PictoImage DS Review

There is not much to get excited about when playing PictoImage. You just look at a scribbled picture that pops up and then you write in a box what you think said picture is, or visa versa – a tiger or a pair of trousers would be good examples. To be honest I could do the same thing with a piece of paper and a drunken mate, and it would probably end up being more fun, as he would most likely draw a tiger wearing a pair of trousers, which by the way totally rocks!

So, that’s about all there is for me to say about the game. Review done! I am going home now… okay? Oh, I guess I better try and write a bit more then, as Ben will kill me if I submit a review with less than 100 words. Best keep going then.

Okay, well the DS is a platform that is very open to brand new gaming ideas, we all know that, so if Sega thinks the DS can replace paper and ink (or a pencil or maybe a marker, a magic one at that), then we might as well try and entertain the idea.

I guess if Sega put some effort into the game, then they could be applauded for at least trying, but everything about PictoImage just seems laughably limited. A really big point of contention in the game is the handwriting recognition, which is downright bad. It seems that if you handwriting is unorthodox in any way, then the game gets confused and will not understand certain letters. This is not only an annoyance, but in some of the parts of the game with a time limit it ends up being a game-breaking fault.

Damn, this review is still going to be very short. Maybe I shall compose a rhyme to fill some time:

PictoImage, I see you in my Nintendo DS
Filling up that hole of loneliness
Without you there in that slot
I’d probably have to play PictoChat a lot

Or maybe a haiku would be better:

PictoImage, was it needed?
Many would say no to that
Others deemed as silly

Well, that was an extra 58 words, hooray!

I guess I could go on to talk about the multiplayer, which could be its saving grace, but seeing as no one has even bothered to create a Wikipedia page on the game I don’t think there is enough people on Planet Earth that care enough to play with you. However, if you can somehow cobble together enough people to play with you (perhaps through dark magic) then there are potentially eight-player local games available to entertain.

Another problem with the game is that many of the drawings you are tasked with solving are supposedly drawn by people of different ages. Now this is not a problem when you are challenged with trying to figure out the arty efforts of a teenager or adult, but when you’re challenged with trying to figure out what Timmy aged 8 has drawn when he was high on a sugary drink, then you really get confused as it is basically a muddle of nonsensical wavy lines.

When all said and done, there really is no need for PictoImage to exist, regardless of it being tagged with a budget price or not. I really have to question why Sega gave the game the green light. If you want to play a similar game you could always take the old school approach and play Pictionary with a piece of paper (Note: Buckaroo was better). If that sounds too 1980’s for you, then you could always have fun online with a few mates under similar rules with iSketch. Then for one final nail in the coffin, you could always use the built in PictoChat application on the DS to do pretty much everything PictoImage offers at absolutely no extra cost to you.

In all honesty I fail to see a reason for anyone buy something this. Even if you included the whole game as a mini-game in some other larger title it would still seem limited. It’s honestly a miracle that I wrote this much about a game that offers gamers so little in return.

3/10

by

Version tested: DS

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Genre: Puzzler