Draw In

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Draw In App Poster Image
Artistic fun erased by problematic controls, loads of ads.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Users won't see specific information on how scores are calculated, but it's pretty easy to figure out how to play.

 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Users can pay $3.99 to play without seeing ads -- and given how many they'll come across, some may want to.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Draw In is a simple drawing app for iOS and Android devices. The gameplay is very easy to grasp, as players draw a line they feel will outline the shape that's provided. They'll get positive reinforcement if they're successful and can try again if they're not; they can also save final versions they're particularly proud of to share or view outside of the app. Theere's no communication with other players through the app, which is a plus; the hefty amount of ads, though, is a drawback. To avoid them, users have to pay a fee. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.

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What's it about?

DRAW IN challenges players to estimate the length of a line needed to cover a shape. They drag upward to create the line, watch it wrap around the shape's boundaries, and get one to three stars, depending on how much is outlined. They'll need to try again if the line is too long; if it's too short, they can retry drawing it or advance to more complicated levels. Some drawings reveal hidden elements, such as a cassette tape that initially seems to just be a rectangle. Promotions for other games frequently pop up often, although a paid ad-free version is available.

Is it any good?

This drawing-based challenge is easy to learn and play, but its controls and heavy dose of ads eliminates some of the fun. In Draw In, players are shown a shape, which can range from a watermelon slice to a bear's face. Then they estimate how long a line would need to be to wrap around its edges and drag their finger on the screen to draw a straight, upward line. The app does the rest, illustrating whether or not their guess was right and determining how they'll be rewarded.

Levels get somewhat more complex as you advance, which helps keep the game from quickly becoming boring. Giving players the option to draw more than just a straight line would help the experience feel more challenging. Adding information about the scoring system and exactly what you're working toward achieving would also be great. A brief tutorial explains how to create a line, but it's unclear, for example, exactly how much of each shape needs to be covered to earn at least one star. Similarly, although one of the navigation elements is labeled “Select Level,” players have to actually complete each level to unlock the next one; they can't skip ahead. The app's main issue, though, is the abundance of ads that appear as you're playing. They're intrusive, and they can be long; some require you to watch for several seconds before you can close the ad screen -- and then take you to a second portion of the ad. Users can pay $3.99 to avoid them, but if don't want to fund the expense, you may find the frequent interruptions to Draw In's play are too distracting to make the game worthwhile.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about solving puzzles. If something goes from feeling easy to being somewhat frustrating, why is it important to persevere and not give up? How can you motivate yourself to keep moving forward?

  • How can you tell if something is an ad or not when it pops up as you're playing? Why might it not be a good idea to click on and download games you see random ads for?

App details

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For kids who love art

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