September 28, 2012
AOL is one strange bird. Once the largest Internet Service provider in the U.S., the New York-based company is now probably best known as the owner of TechCrunch, Engadget, and Huffington Post. Now it can also be called an iOS game developer. Arriving in the App Store is Clucks, a social video-based mobile word guessing game that will remind many of Taboo and Zynga’s Draw Something games. With Cluck, players record 12-second videos of themselves describing a secret word. Though, to do so, the player cannot use “forbidden” words that are closely related. Once completed, the video may be sent to online friends through Facebook or Viddy, who must guess the word. That person then records a video, with the process intended to go back and forth through rounds. As with Draw Something, Cluck awards coins each time a word is guessed correctly. Cluck’s concept isn’t unique. In fact, it is the basis of “Pyramid,” the word guessing game made popular by Dick Clark that is now hosted by Mike Richards on GSN. What is unique about Cluck is just how well it combines some of the most popular mobile trends of today, including video, social, and entertainment. Viddy, and Facebook in particular, remain popular with millions of users. In addition, Cluck uses Nuance’s ever-popular Dragon voice-recognition software to detect whether a player is using a “forbidden” word. Furthermore, AOL has signed a contract with Sony Pictures, who will serve as the app’s official launch sponsor. As part of the deal, Sony promises some of their biggest stars will pre-record videos for players to compete against, which sounds promising and could be a steppingstone to future promotions. Finally, just in case a friend isn’t available to play live, Cluck offers a “Barnyard” section. Here users can leave pre-recorded videos for other users to guess, even if they aren’t already Facebook friends. Take a look: For the time being, Clucks is free and is being supported by ads. Download it today in the App Store.