TriviaTown is a disappointing trivia effort from GameHouse, with little to recommend it
TriviaTown is all too typical of sub-par trivia games on Facebook. From a bare-bones interface, users select one of 10 trivia categories and then have three minutes to answer as many questions as possible. Users who amass at least 100 points during the initial three minutes go on to a bonus round, where answering five questions correctly in 30 seconds is worth 500 points. During the initial three minutes, players can get extra time by answering lots of questions correctly in an unbroken streak. Players can also use power-ups to make questions easier to answer, to skip tough questions, or to amass points more quickly.
The usual failing of trivia games is questions that repeat too quickly, but TriviaTown doesn’t fall prey to this. The game has a robust selection of questions across all 10 categories and in the event a question does repeat, it’s not possible to gain points from answering it correctly. The cost of this variety of questions in TriviaTown, though, is that the game’s questions aren’t particularly good. Some are just poorly written, with typos and grammatical errors. A lot of them can be answered correctly simply by doing a quick (around 10-second) Wikipedia search, even if you don’t initially have any idea what the question is talking about.
The trivia categories also feel more than a little arbitrary. You might expect the Movies & Television category to contain a lot of questions about who played what famous roles, but instead those questions tend to show up in the Celebrities & Society category, which is otherwise full of the tabloid trivia you’d expect from the category. Arts & Culture features lots of questions about novels where Literature & Academia ends up featuring questions about more general pop culture. The Potpourri category, which you’d expect to mix questions from other categories, is actually more of a general knowledge category with questions about things like Marvel Comics superheroes.
Even if you find a category where the questions basically make sense, like History & Religion or Science & Technology, you quickly run into the fact that the way questions are scored doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Questions about very challenging or obscure trivia might be worth only five points while much easier questions are worth higher point values like 15 or 20. Extremely specific questions about jargon particular to a certain field routinely rub shoulders with questions that basically any person with a basic high school education could easily answer. Failure in TriviaTown doesn’t feel earned and victories sometimes feel cheap and unsatisfying.
The power-ups that are supposed to add interest to TriviaTown (and help it monetize) don’t really do a lot to make the game more fun to play. While what some power-ups do is perfectly intuitive, others are more inscrutable. The emphasis on answering questions quickly means there’s no time to think about using power-ups strategically, so it’s really much easier to simply not use them most of the time. Since you can pick which category you play, it’s not hard to only pick categories where you’re pretty sure you’ll always get a good score.
It’s possible that GameHouse might improve TriviaTown in the future, but right now there’s little reason to recommend it over other similar games on Facebook.