for linking of Facebook and email accounts
I don’t love automatically linking apps to my Facebook account because the last thing I want to do is suddenly clutter up everyone’s Timelines with inane updates about what article I read online or which nostril I just blew a booger out of (the left). Therefore, when I first downloaded DrawSomething in February, I created an account via email. Soon I accumulated many coins, which in turn became colors, and all was great in the world. But then I became jealous of my friends who linked with FB and had nifty profile pics. Plus, I realized that if I logged on via Facebook, I could find friends to play with much more easily. But here’s the problem, if you’ve created an account via your email, the app can’t always link it to your FB account. In fact, here’s what OMGPOP’s help section says:
“If you’ve already created an account vie email, and you want to play with your Facebook friends, you’ll have to log in with your Facebook account. If both your Facebook account and Email account share the same email address, our system will TRY and keep your existing email account games. ”
Yes, it will TRY. In other words, it will fail. Because that’s what happened to me. I had to start all over with my Facebook-linked account, and it’s taking me forever to get back to where I was before. FOR SHAME.
8. Incentivized streaks
When I first started playing Draw Something, I didn’t really get it. There was no timer, there were no points, and there seemed to be no end. And yet, with each passing turn, the app told me I was achieving a new record. What the? What was the point of this game? Eventually I realized the goal of the game is to have the longest guessing streak EVAR. That’s nice and all, but maybe there should be some incentive beyond pride to get a long streak. Maybe the longer your streak, the more coins you earn? Or perhaps there can simply be a leaderboard for bragging rights. Either way, there’s no real consequence to hitting “Pass” when you’re confused, which also means that once you’re out of bombs, there’s no point in buying more because who really cares if you can’t figure out the word? Raise the stakes!
7. More unlockables
Eventually, we’ll all buy all the colors, and then what? Bombs? Who cares about BOMBS? How about other unlockables? Different types of brushes: square, multi-pronged, textured. Maybe stamps (shapes, letters)? Or here’s an out-of-the-box idea (literally): an option to buy an expandable canvas. Don’t you hate running out of space? What if you can use coins to add on to your canvas, making parts accessible by swiping and scrolling? I think that would be just SWELL (and a welcome reprieve for us iPhone users whose fat fingers make everything super difficult).
6. Different Game Modes
Just to change it up, how about speed rounds? Maybe a mode where users can wager coins on a word? Change it up, homey!
5. Leave a Game Without Killing The App
This gameplay limitation drives me nuts. You’ve just watched someone guess your drawing or perhaps you’ve just guessed someone else’s drawing, and you don’t quite feel up to drawing just yet. Too bad! You can’t go play with someone else until you’ve drawn your drawing. The game is holding you hostage. The only way out is to exit the app entirely and “kill” it from the home screen. That hardly seems efficient. Please PLEASE add “Back to Main” options to the game.
4. Live Chat
This feature is supposedly on the way, but just in case it isn’t, this app sorely needs it. Users have creatively worked around the lack of live-chat by penning messages on their turn and then erasing them before starting up their drawing. That’s sort of fun, but laborious and very annoying for iPhone users like me. Let’s get some chat going. This game is ripe for it!
UPDATE: This has been fixed. Sort of. Users may now send a 100 character message to other users only AFTER they’ve submitted a picture or a guess. No trash talking during the process. Also, if you’d like to send a message after you’ve guessed another player’s picture, you have all of about three seconds to do so before the option is wiped away.
3. Stop Being Impossible
Has this happened to you?
This is a screenshot I took when I played against my friend Sly. As you can see, I was drawing “CANDY.” As you can also see, the game gave Sly ONLY TWO OF THE NECESSARY LETTERS. Now that’s just cruel. Stop being buggy, yo.
2. New Words, Pls
Speaking of words, we’d like some NEW WORDS PLEASE. Maybe I’m being naive in saying this, but it can’t be THAT hard to add some words into the database or array or whatever it is this app uses. Go to a dictionary or a magazine or the INTERNET and make a list of WORDS and then ENTER THEM IN. I swear to God, one time I guessed the word “Whiskers” and then the word I was given to draw was WHISKERS. That’s just lazy programming. Also, when entering these new words and phrases, be sure to spell them correctly. Gollum, for instance, is spelled incorrectly in the app as “Golem,” which is actually a mythical Jewish monster that perhaps may have a limited appeal.
1. Save drawings!
This is the number one request from everyone, and Zygna has promised to include it in the next update: saving pics to your phone! Currently, users have to take a screengrab in those few seconds between guessing a drawing and watching it scroll away into nothingness. The fact that OMGPOP never included a save option is reprehensible. At the very least let us savor the pics before wiping them clean off the screen! Luckily, Zygna will not only be allowing pics to be saved but shared too. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.
UPDATE This is fixed. Sort of. You can save and share your pics once you’re done drawing them. However, any incoming pictures may not be saved or shared, and furthermore, once a picture is guessed correctly, the app wipes it away, which means the guesser still doesn’t get a shot at taking in the final product, including those bits hidden behind the letters! Clearly, we need further refinement.
What are your problems with the app that you’d like to see addressed?