1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Pictureka for the iPad, by Electronic Arts
    $4.99, ***


    • Fun game to play with someone else

    • Limited enjoyment playing by yourself
    • No hints, time seems to run down quickly
    • No game save!

    Pictureka is a “Find the object” game, where you are presented with a screen that is cluttered full of “things” and you need to find objects that match the criteria. You are presented with a challenge (find three animals, find two wires, find four vehicles) and you need to find them as fast as possible. There are two game modes. If you are by yourself, you can choose an adventure style mode, where you simply have to keep finding more and more objects before time runs out. If you complete a station, you move to the next. Unfortunately, there is no “save game” option, so if you leave the game, you will need to start the adventure mode over from the beginning.

    There is also a versus mode, where you can compete against up to three other people (including the AI). In the versus mode, you have different challenges. The simplest is “find the object the fastest”. All players are asked to find the same object – the one who finds it the fastest wins the card. With a green card, you simply have to find a certain number of objects that match the criteria (similar to the ones listed above) within the time limit. The red cards are the most interesting. You are given a type of object, you each player can bid (or pass). If you bid, you are bidding that you can find that many objects that match the type. But you need to be careful, because if you over bid, you may not be able to find that many objects! In the versus mode, the first player to six cards wins (you get a card for winning each challenge).

    This is based on a board game, and having played it, I found it surprisingly difficult. In the adventure mode, there is very little time to scour the playing board clearly, so you start to panic to find the objects as fast as possible (which, of course, leads you to overlooking items). In the versus mode, the multiple challenges make for a unique game each time – but it is much more fun against a real person than against the AI.

    The graphics are simple, but they do not need to be that intricate. The controls are pretty straightforward – just tap to find an object (although a few times I found the game recorded a tap when I was actually trying to move the screen).

    All in all, this is a fun game, best played with multiple people. The versus mode against real opponents is fun, and could be considered on par with any sort of family game. At $4.99, the game is reasonable priced (although it is an iPad only version, the iPhone version is separate). If things like “Where’s Waldo” are up your alley, this app is something you should take a look at. Four and a half out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.

    07-13-2011 04:34 PM