April 10, 2012 — -- They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but with a new app called Draw Something a picture is worth just one word.
The app, which is sweeping the nation with over 50 million downloads and counting, is best described as Pictionary for the digital era.
We've got a short guide to how the app works in the video above, but it's fairly simple.
You download the free app, which has ads, or the $0.99 app which had no ads, from the Android Play Store or Apple's App Store. You sign into the app via Facebook, see what other friends are playing, and start a game with one of them. You are given a choice of three words to draw -- ranging from easy to hard -- and when you are done drawing one of them, your friend gets to guess that very word with a selection of letters.
After they guess, they draw something and send it to you. You earn coins for guessing words correctly and then you can use those coins to buy extra colored markers or lifeline bombs which help you guess the word.
But like any game, the more you play, the more tips and tricks you learn. We've come up with five tips to help you, well, draw something!
1. Know your opponent.
Our number one tip is to think about your opponent. In most cases you will be playing against a friend, so think of what they images they might associate words with. There's some debate over whether writing out a word to describe something in your drawing is legal, but you should aim to draw images and detail that might trigger your opponent's word association.
2. Use the smaller marker.
It might seem obvious, but take advantage of the different marker sizes. The smaller marker is easier to maneuver on a smaller phone screen (versus the iPad or another tablet). It is a good starting point; you can use the larger markers for shading or filling in the gaps once you have your sketch drafted.
3. Use coins to buy new colored markers.
As you play more and more you will accumulate coins -- you get one coin for guessing an easy word, three for a hard word. We suggest using your coins to buy new markers. (You can use them to buy bombs for helping solve words, but the array of colors will help you in the long run. We recommend the Mardi Gras marker package as a good starter kit, especially since you get brown and green, which is great for sketching outdoor scenes.)
4. Close the app to get a new selection of words.
This one is for the pros out there. It might be a bug in the game or it might just be a secret workaround, but when you are dealt three words there's no obvious way to get a new set of words. However, if you close the app entirely and start the game again you will be given three entirely new words!
5. Google the word to get drawing inspiration.
This one is for anyone that has gotten stuck with a word and wondered "how the heck am I going to draw that?" It's always wise to search the word using Google Images and get an idea of what you might want to draw. Again, this might be construed as cheating, but we call it inspiration seeking!
Got any other great Draw Something tips? Share it with us in the comments or Tweet it to us at ABCNewsTech.