Pictago lets you make a hidden object game out of any photos you take, have in your library, or that are on your Facebook account. The app is free, and the free version is a worthwhile place to start to see if this is an appropriate game for you and your kids. The download comes with several games built in, but the real fun will be in creating and sharing the games.
To make a puzzle, simply select a picture and identify different tags in it. Then you're ready to share it with your friends. The player's challenge is to find those tags as quickly as possible. This can be a challenge because not all the photos are of uniform quality, and finding the right answers is dependent on how the creator has tagged them. For instance, we found two things in one picture that we would have called a bottle cap but only one was correct. You'll be ranked on your speed, and an incorrect guess adds five seconds to your time.
Within the app, you can perform different tasks, such as watching an ad, to earn more hints or you can purchase more hints at different prices. Purchasing the $1.99 in-app upgrade eliminates all advertising.
The activity of making and solving puzzles is fun, and this is an innovative and creative way to engage kids.
Pictago is age-graded for 4 and up. However, you'll probably want to spring for the in-app upgrade that allows you to eliminate all the advertising.
In the free version, you have to watch ads to get additional hints and that's not really appropriate for kids. In one case, in order to get 59 hints, you had to agree to get a call from an insurance salesman.
Other things like hints can be purchased in-app. By the way, you don't really get a "hint" when you click on it. The app just finds the item that's been tagged.
Players are also encouraged to share and communicate their puzzles on Facebook and Twitter, which makes this game inappropriate for kids under 13 without parental involvement. If you're thinking of playing this with kids, you may want to just create your own puzzles, but there is nothing in the settings to block access to the internet, so parents who want to set up restrictions will have to do that through their device's settings.
Pictago is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), and iPad. It requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Also look for Pictago to be available on Android devices in the coming weeks.
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