Originally developed by LOTUM GmbH, 4 Pics 1 Word has taken the mobile gaming world by storm. 4 Pics 1 Word has spawned countless clones due to it’s popularity, all with varying themes and difficulty, however the original is by far the most popular with Google Play rating it a 4.5/5 and over 150 million players worldwide, with support for 8 different languages. It is endlessly entertaining, and brilliantly simple. The player, being presented with four cryptic picture clues must attempt to guess the world that the clues relate to. Seemingly simple, the game often throws difficult puzzles at the player, some of the clues being as much a hindrance as they are helpful.
The game can be played offline and on the move, so you aren’t stuck waiting for an internet connection just waiting for the game to load up. This is good to see in a mobile game, as many require a steady link to the internet to continue running meaning they are difficult to play like a casual game, simply playing for five minutes or so at a time when the mood takes you. In the , 4 Pics 1 Word excels. The game can be played for as little as a level at a time anywhere you are. Or, you can get lost for hours, slowly solving your way through the various puzzles, until you can simply go no further. And don’t worry about running out of levels. With the games’ amazing popularity and massive community, updates are being brought out regularly to ensure the game keeps being playable.
The best part? Anyone can play! From the ages where we start to read books to the days we can’t quite make out the small letters without our glasses, a simple, yet puzzling game like this allows children and adults of all ages to test their brains and logical prowess. As such, it is probably quite a useful tool for developing lateral thinking skills. I should warn you though, the game can be thoroughly infuriating at times, with puzzles that will leave you kicking yourself because you knew the answer all along.
However, in times where the game has you beaten, there is a saving grace. You are supplied with some options to provide you with hints towards the answer, for example, filling in a random letter, or removing a number of incorrect letters. Each of these hints or cheats will cost you a number of coins, which can either be earned by guessing words correctly or purchased with in app purchases, up to the value of $19.99. If forking out cash for in app purchases isn’t your thing (You aren’t alone) then every person who’s played the game knows that there are hundreds if not thousands of online guides to help you see that all important link. While this is technically cheating, it’s up to you whether a clue is just too hard for you.
Personally, this game was a good one for me when I wanted to waste half an hour or so, and be using my brain whilst doing it. It was something to do before bed at night, or to do whilst waiting for food to cook. I never spent any money on it, and I managed (eventually) to get through all the available levels at the time I played. It can also be enjoyed as a group, with friends leaning over your shoulder, shouting the answer into your ear, but I always found it better to play in a relaxed environment, so your thoughts kept on the puzzle, and not how much you wanted to silence the loud voice in your ear saying ‘I told you so!’