The original Pictionary is really just a souped-up version of a party-game people have played for years, with nothing more elaborate than a pencil and a piece of paper. Yesterday the board-game, today the computer game.
The basic idea is this: one member of a team of players (the picturist) is told to select a word from a word-card which they then have to draw on screen. If the rest of the team manages to guess what it is, they get to throw the dice and advance the team counter around the board. If they don't, you stay where you are, and serve you right for having no artistic skills. Between two and four teams can take part and whoever makes it to the finish first is the winner.
The drawing area works a bit like a mini graphics package with icons for drawing straight and curved lines, squares, circles and boxes, all arranged around the screen. If you want, you can even jazz up your basic drawing with colours, different patterns and broken lines. An extensive options menu lets you alter the time limit, rename your teams and save piccies you're really proud of. Anyone worried about their pixel power can even practice drawing.
If after that you still can't draw to save your life, don't despair. An alternative game for up to four players lets you take turns guessing what masterpieces the computer has produced. If you're on your own, this is the only way to play a solo game.
Whether you'll want to is another thing. Most computerised board-games don't despair. An alternative game for up to four players lets you take turns guessing what masterpieces the computer has produced. If you're on your own, this is the only way to play a solo game.
Whether you'll want to is another thing. Most computerised board-games don't match up to the playability of the original, and Pictionary, unfortunately, is no exception. For one thing, unless you're a real dab hand with a graphics package, drawing on-screen ins more of a bind than a boon: you tend to end up drawing freehand.
Worse than this though, is the ultimate boredom of playing a full game. It's just not enough fun to keep guessing what someone else has drawn or struggling to draw such abstract concepts as "parole" for more than a couple of games. It shouldn't be top of your Christmas pressie list this year, especially at the price.
Dire, monotonous sound effects and purely functional graphic presentation wouldn't matter if the basic game was addictive. It isn't, unless drawing pictures is your only aim in life.
The same as the ST version in every respect, except the computer's slightly quicker to draw piccies and the music is more annoying. But the board game; it's much more fun.