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Okay so if you’ve ever played a quiz game in your lifetime you pretty much know how QuizUp. It is a quiz game which means you and another person are asked a number of questions and the person who can answer the most questions correctly the fastest wins. Before each match you’re paired with a real person and the two of you go head to head in a quiz.
There are a number of categories ranging from pop culture to history, mathematics to business, and even video games and Android. One of the major draws of QuizUp is to engage in quizzes on topics that you actually know as opposed to a more classic set up that just asks you random questions. Therefore, you can stick to topics you know and it helps you enjoy yourself a little more. They don’t have topics on everything but they do add new topics every week.
Outside of the quiz aspect there are other things to do. You can message opponents, start discussions, follow people, challenge your friends, earn achievements, and link your device to both Facebook and Google+. Once you get into the game and start using all of these features, it offers a reasonably rich experience. There is also a settings menu where you can tinker with things like notifications and sounds.
The design is surprisingly good. The app is bright and colorful but also organized and ergonomic. Players should have no trouble navigating the app, finding what topics they like, or engaging in game play. During quizzes, the screen is appropriately designed with minimal distractions. All you can see is the score, the questions, and the answers along with each gamer’s name and profile picture. This helps the player immerse themselves in the game.
The only real minor issue we had was with navigation. Using the pop out menu you can navigate to any part of the application. The only problem is that the pop menu is the only way to navigate through the app half the time. For example, if you’re checking messages and you want to go to the topics, you have to open the menu and switch. The extra screen presses aren’t bad per say, but they do eventually get tedious.
So here’s what we liked
- There are a lot of quizzes to take in a lot of categories. It would’ve been easy to do just pop culture or just history, but QuizUp goes the whole 9 yards here and you can take quizzes on dozens of subjects. They add new quizzes weekly so it takes much longer than normal for the app to feel stale.
- Aside from the home section, the app is incredibly well designed. It’s easy to find your way around and everything looks colorful and modern.
- The extra features are a huge plus. Messaging opponents, the discussions, achievements and challenging your friends adds much needed depth to the game.
- Games are played quickly. Most are done in about 2 to 2 and a half minutes. If you want to play longer, you simply start another quiz.
And here’s what we didn’t like so much.
- The matchmaking system says that it’s looking for the best match for you. In reality, it’s simply looking for the next available player and that is often not the best match for you. So prepare yourself to face people who have been playing the same category for so long that all the questions are repeats for them.
- It doesn’t happen often, but some questions are either entirely wrong, poorly categorized, or have multiple correct answers. I was asked which OEM made an Android-based smartwatch with two of the answers being Samsung and Sony. They both made Android-based smartwatches. In the punk rock quiz, it asked me a question where the answer was the band Ministry. Ministry plays industrial metal, not punk rock.
- It’s also been reported that there are numerous grammar and spelling mistakes. This does not inspire confidence, especially when you get a question with words spelled wrong and multiple right answers.
- It is entirely too easy to fake your win-loss record. The game doesn’t count losing connection as a win or a loss and I’ve run into entirely too many players whose connections just happen to go out when I’m winning by like 70 points going into the 5th question.
- A lot of the questions are insanely difficult for the sake of being insanely difficult. It’s usually stuff that no reasonable person should know like the exact number of hit points a random boss has in an RPG or the exact weight of Leonard Nemoy’s prosthetic ears in Star Trek. Being delightfully obscure can be a lot of fun but being absurdly obscure can make you feel stupid and feeling stupid is kind of the opposite of enjoyable.
If I had to equate playing QuizUp to a real life experience, it would be taking a glorious, cross country road trip from New York to California with 4 days of perfect weather and no traffic only to be rear ended by a drunk driver one block from your destination.
The game looks nice, it plays well, and there are a metric ton of questions and categories to test your smarts. The in-game social dynamics are truly enjoyable and the frequent updates bring new content which helps keep the game fresh. In these areas, QuizUp excels more than most games I’ve played on Android.