We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

4 Pics 1 Word (What's the Word?) review


Manufacturer: LOTUM GmbH

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

RedSpell claims its What's the Word? iPhone and iPad app is the original version of the latest craze in mobile word games, but the similar 4 Pics 1 Word from LOTUM GmbH is taking Android's Google Play app market by storm. Is What's the Word? shaping up to be the next Draw Something? Here's our 4 Pics 1 Word review.

RedSpell claims its What's the Word? iPhone and iPad app is the original version of the latest craze in mobile word games, but the similar 4 Pics 1 Word from LOTUM GmbH is taking Android's Google Play app market by storm. See Android Advisor.

Reminiscent to last year's Draw Something trend, if you have a Facebook account by now you'll no doubt have seen photo posts from your friends requesting your help in completing a puzzle. They'll have posted a screenshot in which there are four separate images, each with something in common, and space to type in that something below. They need your help to correctly guess the word. See Best Android Apps.

These screenshots will look a little different: if they're blue your friend is probably playing What's the Word?; black, and it's likely they've installed 4 Pics 1 Word, reviewed here. Both apps are available for Android and iOS, although the latter has the wider device support, which stretches to our Nexus 10 tablet. 

We also installed 4 Pics 1 Word on a Sony Xperia P. With the latest version said to be optimised for smaller screens, we found it equally intuitive to use on both smartphone and tablet. The tablet version also displays in portrait mode, and the images are of a sufficient resolution to enable you to see what they're supposed to depict.

In each level four pictures are displayed onscreen, with some blank and letter tiles below. Your task is to guess what it is these images have in common, then select from the available letters to fill in the blank tiles. That more letters are provided than is required prevents 4 Pics 1 Word from becoming a simple anagram puzzler. Correctly guess the theme and you're rewarded with three coins and progress to the next level.

4 Pics 1 Word Ball 4 Pics 1 Word Drink 4 Pics 1 Word Jump

The puzzles are randomised, but only slightly. We saw the same images on our phone and tablet, and in mostly the same order. Some levels are simple, such as the use of two ladies with their arms in the air and two shots of the sea to illustrate 'wave', while others are more difficult: the flags, crowd of people, empty boardroom table and assortment of photos used to show 'plenty' had us stumped for ages. 

The first five levels are sufficiently easy to suck you into the game, at which point one reason 4 Pics 1 Word is so popular in Google Play becomes apparent. A pop-up requests that you award the app a five-star rating in return for 150 coins. This currency is key to your progression through the game as the levels become more difficult, so it's not surprising that many users are keen to take advantage. But awarding an app a high score without having thoroughly tested the software can mislead others, and it's quite possible to decline this offer. 

4 Pics 1 Word Rate 4 Pics 1 Word Cheat 4 Pics 1 Word Coins

When you're stuck on a level, pressing the bomb icon at the bottom right of the screen offers the option to remove some of the available letters (at a cost of 90 coins) or reveal a letter (60 coins). If you don't have enough coins, you can purchase some more (from $0.99 for 350). 4 Pics 1 Word is otherwise free to use, with no ads.

Alternatively, you can ask your Facebook friends for their help by tapping the Facebook icon at the bottom of the screen. Provided you're logged into the Facebook app on your phone or tablet, 4 Pics 1 Word will automatically create a post, and you simply need to tap Share to post it to your Wall.

4 Pics 1 Word Facebook

That's as far as 4 Pics 1 Word's social element goes. Unlike Draw Something, it isn't possible to partner with those friends within the game itself. Indeed, each installation of 4 Pics 1 Word is independent, with no personal profile to link your progress between, say, phone and tablet, nor allow you to connect with friends. Although you wouldn't howl with laughter at their input in this game (as you might in Draw Something), some sort of leaderboard would be nice.

It's incredibly easy to get into 4 Pics 1 Word, with no instruction required. It quickly becomes addictive, but it lacks that killer social element to hold your interest once the difficulty level ramps up. Given that you'll either need to pester your friends or pay to progress, there comes a point when you're genuinely stuck. Since there's no other way to skip a level or request a new puzzle, it's unlikely 4 Pics 1 Word will be on your go-to app list for long.

4 Pics 1 Word (What's the Word?) Expert Verdict »

Android 2.2 or later
28MB storage
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

If you've seen those 4 Pics 1 Word screenshots in your Facebook News Feed, and are concerned that you're not in touch with the latest mobile trend, don't be: 4 Pics 1 Word lacks that killer social element required for it to become the next Draw Something. It's still a great app, though, and entertaining for as long as your brain can keep up.

  • Zombie Dash review

    Zombie Dash

    Zombie Dash is a free shoot-'em-up for Android tablets and smartphones (version 2.0 and later). It's incredibly simple, yet so fun to play that it kept us entertained for far longer than it should.

  • Hill Climb Racing review: a fun, addictive mobile physics-based game

    Hill Climb Racing: a fun, addictive mobile physics-based game

    An addictive mobile game in the vein of Tiny Wings, Hill Climb Racing should appeal to kids and adults alike.

  • Tap Fish for Android review

    Tap Fish for Android

    Tap Fish is a game for Android in which you must look after a range of fish and marine life.

  • Draw Something

    Draw Something

    Hilarious and crazily addictive, Draw Something is the best thing since Pictionary. Here's our full review, updated 20th April 2012.

  • Tap Ranch for Android review

    Tap Ranch for Android

    Tap Ranch is a delightfully simple Android game in which you manage a farm, growing and selling crops, or feeding them to animals and makers to create other produce. The more money you make the bigger your farm can become, but significantly more time and effort will be required to manage it.

IDG UK Sites

LG G4 Note UK release date and specification rumours: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 killer could be the LG 3......

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 off Retina iMac with new model