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Sketch Online

Few multiplayer games are available for Android, but Sketch Online, which is rather like the board game Pictionary, ranks among the most entertaining. You can even play against iPhone users. Hah!

Up to ten people compete in a 'room' dedicated to a difficulty level (for example, 'English - difficult') or subject matter (such as 'Animals' or TV Shows'). You can also interact between games in a busy live-chat 'lobby'. A Synchlet account is created to track your activity and settings. Players can upload pictures as avatars and create public profiles with other details they wish to share.

The heart of Sketch Online is the gameplay, which is fast, furious, and often unpredictable. Each player gets 90 seconds to draw a picture of a given word using a 'pen' that traces lines of user-selectable thickness where you touch plus tools such as 'circle' and 'square'. The others must guess the word. It's fun, but the app's makers still describe it as 'beta' and we can see why: a number of serious bugs remain in various areas. With these ironed out, it would be a great Android game.

Type your guess then press enter bubunation found the word!

LaBOri:

jawsssss bubunation:

i lived in delancy

I pDPrl ffv ir* 'ho 'Ain<r" t:t>a will h«> to'Tn

If big hair and bigger rock anthems are you, this 1980s trivia quiz may be up your street. The multiple choice contest does more than just throw questions at you, it also hurls out insults when you get things wrong. There's a limited selection of both accolades and put-downs, however, and we didn't get the cultural references in some of them. Given the app's firm US bias, it was perhaps not surprising that we suffered our fair share of confusion.

Fortunately you get visual clues in the form of photos at the top of the screen and 10 seconds' thinking time for each question. Apart from the single player and two-player options, you can play against friends on Facebook - a useful means of making things a bit more interactive. Click the Friends option and log in to invite a friend to play against you.

More competitive players who spent their teenage years tuned in to MTV or the NFL Playoffs may find more of interest here than we did. As it is, we found I Love The 80s disappointingly limited in its scope.

Dictionary.com

Even the best wordsmiths have their off days when the 'mot juste'just won't come to mind. Dictionary.com pairs a 375,000-word database with the Thesaurus.com phrase finder in a free app that installs almost instantly from the Android Market.

Definitions, synonyms and antonyms are all provided, along with a pronunciation guide, and there's even a Word of the Day tip to expand your vocabulary. Though the principle of this app is sound, we came across a few issues that betray its US provenance. It does claim to be localised for the UK - indeed, like most Android apps, Dictionary.com asks your permission to log your geographical location - but its entry for 'aluminium' gave us a phonetic pronunciation while listing the word as an alternative to aluminum'.

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