Generally during every major university holiday, some unknown company comes out with their latest game, which happens to be the talk of town for a couple of months. Think back to DrawSomething. It became really popular during Spring Break ’12, and then completely died down. This time around, its QuizUp — the interactive quiz game you can play online with friends or strangers.
QuizUp is a game in which you can challenge your friends to any of its 315 categories, ranging from Business to Nature, each of which has at least 15 subcategories. A “match” consists of seven rounds, the last of which is worth double points, for a total of 160 points. After the match, you’re brought to a screen in which you can view your new experience points, see the match questions and outcomes, and even challenge your opponent to a rematch.
The experience points don’t really make any sense because they give you arbitrary levels, which don’t mean anything. It’s only once you reach level 10 in any sub-category that your profile gets a tagline (e.g. Financier for level 10 in Business). Furthermore, it is fairly easy to level up because QuizUp does a pretty bad job pairing opponents. Its very common for a level 12 player to be paired with a player at level 4 or even lower, which in turn makes it very difficult for beginners to progress at all. Moreover, one of the major problems with QuizUp is that is has far too many sub-categories. The app does have search functionality, but when someone doesn’t know many of the sub-categories, the search feature isn’t of much help. The most annoying part of the app, however, is the constant music in the background. It’s an annoying, repetitive, unrecognizable jingle that is loud, unnecessary, and now distinctive of QuizUp.
The game does have some redeeming features though. One of its best features is that it allows you to chat with your friends. This is particularly useful when you want to play multiple matches with the same person and you don’t know what category they want to play. The minor problem with the Facebook friend integration is the constant notifications when your Facebook friends also download the game. The second most useful feature of the app is the rematch button, which sets up a new game within the same sub-category with the same opponent. This is really great for winning streaks, getting revenge, and turing around the occasional losing streak.
The matches themselves can really vary. Some matches consist of all answerable questions, but this is quite rare. Most matches have a mixture of easily answerable and completely random questions. Unfortunately, it’s fairly common to be in a match where most of the questions are completely random and both players need to guess the answers. Another problem is that once you play a certain sub-category enough, the questions will begin to repeat. Hence, experienced players have an advantage just by the virtue of having played the same sub-category before. This can be somewhat problematic and quite disadvantageous to less experienced players.
Overall, the app is distinctly average. There isn’t much that sets it apart from other collaborative games on your phone, and it really doesn’t live up to all the hype. By the time you’re reading this, Spring Semester has already begun, which means that the app has probably already begun dying, and there isn’t any point in downloading it, if you haven’t yet. If you have, I suggest you delete it now. Not only for your own sake, but for the sake of the person sitting next to you on the T who has to listen to the annoying jingle while you play the game.