Social gaming is tailor made for the iOS platform. Most of the devices are essentially always online, completely mobile, and easily connected through one of several community platforms. Gamevil, one of the premier iOS developers of role-playing and sports games, is taking a stab at social gaming with Chalk n’ Talk, their take on Pictionary.
In case you’re not familiar with Pictionary, it’s a group game that has one player draw a person, place, or thing, while the others try to guess what it is. Chalk n’ Talk takes this idea and throws a cutesy coat of paint all over it. Depending on your sensibilities, this can be a good or bad thing. You’ll see lots of pinks and pastels, creampuff music, and other touches meant to appeal to the kid in all of us.
Fun at the vineyard.
So in Chalk n’ Talk, you’ll play competitively alongside several other people. Being first to guess correctly, or having your drawing guessed correctly earns you points that allow you to level up, giving you a decent incentive to keep chugging away. With any online game, you’ll find clowns dedicated to spoiling the fun with lewd pictures and rude remarks. Thankfully, a boot function was smartly integrated here to mitigate that nonsense.
As the artist, you have several tools and color options to play around with, but the user interface will take some time to get used to. When guessing what’s being drawn, frustrations from the lack of auto-correction on your words can infuriate you as well.
Chalk n’ Talk is a free to play game, but it is easily one of the most frustrating base games we’ve ever played. Intrusive ads and pop-ups are frequent, and they launch the iOS browser from inadvertently tapping the screen right when an ad appears out of nowhere. Making matters worse, ads will cover gameplay areas while the game is live. It’s completely ridiculous and over-the-top. You can purchase the option to turn off the ads for a buck, and it’s the only way to keep you from tossing your phone in frustration.
A budding artist.
Once you’re familiar with the busy UI in Chalk n’ Talk, there are all kinds of hooks to make the game as social as you can handle. You’ve got Gamevil’s online infrastructure, plus you can tap into Twitter and Facebook to share your exploits. There are many achievements to lust after, leaderboard rankings on the line, and friends lists to build up.
The obvious comparison point for a game like Chalk n’ Talk is Charadium. Based on the cleaner UI and more mature tilt, Charadium strikes us as the better game of the two. Once you pony up and buy the option to remove the atrocious ads from Chalk n’ Talk, however, you’ll find that it’s a thoughtful and cute social game in its own right.