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Android App Review: 4 Pics 1 Word

17 Jun 2013

The concept of this game is pretty much there in the title…

You’re given four pictures that all relate in some way to a single word. You have to guess that word.

To make it easier, you get to choose from a selection of letters at the bottom. As you go through the rounds they get progressively harder and the links between pictures become more obscure.

If this all sounds fairly straight-forward to you, that’s because it is.

But Sudoku is fairly straight-forward and that doesn’t stop it being addictive fun right?

Similarly, 4 Pics 1 Word can easily become that ‘oh, I’ll just do one more’ distraction that you plan on playing for a minute – only to find that your lunch-break has somehow disappeared.

Like a cryptic crossword, the more you play the more you start to recognise the thought processes behind each puzzle. This makes it easier, but as you go through the rounds do get tougher.

The fact that there is also a ‘4 Pics 1 Word Cheats & Answers’ app available suggests that most people won’t find the game too easy.

There are a lot of puzzle and guessing game apps out there these days, and if I was asked to say what singles this one out from the crowd I’d struggle to answer. It’s a fun game. It’s easy to play.

The interface is clear and the difficulty ramps up slowly enough that it doesn’t put you off playing. Oh, and it’s free. You could say all these things about a lot of apps, right?

But you already have all those other games, and you’re probably sick of playing them. This one is just different enough to appear novel, at least for a while.

Like Sudoku, 4 Pics 1 Word is a trivial distraction that I like to pretend is doing me some good. This isn’t just a way to stave off boredom while I wait for the bus, this is a brain training regime that will help me see patterns and make connections between things that on the surface may seem unrelated.

If I get to a high enough level I’ll basically turn into a Sherlock Holmes-style savant, able to see the hidden logic that underpins the world.

Or at least that’s what I tell myself. I have a similar justification about how Angry Birds is preparing me for an engineering career.

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