A crash course in head scratching
In the realm of trivia games, offbeat knowledge is the only currency that matters. A well-rounded understanding of history, literature, pop culture, and everything in-between is what it takes to come out on top. It’s exactly what enabled Ken Jennings to win Jeopardy 74 times in a row, and precisely what will lead you to victory in Trivi.al for iOS.
Fans of trivia games will feel right at home here, as Trivi.al presents itself in a similar format to most of the big ones. Players take turns answering a set of questions within three rounds that vary in structure: There’s the general round, the lightning round, and the bonus round. If you didn’t do so hot in the general round, you still have a shot to win the game in the lightning and bonus rounds.
At the start of each game, you’ll be invited to purchase power-ups. They cost a few coins (you start with a lot and will earn more as you play), and provide you with the ability to do things like slow down time or eliminate half of the answers. I actually found myself ignoring them every round, but I’ve no doubt other people will want to use them.
Trivi.al is a game that places a lot of emphasis on playing with friends, so you’ll be prompted to sign in via Facebook account (or email, if you prefer) upon firing it up. The game will then divvy up your friends list into categories: family, coworkers and “Similar IQ Players”. With the last of those options, the game will list Facebook friends who perform on the same level you do in the game. It’s an interesting feature, and one that will surely result in all sorts of fierce competitions amongst friends.
As awesome as it is to beat your friends at a trivia game, that’s not the only reason you’ll want to give it your all. The more games you end up winning, the higher your in-game IQ score goes. The goal here is to bring it up to the “genius” level, a feat I’ve not yet been able to accomplish. It doesn’t help that the questions are pretty difficult at times.
A trivia game is only as good as the questions it asks, and Trivi.al performs very well in this area. Aside from a few pity questions that are near-impossible to get wrong, the game asks some incredibly tough ones. Some of them struck me as very obscure (not a bad thing), and others left me feeling as though the correct answer was on the tip of my tongue. All in all, there’s a very impressive variety of topics in the game, covering just about everything one could hope for. I wouldn’t expect any less, given the team of Jeopardy contestants and Quiz Bowl champions who worked on the game.
It’s not the most original of trivia games, but it’s certainly one of the most polished ones I’ve encountered. The questions are solid, the format is enjoyable and easy to understand, and the persistent IQ score provides players with a reason to keep playing. If you’re a bona fide trivia buff looking for your next fix, or are looking for the right entryway into the genre, Trivi.al will definitely fill those needs.