A few weeks ago, I saw an online ad for QuizUp, an app that hosts a worldwide, 24-hour-a-day trivia tournament. I’ve tried plenty of online trivia games (especially in times when I was trying out for Jeopardy or practicing for my appearance), but something about this game drew me in and has yet to let go. The interface is clean and colorful and works well on both my iPhone and my iPad mini, and the game itself is incredibly addictive.
There’s a wide variety of topics that gets wider by the day, so you can either test yourself on what you think you already know or try out something you don’t know and possibly surprise yourself. I do fairly well in Spanish despite having never taken a single class; it’s amazing what I’ve picked up from bilingual labels and signs, as well as from the language’s similarities to French. And try Beer Labels for a laugh — even if you never touch the stuff, it’s fun to try to noodle out the brands simply from examining the labels, especially if the Photoshopper didn’t do a good enough job of removing identifying information.
The game offers several achievements and rankings if you continue to play and do well, especially if you do well in several categories. As of this writing, I’m “Best in Virginia” in both Horror Fiction and the new category Riddles, although there’s some pretty fierce competition in Riddles.
A few gripes: There are occasional questions with blatantly wrong answers; although you can report these easily, it can take time for them to vanish to the cornfield. And because the game wants you to have someone to play against at all times, you may find yourself matched up with a bot that answers questions randomly if there are no other actual humans playing your category. Bots tend to have low user rankings, no personal photos, and an odd tendency to know all about obscure horror novels but nothing about Stephen King or Edgar Allan Poe. Because bots are generally easy to beat, they’re fun if you’re going for the 50-wins-in-a-row Ramtastic achievement. They’re less fun if you’re looking for a genuine challenge.
It wasn’t long before I had the itch to start contributing questions of my own; QuizUp has a big green “Contribute Content!” button at the bottom of most main pages. I rather brashly submitted an entire figure skating quiz before realizing that there’s an etiquette to suggesting new topics (and that several of my questions were already part of the Winter Olympics category), but I did better with my second submission for Horror Fiction. QuizUp wrote me back pretty quickly asking me for more questions.
So yay! Someone somewhere will be using my writing.
And I am “Nicole Willson” on QuizUp if you’d like to friend me or challenge me at anything. It’s free, so what are you waiting for?