AppMonday: QuizUp

The useless knowledge we all have could fill a room, and possibly an encyclopaedia, but now you can flex your trivial knowledge muscle with a game that only takes a couple of minutes but can be hyper-addictive and very competitive.

Available on pretty much every major mobile operating system — meaning it’s on iOS for iPhone and iPad, Android for smartphones and tablets, and even the triage case that is Windows Phone — the title is “QuizUp”, and if the name doesn’t give away what it is, you may not want to consider playing it.

Essentially, QuizUp is a quick burst of trivia that you can play against friends you know, or people you don’t, with the QuizUp system able to link you to a random player keen to connect with other random players in various categories all across the planet.

Built by a developer in Iceland (Plain Vanilla Games), it’s an app that has in the two years since it has been released developed quite a following, with well over 1000 topics of interest, many of which have photos for you to play the trivia from, and over 20 million users to play against, of which this writer is definitely one of them.’


The game is also a pretty simple concept: pick a topic and answer seven questions, the last of which is worth twice the points of the rest of them, and where as the time counts down, your opportunity for points goes with them.

Points don’t mean much if you can’t get anything for them, and so while you won’t be winning prize money, you will be winning status, vying for the status of best in your country and occasionally the world, while also ranking up and getting specially named ranks and titles based on the topics you’re playing.


For instance, if you do demonstrate just how much of a consumerist you really are in logo guessing, you could earn the title of “Mayor McCheese”, while Simpsons trivia and word scramble guessing can earn you the names of “Springfield Atom” and “Dog God” respectively.

As a GadgetGuy staffer, it’s only fitting that this reviewer has earned the title of “Gadget Badger” in the name the gadget challenge.


You don’t have to use any of these titles, either, and can just keep playing the game, opting to do these two minute trivia games when you have the time, and running yourself through a variety of trivial knowledge areas that might not be so trivial to you.

We’re serious when we say the topics are large in number, as they run a gamut of pretty much everything, from popular culture to history to technology to sports, sports, and more sports.


And QuizUp is fun in its short and competitive simplicity, keeping your attention because the questions never really stop, and while you’ll probably end up receiving quite a few identical ones, you’ll even discover a few new ones from time to time.

What we do wish would return, however, is the single player mode.

Something that was in testing late last year to early this year was a single player variation of the game that had an almost “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” style of gaming, and didn’t need you to play against anyone else, handy for those of us who just like to challenge knowledge against ourselves and not necessarily compete.

Back when this feature was being tested, the game featured a long running question-by-question trivia game that every five rounds would throw in a question from a random topic totally unrelated to your own. If you didn’t like the topics, you could buy more with coins won from other questions, or conversely throw a bit on in-app purchase money their way to boost your own coin, but generally the coins you had won were enough.

The single-player challenge element of the game definitely gave QuizUp something useful for those times when you felt like playing against people just wasn’t doing it for you, and you wanted to simulate being on a game show where you could go the distance and find questions that would get suitably harder as time went on.


Unfortunately, it was a feature still in testing, and we haven’t heard when QuizUp plans to roll this out once again to more than just the randomly selected testers who got to try this neat bit of the future.

It could come soon, however, especially after finding out that a TV show version of QuizUp is in development, so it would make sense to see a single player version arrive around the same time as the television counterpart.

Learn more about the questions you didn't go so well at, and even the ones you did.
Learn more about the questions you didn’t go so well at, and even the ones you did.

Even without this bit, QuizUp is still tremendous fun, and since we all have so much trivial knowledge in our heads taking up space, is a little bit of fun for the daily commute (and the boring times you’re standing in line at the checkout) that lets you prove why the trivial knowledge might not be so trivial after all.


QuizUp is available for free for phones and tablets running iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, and Windows.

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