Daily iPhone App: French Girls is a strange idea that seems about to take off
Sometimes apps are expertly designed, very complicated machines, full of complex elements designed to take on tough tasks -- and sometimes they're just plain hilarious. French Girls is the second of these. It was developed in just 39 hours by a team of devs working on an app jam, and while there's not a lot to it (I wouldn't even call it a game, really), it is a lot of fun to see and play with.
The title is a reference to the famous line from James Cameron's Titanic: "Draw me like one of your French girls," and that's exactly what the app is about. You're given a random picture from some other anonymous person on the internet, and your goal is to draw it with the provided colors, however you want, and then upload your drawing back to them. Once you've drawn a few people, you can then upload your own pictures, and within just a few minutes, you'll get new versions of your face or whatever else you upload back as a piece of original art (sometimes great, but usually very bad).
The app feels very much like Draw Something did back before it got gobbled up by Zynga, in that it's just a fun and completely free celebration of being creative. As French Girls has gotten more and more popular over the past few days, I've seen more trolls pop up in it -- as far as I can tell, there's no one monitoring the drawings, so some pictures will come back with insults on them, or more objectionable images or language. But in general, the app is a lot of fun, both as you do your best to represent other people with your (either limited or great) art skills, and as you see pictures of yourself come rolling back in. Oh, and it contains the single greatest pull-to-refresh animation ever invented in the history of time. It's worth a download just for that.
I doubt the team behind French Girls is ready to get grabbed up by Zynga anytime soon the way that Draw Something did, but I do feel there's more here to do -- maybe they can put in a quick picture moderation system, or add a small game layer in. You can already share your pictures via Twitter or Facebook, and there's even a nice web interface where you can look at all versions of a picture so far. The app itself is free -- there's not a lot to it, but, man, it makes me laugh every time to open it up and see what people have drawn next.
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