uDraw Pictionary review: uDraw Pictionary

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Typical Price: $59.95

uDraw Pictionary

(Part #: CNETuDraw Pictionary)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Encourages creative play. Wide range of available clues. Clues for adults and kids. Good drawing tools.

The Bad Very American clues. Most tools won't be used in the heat of fast-paced gameplay Actual Pictionary is cheaper.

The Bottom Line Pictionary for uDraw represents the best of the first crop of uDraw-enabled Wii games, but it's not a cheap way to play.

8.0 Overall

THQ's uDraw tablet has drawing right in its title. Perennial family-friendly drawing game Pictionary, therefore, is a rather obvious choice for a game that the uDraw tablet should support.

Just in case you're not aware of what Pictionary is, it's a drawing charades-style board game where one player from a team is tasked with drawing something against a strict time limit, while the other member(s) of their team try to guess what it is. A simple concept that you can run yourself with a few ideas, a pencil and some paper. As such, a digital version has to try hard to overcome the basic fact that you can make a Pictionary game rather cheaply, and even if you did opt for the physical product, it can be sourced for a price somewhat below that of its digital version.

There's the obvious observation that a digital version will never run out of paper, or for that matter pencils. Pictionary also offers up two games modes. There's a standard Pictionary mode, which follows the basic rules of the game and Pictionary Mania, which sets specific rules for how you draw in each round. For one round, you might only be able to use the shapes tool, or another be limited to the line tool. It's a nice twist to the basic Pictionary idea, and it certainly forces you to use the more esoteric tools, but it does have a couple of problems along the way. Firstly, forcing players to use specific tools makes some clues nigh on impossible to decipher.

Secondly, it solidly highlights the fact that in regular Pictionary mode, you're likely to only use the basic pencil tool for most tasks. The additional tools are nice to have — and the game does offer up a free draw mode if that's all you want to do — but in the practical hectic play of the game, you'll often find yourself drawing simple pencil sketches purely because that's a lot more effective against the clock. Pictionary Mania is basically a forced way to get you to use the other tools, but it's not quite as much fun.

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