Board games have, and always will be, a firm family tradition for many at Christmas. Since the release of the Nintendo DS though, board games have played second fiddle to the handheld variety, especially at Christmas. Could Pictionary for DS be the best crossover we have seen yet?
With plenty of modes to choose from, the first question on many readers’ lips will be whether it pulls off the Pictionary experience. The multiplayer side of the game is where this can be found, with both single card sharing, and pass the console modes present. Drawing is obviously strong, the DS’s touchscreen being a worthy replacement for a pad and paper. Other players can see your picture and guess by typing their answers on the onscreen keyboard. It works very well, with extra twists on the formula such as drawing the picture in just One Line, or with an Ink Limit adding some much needed variety to the proceedings.
Where I didn’t expect the game to have so much content was in the single player option. You can play nearly every mode from Multiplayer on your own, albeit with the DS drawing preset clues out for you to guess from. At first it feels quite weird playing Pictionary by yourself, and some of the clues are near impossible to guess, but it’s a neat addition to the modes you would expect from a Pictionary game. That said, if you haven’t got anyone else to experience the game with, the single player component won’t make the game worthy of purchase.
Critiquing a Pictionary video game based on presentation alone would be the wrong thing to do with a review. That said, the lack of any interesting graphical touches and music so annoying that muting your console is recommended from the very start, does make a difference to the experience. The presentation just isn’t at all inspiring, and while kids won’t mind the boring menu screens, others may be disappointed.
We reach a much more important criticism to close the review with. Pictionary may have sold a lot of copies as a board game, but in theory all you need is a pen and paper to play. When the publishers are charging £20 for a virtual version of a game that plays much better on paper, it’s very hard to recommend it. Multiplayer works as well as it should, and the Pictionary experience is definitely here. Just save the money this Christmas, and get the whole family involved instead.
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