Product: Today we’re taking a look at a brand-new word game for iOS called 4Snaps. The premise of the game is like a cross between charades and Draw Something. You’re given a choice of three words. You have to pick one of these and then take four photos (“snaps”) to help the other player guess the word. The object is to see how many turns you can take in a row before someone misses the word.
Gameplay: The gameplay sounds easy enough, but once you start playing you’ll quickly realize that it’s far more challenging than it sounds. The early version that the we tested only contained thirteen of the over 2,100 words in the app’s dictionary, but I still had a hard time finding a way to demonstrate some of the terms I was given to choose from. Despite the fact that I frequently saw duplicate words in my selection, I never took the same photo twice.
Completing a round earns in-game coins for both players. When picking the word you want to try to photograph, you can cash in 150 of these coins for a different set of words to pick from. If you’re low on coins but really want some different words, you can buy more as an in-app purchase.
When I played my first few rounds of 4Snaps, I happened to be in a mostly-empty coffee shop with my siblings. As it turns out, the game is actually even more fun when you’ve got several people playing as a team. We sat around coming up with ideas, then taking turns posing for photos. A little later, my sister was leaving my apartment to meet some friends, but stopped dead in her tracks and came back inside to finish one more round when I told her the word was “planking.”
Issues: I did have two very small issues with the game. The first was something I overlooked for a while, and I suspect many people will not even notice: while you can search for a player by their username, or an email address from your contacts, you can’t pick a Game Center friend to play against. It’s not a huge oversight, and as I said, I don’t think most people will be put off too much by that.
The other issue I had was a bit less subtle. When I got my first notification from the app, I immediately dove into the Settings app to disable sound notifications. I was caught so off-guard by the two-second squeaking sound that I also nearly smacked smacked my phone off of the table. The sound is definitely unique, but some users (like myself) may find it a bit annoying, especially if they’re receiving a new notification every few minutes.
Despite these minor issues, the game is a lot of fun. Both can be easily remedied on the user’s end by turning off sound notifications and asking your Game Center friends for their in-app usernames.
Bottom Line: Even with the limited number of words in the pre-release dictionary, I found 4Snaps both fun and challenging. The game plays well as a one-on-one match or with a group of friends backing you up.
If you like word games, I highly recommend giving 4Snaps a look. It’s available right now on the App Store for free.