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Draw Something is Back - As a Facebook Messenger Game

One of the benefits of Messenger striking out as a standalone platform (more or less) is the increasing abundance of third party support. Until now that was limited to gifs and freaky little talking avatars that I'm still convinced absolutely nobody actually uses, but now it looks like the messaging service will be supporting its own games, starting with one called Doodle Draw.

That name might be unfamiliar to you, but the format most certainly won't be if you had a smart phone any time between 2011 and 2013. Draw Something remains one of the biggest mobile gaming phenomenons there has ever been, everyone had it, the pictionary format fitted the touch-screen platform so well that after only 7 weeks on the app had raked in 350 million downloads and was sold to Zynga for £113 million. As of 2013 it was the 16th best selling app of all time, although that's unlikely to still be the case.

Zynga, of course, basically fell apart in 2013, reporting massive losses and ditching Draw Something less than a year after buying it. Doodle Draw has been developed by Clay, but even a cursory look at the screenshots reveals that the game is virtually identical to Draw Something, from the interface to the 'missing letter' answer style. I hasten to ever use the term 'rip off', but yeah this is pretty much that.

The key difference (aside from it being compatible with whatever version of messenger you're using, rather than just phones and tablets) is that you only decide who to send your drawing to after it's done, rather than initiating a round-based 1-on-1 match. It's not exactly a new thing, MSN messenger supports a few little games (and there are already plenty of comparisons to go around between those two), but there's another, slightly more sinister level to this.

Doodle Draw has in-game currency, and with Messenger now allowing people to manage and exchange real money, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that wider, paid features will be made available in the game via micro-transactions. Facebook used to pull in a fair amount of money from platform games like Farmville, so their interest in bringing games to Messenger may well have been a ploy to reignite that revenue stream.

Ideally, Facebook are probably after games which will translate into Messenger in such a way that you can phase in and out of them pretty much at will. You could be having a conversation with someone, play a few rounds of Doodle Draw and then return to the discussion. It will be interesting to see what other types of game emerge from this concept, but don't expect anything ground-breaking. 

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Draw Something is Back - As a Facebook Messenger Game Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, June 11, 2015 Rating: 5

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