In the world of organizational thinking, mind maps have become something of a godsend in recent years. While it sounds fairly cerebral, a mind map is simply a diagram that shows how things are connected to one another. The team at Bitbox Games decided to take this concept and roll it into a trivia game. Do you have what it takes to answer questions about topics that are connected to one another?
The structure and gameplay in Map My Mind is very simple to learn, though it sounds a little complicated on paper. Each level is a map with keywords occupying different nodes. The questions you'll answer exist between these nodes. Let's look at the movies map as an example. You'll start off with a node called “Oscars.” Connected to it are nodes called “animation” and “actors.” Select the question between Oscars and animation and you'll get a question that relates to both topics – in this case it asks you which film was the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2002. Simple enough?
Questions exist in three different forms – multiple choice, placing things in the right order, and matching answers. Multiple choice is easily the most common, but the other two crop up often enough to help keep you on your toes. Placing things in the right order usually involves putting things “which came first/which came last” order, which is as easy as dragging the options around on the screen, and matching things simply requires you draw a line to join the connected items. For example, match these films to their director.
The questions themselves are well thought out and offer a fair yet challenging level of difficulty, with each map taking 20 or so minutes to finish depending on your skill. The only real downside here is that the maps never change. Returning to a map you've completed before won't present you with new questions on the same topic. Instead you'll be faced with everything you've already answered, creating a “one and done” scenario for each map – and it's not like you're going to want to play every map.
While I felt right at home with maps about music and superheroes, I don't know the first thing about astronomy or the Olympics. Of the 15 maps, there were only 9 I had personally felt comfortable enough to approach and only 6 I was excited about playing. You'll invariably have a wildly different experience in terms of what you do and don't want to tackle, but it's highly unlikely you'll ever find yourself eager to jump into every bit of content this game has to offer.
On the flip side, Map My Mind offer additional mind maps for purchase at 99 cents apiece from an in-game store. As of this writing there are 5 new maps available that range from basketball to World War II, offering as wide a range of topics as the main game itself. Again though, these maps suffer from that “one and done” issue.
Had each topic offered up fresh questions that allowed for multiple playthroughs, our feelings on Map My Mind would have swung much further into the positive. The idea behind the game is unique, the questions are challenging – but a trivia game needs the bottomless pit of fresh content that Map My Mind is lacking. We love that downloadable content available, but what this game really needs is more questions, not more maps. For $2.99 Map My Mind is money well spent, but it's not a game you're going to be able to keep coming back to. For a trivia nerd like myself, replayability is an absolute must. Map My Mind just doesn't have it.