August 1, 2014

Why I've given up on Draw Something...

draw_something_feature

If you’re like me, you installed Draw Something around one month back and subsequently found yourself wasting all your free time sketching pictures of sailboats, Tupac, and kites.  I’ll admit it, I was hooked from the beginning and couldn’t stop trying to get coins to purchase new color palettes.  I simply loved the challenge of guessing poor drawings with fat lines almost as much as I enjoyed the hangman aspect.  Flash forward a few weeks and now I don’t even touch it.

As much as I would like to blame other apps like Temple Run or Instagram for diverting my attention, it comes down to a flawed app.  Don’t get me wrong, I quite like the app for its simple, catchy premise.  On the other hand, after extended time with the game, the shortcomings become painfully obvious.  While most of these flaws are expected to be addressed in future updates, the ever-ticking clock is working against OMGPOP/Zynga.  The longer we go without even a minor tweak, the more likely the user base will move on to a new game or revert back to their old faves.

[quote_left] I’ll now go days without playing just because the game becomes “out of sight, out of mind” for me. [/quote_left] What’s wrong with the app?  Quite a bit, actually.  Call me “ahead of the curve” or whatever, but I’ve hit a point where the game doesn’t entice me any longer.  After hundreds and hundreds of drawings and guessing, I have been able to pick up every color palette.  In the process, I’ve seen all of those 900 words that come with the paid version of the app.  I’ve encountered every word in the app’s lexicon and can often guess the word before a drawing is half finished.  Many of my “opponents” have done the same thing, guessing my drawings within seconds.  If you haven’t reached this point, you will soon.  For this very reason, I have stopped putting so much attention to detail in my pictures.

Considering that Android has multi-function capability and can run apps in the background, I’m shocked and appalled that Draw Something does not have notifications.  I’ll now go days without playing just because the game becomes “out of sight, out of mind” for me.  Once I get back into it, I will blow through drawings without much care and collect the coins that come with it.  Then, it’s closed and forgotten.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

Speaking of coins, I have no idea why I even bother with medium or hard words any longer.  There’s no incentive for me to go for the tough stuff  now that I’ve got all the colors.  Bombs, you say?  No thanks, I’ve seen all the words there are and I’ve figured it out.  I don’t have a good answer as to what to do with the coins at this stage but they can, and will, become irrelevant for many players.

Looking at the download graph from the Google Play store it appears that the interest has waned for both the free and paid versions.  I can’t say definitively that this also means the number of active players is on the way down but I get that sense.  Talking with friends, colleagues, and a bunch of folks that I play Draw Something with, however, I do sense a tipping point.  People in my particular circle are not as active as they were two weeks ago, let alone one month back.  On the other hand, maybe OMGPOP and Zynga have seen a rise in daily use and don’t feel the need to rush the updates.

One thing is for certain, the developers need to swing into action quickly with updates to (the Android version of) Draw Something.  The sooner they switch to a cloud-based or expanded list of words the better. Integrating push notifications should be a priority, above both chat and picture exporting.  Failure to act quickly could result in millions of people one day talking about that game that was so hot for fifteen minutes in early 2012.

You Tell Us

Have any of you guys and gals also grown tired of Draw Something?  Do you think your interest level will pick up with new updates?  Is it something with long-term play-ability or has it already expired in your eyes?  I’d love to hear your stories and experiences with the game so please leave a comment below!  Also, please feel free to suggest items or features that could improve Draw Something.