QuizUp (free) is a social iPhone trivia game with an impress array of more than 250 quiz topics that amount to 150,000 questions. You can play against strangers or challenge a friend, and games are fast, wrapping up in about a minute or so.
The game requires an Internet connection because it’s decidedly social—there’s no single-player mode (although you can challenge a particular player and play asynchronously). In playing during different times of day, I found QuizUp has prime times and off-peak hours. Early in the morning (U.S. Eastern time) I was matched up with opponents within seconds nearly every time I initiated a game. Mid-day, however, finding another player who wanted to exercise his brainpower in the same category at me proved difficult, and sometimes impossible.
To start a game, you choose a topic and then let QuizUp find an opponent for you, or you can challenge a friend. I love the wide range of topics. You’ll have better luck finding opponents in popular categories, which are shown on the main screen. Some of the most popular ones are
- General Knowledge,
- Name the Flag (one of my favorites),
- Word Definitions,
- and History.
Once the game starts, you and your opponent see the same question simultaneously, and then four possible answers appear below it. You earn points for answering correctly and quickly. After you and the other player have answered, both guesses and the right answer are revealed. The game is timed. You only have a few seconds to answer. Each game is divided into short rounds, and a single game takes about a minute or so to complete. That’s just how I like my casual-mobile games.
When the game ends, you see you scores and a few other stats. QuizUp keeps track of how many games you win in a category to best match you with an equally skilled opponent—an excellent feature. You can pay to level-up faster with in-app purchases, but they are never pushed in your face, thankfully.
I lament that there’s no single-player mode, as I really enjoy single-player trivia games, such as Movie Cat ($1.99), or the more brain-challenging Lumosity for iPhone.
A single-player mode could also make the game available to play offline, if you downloaded a quiz pack locally, for example (and heck, the developers could even charge 99 cents per pack for that).
Despite QuizUp being a necessarily social game, messaging other players isn’t tightly integrated into the gameplay itself, as it is with Draw Something, for example. In Draw Something, you see an option to send your partner a short note directly after a round ends, and you know that she will see it on screen as soon as her turn ends. The game actively prompts you to interact. In QuizUp, after a game ends, you can scroll down the page to find a chat icon where you can message the other player, but it’s not obvious (I didn’t see it until it was pointed out to me). There’s also a message section hidden behind a collapsible right pane along with a few other features. If you prefer anonymous play and less interaction with other players, then this setup is probably ideal. But if you’re playing social games to be social, you’ll want to take note of the location of these buttons.
Among trivia games for the iPhone, QuizUp is one of the best I’ve played in a while, making it an Editors’ Choice. Short gameplay keeps the pace moving, but lets you put down the phone when you need to. The range of topics is glorious. And who doesn’t love the f-word: free?
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc