Insider tricks from a Draw Something addict

Even the nonartistic can have a blast playing Draw Something. Step up your game with these four tips.

This stunning drawing of Superman was created with just a finger and some digital paint. Drawn by user saybobby. Draw Something

My addiction came suddenly. One moment I was browsing through the App Store, and the next I was sitting on my couch, crafting a stylus like a mad MacGyver so I could up my game in Draw Something.

The unexpectedly addicting app has taken the Apple and Android app markets by storm, rendering thousands of smartphone users addicted to drawing. Yes, drawing. Even if they suck at it.

That's part of the appeal, I guess: you don't have to be a trained artist to have fun and master this game. It's about conveying a message and helping your partner--not opponent--get the answer right, like you do in Pictionary.

"Wait, so I'm helping the other person win?" Yep, exactly. If I win, you win, and vice versa.

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If you're with me, and you stumbled upon this blog because you, too, have succumbed to the obsessive appeal of Draw Something, pick up these tips to step up your game:

Use a stylus
The cramped screen of your phone--even those 4-inchers--hardly allows you to draw details required to help your partner guess the word you're drawing. Especially if you're lacking in the art department.

Tablet and phone users alike can benefit from using a stylus, which you can make out of materials you have at home or in the office. I made mine in just a few minutes, inspired by Donald Bell's helpful tutorial, which you can view right here.

Kill the app to get more words
If it's your turn and you encounter word choices you'd rather not draw, you can get a set of new choices by "bombing" the words. But that wastes hard-earned coins. Instead, just kill the app at the word choice screen. When you relaunch it, Draw Something will resume at the same screen, and you'll be presented with different word choices.

Be strategic with your color choices
With a large variety of colors in your Draw Something palette, you'll have a better shot at conveying your word.

You're given some basic colors to start with, but to obtain more, you'll have to "buy" them with coins you earn when you and your partners correctly label a drawing. Each color pack costs 249 coins, or roughly 40 to 125 games, so you'll want to purchase wisely.

After much experience (I spent an entire weekend playing this game, literally), here is my recommendation for purchasing your first three color packs, in order of priority: holiday package, fall package, ice cream package.

Purchase these three colors first. Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Use arrows, but never write words
Although the app can't identify those who cheat by writing down hints or related words, doing so makes the game no fun. "Hit me baby one more time!" next to a photo of a blonde? Really?

Maybe I'm a stickler, but I have a solid stance on this issue, and anyone who writes a word while playing me will likely get banned. Arrows, on the other hand, are welcome and encouraged.

The Superman drawing above is an exaggerated example, but the word to solve there was "knuckle." So if the word is "thigh," draw a person (not detailed) and point to the thigh area instead of trying to get the anatomy of a single thigh just right.

About the author

Sharon Profis is a CNET How To expert who cooks up DIY projects, in-depth guides, and little-known tricks that help you get the most out of your tech. During her four years at CNET, she's covered social media, funky gadgets, and has shared her tech knowledge on CBS and other news outlets.

 

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