Available On: Android, iOS
Games that typify a genre as well as sit atop them in terms of quality and popularity are by very definition quite rare. For tower defense you've got Kingdom Rush. For racing there's Real Racing. And for quiz games you've got QuizUp, topping off the genre by simply being much better than any of its rivals at what it does. As far as trivia games go, Quizup has the content, format, design, and multiplayer elements that make it ridiculously addictive. It's also got a substantial base of players that makes the gameplay even more addictive, more challenging, and more engaging than all of its rivals. Best of all it all fits in the palm of your hand and you can take it anywhere, as long as you have WiFi or 3G.
Even the most popular and best-rated games in any genre have to build their success on something, and in this case it's the standard quiz format seen in pretty much any quiz game from Sony's Buzz! series to Microsoft's Scene It, through to National Geographic's travel quiz and other quizzes. Its core is like all other quizzes: it possesses questions on a variety of topics and challenges you to answer them. Where QuizUp begins to deviate in the best possible way from its rivals is the sheer quantity of categories/subjects it has to offer, its ever-growing player base that is already substantial, and a design that manages to make what is essentially quite a complex collection of features feel simple to the touch.
Amongst Quizup's ridiculously comprehensive category database you will find all of the trivia classics: History, Arts, Geography, History, Movies, Music, and of course many, many more. To list all of the sub-categories and unique topics would take a whole article unto itself, but let's just say that you've got sub-categories like baking, Dungeons and Dragons, Batman, Cover Songs, and Thanksgiving. In terms of the detail the sub-topics go into, this quiz is almost touching on Mastermind territory, which British people know is something that isn't to be said lightly.
The way that you're challenged in Quizup isn't solely by the nature of the topic you choose: you level up as you compete against others which in turn ensures that you are matched up against people that are of a similar level to you. This means you'll almost never find that the game is too easy but at the same time won't be constantly defeated by people that are way more experienced than you in this game. Bonus points will also be awarded to those that answer questions more quickly, which is an extra incentive to be speedy as well as an extra level of challenge added by the game.
Another way in which Quizup manages to surpass its opponents is the social side of the game. Forgetting for one moment the fact that Quizup has a massive database of players that in turn allows you to go up against unique and challenging opponents every time you play, it also has a great social side that allows you to connect with and challenge your friends. You sign in at the start by using your Facebook account, Google+ account, or by signing up manually with any email you wish. After this, you are able to challenge anyone else in your contact list that has to game. You're also treated to a comprehensive stats page that shows off all of the attributes and performance histories of both you and your opponent.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Quizup (forgetting its massive database of players, the comprehensive quantity of questions, the specialist nature of its sub-categories, and its generally polished design) is how its developers, Plain Vanilla Games Corp , have managed to make a game that is so remarkably complex so unbelievably simple to use. The moment you're signed in you will almost certainly be able to navigate the menus and challenge other players without a hint of a problem or the need to refer to any kind of instructions. This means that the pace of the game is relentless because there isn't any slowing down unless you wish to quit your session.
Of course there are some flaws in the game as well. Don't even think of switching to another app as you'll lose your active connection with the current opponent. The difficulty of facing off against some of the more experienced players may also intimidate the more casual players out there. But this is simply a testament to just how addictive the game is, that millions of players have chosen to polish their knowledge in this very game. Quizup is simply a brilliant quiz game that's more addictive and well designed than any of its rivals. It really is as simple as that.