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Quiz games can be hugely entertaining, though the statement ‘seen one, seen them all' truly does apply to the quiz game genre. The problem with the genre is that it's inevitably going to be an attempt at making a very plain format unique. Get the answer right and you score points or receive a reward, get it wrong and you don't - or worse. So when a game like The Impossible Quiz comes around, it's difficult not to be excited because for many, it will be the most original quiz game they have ever played.
Essentially what you're getting with your average quiz game is the presentation of questions in a fairly familiar manner whilst a game-specific interface lets you read, understand, and then answer the questions using either the keyboard, mouse, or indeed touch-screen of your mobile device. Many people get truly excited about quiz games, particularly ones concerning general knowledge because they often make people feel clever (this is why gen-knowledge pub quiz machines are so popular in bars and pubs). What makes The Impossible Quiz unique is that its moderately-familiar format contrasts with its downright outlandishness to form a completely new beast altogether: a quiz that makes you feel stupid, yet entertains you thoroughly whilst doing so.
So what makes The Impossible Quiz unique enough to be singled out as an original and entertaining game? Well, it's certainly not its core format because it's really just like any other quiz in this respect. It asks you a series of questions one after the other and you answer them one at a time. Where regular quizzes and The Impossible Quiz begin to deviate from each other is down to style. Regular quizzes are usually pretty straightforward, presenting a question and either making you answer it without a prompt or giving you a series of multiple-choice answers for you to choose from. The Impossible Quiz isn't quite as forthcoming as this.
In fact The Impossible Quiz does its utmost to try and confuse the hell out of people who dare to play it. You would think that the question “How many holes in a polo” would be straightforward, wouldn't you? A polo (as in the mint with the one hole) has a single aperture and therefore the answer is one, right? This is actually incorrect as in true Impossible Quiz style the question is being literal asking you to count the holes in the phrase “A Polo” - four is the correct answer because of the way the letters are formed. And the quiz goes on in this eccentric, fun, and rather unpredictable manner throughout, increasing in difficulty as you go.
What makes the quiz so entertaining is that some questions can be completely literal (like with the first question about the Polo) whilst others are a little more cryptic and require more thought. Other questions attempt to double-bluff you by making you thinking they are complex but are in actual fact straightforward and easy to answer if you don't think too hard about them. That's where the quiz usually gets you: luring you into a false sense of edginess rather than security, constantly making you think there is more going on than what is written down because most of the time, there actually is.
It's not as easy as simply bashing each answer until you get the right one either: the quiz is negatively marked, meaning you only get three lives the number of which goes down each time you get an answer wrong. This really is only fair to be honest because Slapp Me Do, the creator of The Impossible Quiz, knows that this would be an unfair advantage for people just looking to beat the game without really thinking about the questions.
The game's design is best described as rustic, raw even: it is plainly designed and has a look that could have been construct using Microsoft Paint, but that's sort of the point of it all. Its playfully simple design merely reflects eccentricity of its creator and more importantly causes the spotlight to fall instead on the questions themselves as well as the crazy premises like escaping a telephone booth or not clicking a button as is the case in many games. If the game had been polished up and its look pondered over for too long it would definitely have lost much of the charm it has in its current state, which is plain yet colourful, and clearly all about the insane fun that it holds for the player and not any sort of pretentious design or silly deeper meaning in the visuals.
So to those that think The Impossible Quiz may just be another quiz in a world of very plain and boring quiz games: think again before dismissing this game as another sheep following the flock. The Impossible Quiz is an original take on the quiz genre that became viral in no time at all. Another testament to its popularity is the fact that The Impossible Quiz for iPhone also exists, spreading the fun to mobile devices as well as internet browsers across the world.