ImageQuest is a game that gives you nine images and asks you to find the keyword that links them together in under 20 seconds. For example, the game will give you pictures of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and Paris Hilton, and you must type in “Paris” as the word that links the images.
Finding a common word between images under game show-style pressure sounds cool, but the game’s design has a way of tripping up the fun of a good concept. Most of the challenge comes not from knowing what links the images, but finding the exact word ImageQuest wants and entering it correctly in the short time limit.
The biggest problem stems from the game’s requirement for you to input an exact, specific word. For example, the game gave us nine pictures of people or things running into each other, so we input the word “crash,” but it came up incorrect. So we typed in “impact.” Wrong again. How about “collision?” Ding ding ding! Correct.
It seems arbitrary. Nine pictures of people clapping isn’t “applause,” but “applaud,” and pictures of cookies and bread fresh from the oven is considered “bake” but could never be “baked.” When there are so many words that correctly name what’s happening in the pictures, ImageQuest’s insistence on one specific word feels too rigid and unfairly difficult. We feel that a few more words should be accepted as correct, or they should take away the timer and let a player really think it out, because a game show with answers this rigid would never last, even if they had Bob Barker hosting.
Sorry, but the word we’re looking for is “rouge”.
At times, the game seems to have absurd spikes and drops in challenge. One moment they’re asking you to identify ancient musical instruments and the next you’re identifying a duck! When the difficulty spikes up, you’ll be getting nine pictures of something you’ve never seen before. We once got one of these questions right, however, because the answer (beignets) was written on a bag in one of the pictures.
ImageQuest could also use a more gracious spelling system like Google’s “Did you mean” feature. It’s frustrating to be yelling a word at your iPhone, but either not know how to spell it or to mistype it on the keyboard. We don’t want to ever yell “piccolo” or “karaoke” that loud in public again.
All in all, the game needs to be more forgiving. Can you imagine if ImageQuest was a real game show? “I’m sorry, that’s incorrect. We know you really wanted that trip to Hawaii, but the correct answer is ‘Television’ and not ‘TV’. I’m Bob Barker, thanks for watching!” ImageQuest has a good concept, but without some changes, it’s not ready for prime time.