My rating of Yahoo! PhotoSoup: 9.5 / 10
I’m down with viral fever right now, missing out all the action at OSSCamp Delhi happening at IIT Delhi. I surfing aimlessly at Yahoo! Research stumbled across insanely fun and addictive game they’ve made called PhotoSoup.
The concept is childishly simple. You go to the PhotoSoup page and choose between one of two options – ‘playing’ with photos from a user you know (or your own), or enter a tag. PhotoSoup then throws up fourteen Creative Commons Attribution licensed photos (from Flickr) tagged with that tag. Your task is to find tags other than the one you specified in a word grid and which are also used in at least one of the images. For example, if the tag you search for is ‘color’ then you’ll be shown photos tagged ‘color’. Now one of those photos may be using the tag ‘red’ or ‘orange’ too, and that’s what you have to find in the word grid. Click, drag and release across letters to select them. As and when you pick out correctly tags which are used in the shown images they get grayed out. But hurry! You’ve only 60 seconds from the time of the puzzle loading to solve it.
While solving the puzzle if you want a better look at a picture to guess what tag might have been used with it, mouse your cursor over the photo. Once the game is over you can click on any photo to see it properly on its Flickr page. You can enable ‘hints’, which will show the word / tag you need to search for beneath the photo. The grid can be quite challenging, because words may be placed horizontally, vertically or diagonally – and even backwards in any of the orientations.
The only flaw I found was that searching for the same tag shows the same photos again (that explains the .5 points less than a perfect 10 in the review score), so replay value for the same tag is low. It would have been more fun if the photos served in PhotoSoup were randmized. And it’s an amazing way to discover exquisite photos while playing word games! Besides, this certainly has potential as an educational tool given that work is done for adapting it for a school enviroment.