PictoWords


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PictoWords

Ms.45PictoWords is a casual word game similar to a rebus puzzle — you know the ones, in which you form a word or phrase from pictures and letters. Each round you're offered a selection of square picture tiles, round letter tiles, and a few hints in case you get stuck. Using the blank spaces above, it's your job to fill in as many words as you can using both pictures and letters. It's a slightly quirky but very challenging word game that stretches both sides of your brain.

pictowords.jpgUnlike a true rebus, the pictures in PictoWords aren't homonyms. If you get a picture of a bee, for example, you can add an R to make BEER, but you can't add ING because that would spell BEEING. You'll get a bonus for not using the HINT button, but you may also like to just guess — there's no punishment for getting things wrong. If you guess and a word doesn't make sense, you can click on the icon of a book to get the definition. You can also stumble upon bonus words, although annoyingly, they don't help you win the level.

Analysis: The construction PictoWords keeps things extraordinarily simple with a clean design and few bells and whistles. It's just you, your wit, and a series of tiles that will outsmart you more times than you might want to believe. Unfortunately the high level of difficulty often comes from guessing which word some picture tiles represent. I'm still trying to work out what the square of brown was. Is it "brown"? "Tan"? "Ecru"? Winning is its own reward in this game, as you're chasing a high score and get bonuses for not using the Hint button and for getting all the words instead of just enough to pass. Nothing spectacularly amazing (no bonus levels, power-ups, no nifty explosion of colour).

On the upside, this is an extremely addictive game, one for the hard-core puzzle fanatics. If all you need to keep you happy is a picture of a house and a welcome mat and the letters T, E & R, PictoWords is definitely your game.

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version

6 Comments

Oh, looks so fun! Too bad I can't play it.

Bummer that it doesn't really follow real picto-word rules, every picture only represents the word it actually is, you can't use a picture of an "Eye" to mean "I," a heart can only fill in for a word that has the word "heart" in it, and can never mean "love." I thought that aspect made the game a lot less interesting.

The word list for this game is bad (blatant misspellings; "variant" spellings but not preferred; obscure words; missing common words). It is annoying that you cannot type the answers. The "Bonus Round" category hints are often useless. The repetition of picture tiles can get boring. I get quite sick of having to enter "eat" "tea" "eta" and "ate" (for example) every time those letters appear -- it would have been better to exclude words that don't use a picture tile.

Yet somehow I love this game. It's great for "short doses" and the lack of a timer (except on bonus levels) makes it perfect for bedtime relaxation.

We are up to level 101 ... this has to be the longest game ever. Does anyone know how many levels there are?

I also thought that the game was made less interesting because you could only use the pictures exactly as they were spelled, instead of how they sounded. I also didn't understand why some of the words I spelled were considered "obscure" words and while they earned points, they didn't count towards winning the level, even though they fit. I did find that having every level interrupted--with a blast of trumpets and a new screen that I had to clear to get back to the game--every time I spelled an "obscure" word was unbelievably annoying. I KNOW what the word means, that's how I know how to spell it. After this happened ten times in one level I uninstalled the game.

I loveloveloved this game. :) Super-fun for my 18-hour-no-internet-available-only-free-downloaded-games-car-trip.

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