Now pictionary isn’t a new concept, I’ve seen it all the way back when I was in grade school. Of course back then, it was all on the whiteboard and when the teacher didn’t have anything else to teach, or when pictionary was in some way used to make us learn. Of course, I never actually learned anything form pictionary, but it was a heck of a lot of fun.
And developer On5 has brought this multiplayer, pictionary experience to the iPhone; seamlessly using the modern marvel known as the Internet. Or if you want to get to specifics, a WiFi network, online multiplayer, you name it. While the lack of a single player “campaign” may set some people back, the overall experience was a joy to play, and the online play was smooth with little to no lag.
Charadium also comes packed with the Plus+ network, and for those achievement whores out there, you’re prayers are answered. I’m actually quite an achievement whore myself, racking up many points on both the OpenFeint and Plus+ network. Either way, this feature should add some more replay value to an already enjoyable game.
Interface: The interface is very clean, and the developers did a great job with the UI design and shine. If you see the screenshots for the game, you’ll probably notice right off the bat the clean interface, easily accessible by others. I didn’t have any problems with the design at all, and while it was a little simple, the colors worked marvelously together. Personally, I thought it was beautiful enough to touch.
Online: Online play is quite smooth, and while there’s really only one game mode, it’s very controlled and very smooth. The tendency for people online is to get a little immature, drawing things such as expletive, expletive, and expletive. But the environment wasn’t like that at all, and it felt very controlled and very mature. It may well just be the community of people who have bought the game so far, but overall, the online play was very sophisticated.
Also, the most important thing about online is no lag. While I did experience a little lag through my time with the game, it wasn’t very severe or significant. It would lag maybe one second at most, then resume at the normal tempo. Online play was very smooth and very well built, creating a sort of trust in the servers.
Competition: I really like how the competition was set up in this game, through gaining points by guessing the right answer. While it sounds easy and simple, it’s really effective when it comes to sitting in your chair and franticly trying to win the round. I didn’t exactly find myself fuming and tossing my phone in the air, but it was a competitive atmosphere with tons of people guessing the answers at once.
No Offline: Like I said before in the introduction, the game doesn’t seem to feature any single player modes. This doesn’t seem to appeal to iPod Touch users as they don’t have a 3G data plan or Internet services besides their WiFi network. It would be nice to have some sort of AI to play against when away from home, and many iPod Touch users will find this missing feature a sort of a downfall. Either way, please add an offline mode; it would be quite helpful to many iPod Touch users.
Gameplay Modes: There’s only one gameplay, and that can only go for a definitive amount of time. While pictionary is pictionary, it would have been nice if the developer added some sort of differentiation to the gameplay, whether it be a speed round or a sudden death type of thing. For $0.99, I really shouldn’t complain, but it would be nice if there was more than just one gameplay mode.
Charadium is a good fit for those looking for achievements on the Plus+ network, and it’s definitely worth your time. While I don’t see iPod Touch users exactly enjoying this title, iPhone users that pay for a 3G or Edge network should find a few hours of fun in this small title. It has a huge amount of potential as online pictionary seems to be the name of the game recently, but it all depends on whether or not the developer will update the game. Either way, I still found the game to be quite enjoyable with a sophisticated online community, smooth play, and the inclusion of the Plus+ network.