Draw Something and the hottest new apps for iPhones, iPads and Android devices

Mar 15, 2012

While Angry Birds will no doubt add to its universal appeal when Angry Birds Space lands on iPhones, iPads and Android devices next week, there is a new hot game that is drawing even more attention. Draw Something by OMGPOP is a Pictionary-like game designed for touchscreen smartphones and tablets. The two-player turn-based game is […]

While Angry Birds will no doubt add to its universal appeal when Angry Birds Space lands on iPhones, iPads and Android devices next week, there is a new hot game that is drawing even more attention.

Draw Something by OMGPOP is a Pictionary-like game designed for touchscreen smartphones and tablets. The two-player turn-based game is easy for most anyone to pick up and play during a few spare moments, and is proving to be addictive. After debuting in early February on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android devices, Draw Something in less than six weeks has been downloaded more than 25 million times and has more than 10 million daily active users. That means you will always have somebody to play against whether it be your Facebook friends, email contacts or even random opponents.

Check our our video review.

Draw Something, for the time being, is 99 cents to download, and there are also free sample versions for iOS and Android devices if you want to check it out before spending any money. There is also a playable web version made by OMGPOP called Draw My Thing. There are three levels of difficulty and each player takes a turn drawing an image around a given word. The other player has to guess what has been sketched, and guessing correctly means earning coins. The harder the difficulty, the more coins that are earned.

Players will soon discover that coins become quite important in this game. Coins give you bombs, which are basically hints to solve a challenge. Winning games gives you coins and the opportunity to buy more bombs or colors for drawings. If you don’t feel like waiting a long time to win enough games to accumulate the necessary coins for bombs and colors, Draw Something is more than happy to sell you them with an in-app purchase.

Just because Draw Something is so popular does not mean the game is perfect. The categorization of words to play is at times random, and some “easy” level words seemed tougher than the “hard” ones. There are also too many repeat words, and the game could benefit from offering more drawing colors from the beginning, as it takes too many coins to purchase them.

The game’s New York-based developer OMGPOP can afford to make improvements. Dan Porter, CEO of OMGPOP says the game is generating more than $100,000 in revenue each day. Plans are in the works for a TV show as well. The company’s early success is astounding, even by Angry Birds standards. While Angry Birds, Instagram and other household name apps took several months to generate one million downloads, Draw Something cleared that number in just 10 days.

You can’t draw up a better plan that that!

Draw Something is one of several addictive new games and apps to arrive on smartphones and tablets. These four as well are worthy downloads.

Waking Mars (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch: $4.99)

This adventure game will have you exploring the seemingly endless caverns of Mars. You play as Liang, a Chinese astrophysicist currently on a mission to find a missing Mars rover after being sent some very strange images and losing contact. Along with his base camp partner Amani and his humorous AI buddy ART, Liang must explore the lonely caverns of the red planet, only to find that they’re not quite so lonely. Due to his interference, all of the plant like creatures known as Zoa begin awakening, and this simple mission quickly turns into an amazing journey.The layered 2D art is gorgeous, and works in tandem with the ambient soundtrack to create an extremely lonely atmosphere. Waking Mars was developed by Tiger Style Games, the company behind the early iPhone hit Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor.

Check out our video review to see more.

Fancy Pants (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch: $0.99)

From Chillingo, the publisher of Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and other hit titles, comes this high-adrenaline platform game. In Fancy Pants you take on the role of a shorts-wearing stick figure as you blast an assortment of action-packed levels. Your speed and acrobatic prowess allow you jump off walls, run up vertical surfaces and hurtle through space at a pretty fast clip, while you collect items and stars to pull down the best score in each of the game’s levels.

Featuring a hand-drawn art style that adds a lot to the atmosphere, Fancy Pants includes a ton of weapons and clothes you can find to customize your character and take with him into the game. You’ll need to collect lots of items in each stage to unlock the best items, however, so it pays to search each of Fancy Pants’ levels diligently.

NCAA March Madness Live (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android: Free with subscription)

If you are more interested in watching college basketball games rather than playing games on your mobile device, you’re in luck with the brand new update to the official NCAA March Madness app. Free to download, the app provides real-time scores, statistics and alerts when close games have less than five minutes remaining or are in overtime. There is also live chat and the ability to post bracket info to Facebook and Twitter. But these free services are just an appetizer. For $3.99, the app will also live stream video of all 67 games that take place during the tournament. For the next few weeks, March Madness can follow you wherever you travel.

Camera Awesome (iPhone, iPod Touch: Free)

While there are several hundred camera apps available to download to iPhones, few if any have all the features of this new title. Another awesome thing about Camera Awesome is that it is free. Many compact cameras don’t have a lot of this app’s features. Once you launch the app you can apply some neat things to help you compose your shot better, like an intuitive horizon leveller or the rule-of-thirds grid. Touch the screen once and you can set where you want to focus, touch the screen again and you can set the area where you want to take the exposure reading. There is also image stabilization and fast burst modes which can be handy when capturing quickly-moving objects. A useful countdown timer is great for group portraits, too. And don’t miss the ‘awesomize’ button that will correct the colors and levels of your image. You will want to download this one in a snap!

Multiple Appolicious Advisors contributed to this article.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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