Pictoplay Plus’s target audience falls between some narrowly-drawn lines — it’s far too easy for most adults who own an iPhone or iPod Touch, and we doubt there are many kids out there with their own device. If you’re looking for an application for your kids, Pictoplay Plus is not a bad option. It’s a very mild quiz game with impressive illustrations, but most adults won’t be too entertained by it.
The premise of Pictoplay Plus is simple. The computer will slowly reveal a line drawing of an object, and you have to quickly choose what it is from four available options. Often the drawings are fairly detailed, thus the entire appeal of the game is watching these objects gradually appear. Slight variations on this theme, like time trials or a disappearing ink challenge, put a minor spin on the action. Even with these alternate modes and dozens of pretty pictures, the core gameplay is extremely simplistic and will not put too much of a dent in your brain.
Pictoplay Plus only gets a little bit devious after you beat all of the main challenges, unlocking three bonus rounds that feature country outlines, historical figures and breeds of dog. Identifying an illustration of Abe Lincoln by the stovepipe hat is one thing, but how many 10-year-olds can recognize a map of Finland, or pick out the difference between a Pomeranian and a Daschund? This is when the adults may have to step in to “beat” the final stages of this otherwise basic game.
While Pictoplay Plus should be a decent game for second or third graders, a few of the answers might be too confusing for them. For example, the game will draw a picture of a flower, but the correct answer is actually “crocus,” a particular type of flower. But since they’re picking the answer from four choices, they could probably guess and learn a few new vocabulary words from this game.
Even with 33 challenge rounds, an endless tournament mode and quiz-bowl style multiplayer for up to four players, Pictoplay Plus can feel repetitive after just an hour. A freestyle mode to draw your own pictures would have been an inspired choice, but this game settles for ordinary when it tries to promote artistic creativity. Pictoplay Plus might give young kids an art-based diversion, but it’s not worth buying for any other reason.