Sunday, 17 February 2013

4 Pics 1 Word (What's the Word) - The new must have app?

The app ‘Whats the Word – 4 Pics 1 Word’ has taken smartphone owners by storm and looks to be the one to watch in the coming weeks.

But can it maintain it's popularity, similar apps such as Logos Quiz and Draw Something were similarly very popular at first, rising to the top of the app store and sitting there for weeks, however as time passed, they crept slowly down the chart, until 6 months later, they were almost forgotten about.

The difference here is that could 4 Pics 1 Word have learnt from the others mistakes?

Errors such as lack of updates, or updates that slow down the app (such as the introduction of too many ads), or selling out have been problematic for apps in the past, time will tell if that's what will happen here. However, it's already looking promising as developers of the game LOTUM GmbH have already hinted at regular updates and have indeed stuck to their word by bringing out a new update just a week or so after it's rise to fame, however it does have one flaw that is frustrating players, you are unable to move on from the word you are on until you complete it, that's it, if you don't know it you are stuck at that stage forever, regardless of how many times you turn your phone on and off again!

But maybe this game has luck, already it is being helped along un-knowingly by the slather of '4 Pics 1 Word Answer Sites' that it has brought about. A weird cycle has been created where they now actually need each other.

People need the answers to carry on playing and carry on playing because the have the answers.

So a bit of background: to put it simply, a rise in puzzle apps for smartphones has seen a direct link with a rise in cheat sites for these apps - we like to cheat as this article explains.

              Direct link between a rise in answer
                          sites and a rise in puzzle app popularity
This 4 Pics 1 Word gives everything it has to cheating, it is a difficult game, some of the answers are near on impossible to guess. It also doesn't have hints (unless you want to pay, which most people don't). The app even encourages you to cheat with a 'share on facebook' button allowing you to post the images to facebook and ask for help with the answer from your friends.
It was just a matter of time before the cheat sites came along, in fact it was no time at all, before hundreds of spammy sites with the domain name 'whatstheword' or '4pics1word' came along to try and make a quick buck from this apps popularity. These spammy sites again managed to make their way to the top of Google regardless of whether they had the answers up or not (they for the most part didn't).

But how do these answer sites help the app? As the recent press release put out about it states 'With the cheat sites becoming a helpful Robin to the Batman that is the 4 Pics 1 Word app and allowing for players to move up levels even when they don’t know the answers'. It's basically saying that these sites are making players stick with the game instead of giving up on it because if they can find just that one answer that they are stuck on, then they can carry on to the next level.

For now it's the next big thing in gaming and puzzle apps, until the next simple word/picture game comes along, the app is available for both iOS and Android and can be downloaded from the Apple App store here or Google Play here.

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