• Quizmaster: The Art of Knowing Things, Gamefied - Part 1

    Quiz games are all the rage this season, and last season and the season before that. Form the genreís early beginning in games on Facebook like Whoís Got the biggest Brain (which was later ported to the iTunes App Store), weíve been pitting our minds against one anothers for a few years now and still the platform stays strong. Weíve long wanted to test our mental prowess against that of our friends. The latest hit quiz game is the immensely popular 4 Pics 1 Word, and to celebrate the longevity of the game category, Iím going back in time and pulling a few of the best in show out for review.

    Letís start with an old favourite of mine, SongPop.

    Song Pop

    Think you know your tunes? Prove it. Pick a musical genre and a friend and see which of the two of you can recognise a song and its artist before the other.

    Following in the tradition of Words with Friends, Song Pop allows you to directly challenge a friend to a song-off. In the game, youíll be asked to pick from one of three genres pulled randomly from the appís collection to go head to head with your friend in guessing the songís title or artist.

    You can buy in game coins (via in-app purchases) to then buy powerups that will let you shuffle those categories if you donít like the three choices youíve been given. You can also purchase new categories and powerups that will remove options during a stage to make it easier. Youíll earn these coins by winning levels as well (and by losing, although you wonít earn as much that way).

    During gameplay, youíll listen to a short clip of a song as the timer runs down and youíll be presented with four options. The aim of the game is to pick the right option for that clip in as short a time as possible to score more points. If you can keep up a string of correct answers, youíll be given a bonus each time as the overall score compounds on the previous stageís points. If youíve answered more questions right in a row than your friend at the end of 5 stages, youíll have more points than they do and youíll win that round, earning you more coins.

    The game runs on a turn-by-turn system, so youíll answer the 5 stages first, then your friend will receive the challenge and answer them back, with the added ability to see how long you took and which answers you chose. The game sort of dies once your friends get sick of playing - you end up with a lot of outstanding challenges and no return rounds. You can play against random challengers, but itís not as much fun.

    You can also purchase songs directly from within the app - at the end of each round, you can see a list of your answers (right or wrong) and there is a link to the iTunes download for the single/album. It sort of reminds me of the music quiz on the old school iPods, especially in that I start playing, but then I catch a bit of a song I havenít heard in ages and I want to go into my music folders and listen to it.

    Although itís not nearly as popular as it used to be, you have to give FreshPlanet Inc. props for updating a good olí standby and making it a social phenomenon again.

    Logo Quiz

    The game that spawned a whole series of spin-offs and remakes (like the third item on this list), the Logo Quiz really defined the category for a long while and cemented the format. Youíre given an image of a logo and you have to type in what you think it is. Correcting for a few obvious misspelling errors, like capitalisation and the like, you work your way through guessing what the logos are.

    A lot of the game is highly entrenched in American culture, most of the brands being US based or at the very least prominent in the country, so it doesnít translate so well into some other countries, but Australia fares pretty well in that regard - weíre culturally very close to America anyway.

    Each level has a page or more of logos to guess, needing a certain amount of correct guesses to proceed to the next level. Each string of right answers scores you a hint that you can use for the tougher questions. Progression will open open up tougher levels with logos that are a bit more complicated and obscure.

    Itís a great cultural meter, to gauge where youíre at in terms of entrenchment in marketing and corporate media messaging. Itís also fun to see if your scores match up with those of your friends - although the app itself doesnít give you an easy out to this end.

    Once youíve run through the game, or the answers that you know at least, there isnít much else to it. It was fun while it lasted, but unfortunately, the game itself didnít last at the top all that long.

    Part 2 will look at 4 Pics 1 Word, the hot quiz game of this season social season, and the Icon Pop Quiz app, recently laid to rest by those who decide whatís cool and whatís not (who are they anyway? Iím waiting for hypercolour to make a return and would like that they speed that up). Let me know if there are any other great quiz games iím missing by tweeting me.

    Kelly Vieira is a writer for Finder.com.au - where they compare a bunch of things, including mobile phones.
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