Draw it iOS Review

Developer: Kwalee  Genre: Puzzle  Players: 1  Age Rating: 4+  Requires: iOS 10.0 or later 

Tested On: iPhone 5C  Price: Free  In-App Purchases: Yes

Draw it is a quick and easy-to-get-in-to drawing challenge game, in which you are pitted against 3 other opponents – supposedly from somewhere around the world – and need to draw an image based on one of two word choices that appear on the screen, the AI then needing to guess correctly what you have drawn, this happening in quick succession.

As an example, “Pear” and “Star” might appear on-screen, and you need to draw a picture of one of those as quickly as possible; once you have drawn either image and the AI has guessed what it is correctly, more words will appear for you to draw and so-on, until the timer runs out. The player who draws the most within the very short time limit wins. What you win is a collection of coins – the higher you rank out of 4, the more coins you win, and the player to draw the most images winning the most coins.

Draw either word, and let the AI guess!

These coins are then used to buy various word packs, such as fruit, animals, shapes, clothes, sports etc, allowing the game to pick a wider variety of random words for you to draw. You press a button to spin a series of icons with pictures representing the word packs, and whatever word pack that it lands on is what the game will now be able to start choosing from. At most I was given two spins, allowing me to unlock two word packs at a time.

As you win more coins you also begin to level up; levelling up will reward you with new word packs for you to buy, with there being 58 word packs available to collect in total.

Draw it is a fun, fast-paced, free-to-play game in which you don’t need to be Picasso in order to play. As long as your drawing looks almost like its real-life counterpart, the AI will mostly guess correctly what it is you have drawn.

I do say Draw it is ‘fast-paced’; however, a huge drawback is the fact that the game is bogged down by ads. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem you can buy the game outright and own it without ads, and, if I have researched correctly, you need to subscribe. I’m not overly familiar with mobile games, so perhaps this is a regular occurrence for many gaming apps, but it seems that if you subscribe and own the game long term, you really won’t get much bang for your buck, especially once you have collected all of the word packs, and especially if the developers don’t add new content.

Sometimes you’ll be given a ‘tempting’ discount price to remove “non-optional ads”; there’s a VIP option that allows you to remove ads, and which you can try for free, but only for 3 days, when after it becomes £4.99 per week – I pay less for Netflix! For a monthly subscription the VIP will cost £13.49. You can also buy a one-off in-app purchase at £2.99 for “1 Remove Ads”, which I assume will remove ads for one playthrough, though I’m not sure about this.

Whatever the case, for what’s on offer, the prices are steep, and, as far as I can tell, there’s no one-off option to buy the game and keep it without having to pay for anything else in-game ever again. Playing the game for free does become a bit of a chore, as the ads are very intrusive; if you struggle to draw any of the two given words, there’s an option to skip for some fresh words, though you’ll instead be treated to a 30 second ad, mid-game. You can even earn more skips at the cost of an ad.

If you want to earn the second spin when unlocking a new word pack, you’ll be treated to another ad. There’s also an ad when you finish each round, and a banner ad always blinking across the bottom of the screen, taking up potential drawing room. Sometimes the ads can be skipped, though if you’re looking to quickly play another round, having to wait for an ad to load – possibly crashing the game – run for 30 seconds, and then load back to the game, can be a cause for frustration when you just want to play. The game is very much the definition of a cash-grab.

The game is very overpriced; £4.99 per week??

The game itself can also be quite laggy, giving other ‘players’ the advantage to draw more images and win. The ranking is also unfair, as even if you draw with another player, you’ll be placed below them on the scoreboard. The AI that guesses what you are drawing can also be a bit dumb. There are times when I’ve been tasked with drawing a simple line, and it will guess that I have drawn a leg… how?? There will also sometimes be a delay in when the AI guesses a drawing correctly, and you could be wasting a couple of valuable seconds waiting for the correct guess to show on-screen before you can move on.

As for actually drawing images, depending on how large your phone screen is, you might have a bit of trouble using your fingers to accurately draw something. I tried flipping my phone on its side, hoping the game could be played in wide-mode, but unfortunately it can’t. I resorted to using a stylus pen, which is the only thing I had to hand, though at least the game gives another good use for Nintendo’s styluses, which would offer more accuracy.

Overall, I persevered with Draw it, and managed to unlock 26/58 word packs. At first, admittedly I was enamoured with the game; it is fun and fast-paced and, like a lot of mobile games, very addictive. But after ad after ad after ad, that can last longer than each round of the game itself, my interest has waned, and I am not willing to pay for anything in the game, because what’s on offer isn’t worth it.

Plus it is very obvious the other players are not real; I haven’t played one game yet in which a player has steered away from the rules and drawn something obscene. Perhaps the odd player might be a real person; you’d expect at least one real player out of the current 38,600 people that have downloaded the game.

I am aware Draw it suffers from a lot of issues that must plague other gaming apps, so even excluding the constant barrage of ads, lagging, and other issues, there is very little here, except only bragging rights about how good at drawing you are, and even then that is more than likely to an AI that couldn’t care less. You’d probably have more fun playing a few hours of Pictionary with drunk family and friends.