PictoParty – Wii U

Everybody likes a good game of Pictionary right? It’s always fun to laugh at your friends’ and family’s awful attempts at drawing animals, methods of transportation and vegetables. It’s a classic get-together game.

Sadly, in my circles (when I had circles), it always went by the way side due to lack of paper, a decent pen (biros don’t really work do they?) and adequate platform for presenting your latest masterpiece for all to see. It’s not the most logistically friendly games out there. Well, here come Retroid Interactive to the rescue with PictoParty on the Wii U eShop.

Taking advantage of the dual screen and stylus inputs the Wii U has to offer and they’ve taken this well loved game and made it so simple and hassle free. There’s not too much you can really talk about when the game is Pictionary. You are given a word and you must draw it for everybody to guess. Simple.

PictoParty is a great mediator for those who don’t want the hassle and mess that may come with a physical game, in fact it offers enough to say it’s actually more preferable. T

he game must be played with at least 3 players, each new player is required to use the camera on the Wii U gamepad to create a profile picture. Unfortunately for the camera shy and the photogenically challenged (me), there’s no option for a generic avatar. Indeed, a friend of mine was so scared of potentially being on the Internet they posed as my dog instead.

So each player takes turns in drawing the words given for the others to guess. If a player gets it’s correct, they get a point and the drawer also gets a point (something that seems to pass over the heads of my students who want to make it as difficult to guess as possible and all the drawings end up as either lines or tiny dots). They have a time limit within which to do their artistic business, at the end of which the drawing responsibility is handed to the nest player.

As expected the word is revealed on the Gamepad but not the TV so only the drawer can know what’s going on. Some nice touches are that you can choose between a handful of different colours to emphasize your point and you can also clear your drawing if you seriously mess up.

There’s a decent amount of customisation in PictoParty, something that can often be sadly over looked in the party game genre. You can change the time limit, penalties for passing and even which word ‘dictionaries’ you want in the game. If you don’t want to be drawing any food, you can unselect that category. The best thing is that you can add your own words to the game by creating new dictionaries. It already comes with a nice stack of words in various categaories, but if it’s not quite enough or if you want to test certain knowledge or even have crude fun with your friends, you can add any word you want into the game.

I felt this to be a fantastic tool for personalising your experience. My other half is not a native English speaker and found the game too difficult with it’s standard words, so I customised it with words that I was confident she would know. It’s also great for kids of all ages as their knowledge of English grows. You could even create a whole load of dictionaries about gaming things. The level of customisation is the best thing about the game.

It’s also nicely presented. It doesn’t look like a cheap flash game like a lot of these eShop party games can; it looks professional and the music is decent. And by decent I mean it doesn’t interfere with playing the game.

That’s all there is to say about PictoParty to be honest. It’s Pictionary well done. If there is a video game Pictionary ideal, this is probably it. The high level of customisation is a great selling point and it’s perfect for families.

Good points

– Customisation

– Nicely presented

Bad points

– Do I really need to take a photo of my miserable face?

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