Are you the icon whisperer?

Have you ever passed on an app because it had a crummy icon? As ridiculous as it may sound, it isn’t all that uncommon. The home screen of your iPhone or iPad is a beautiful place, after all, and the last thing you want is some grainy (or just plain ugly) icon ruining it. As one could imagine, this is something developers would like to avoid. That’s where App Icon Quiz (AIQ) comes in. It serves the dual purpose of providing players with an enjoyable trivia game and offering developers a chance to test out their app icons.

Developer Zing Games provided me with a brief demo of AIQ at this year’s GDC. I was shown an icon featuring a baby and a timer, and tasked with choosing which of four possible categories (game, medical, utility, etc.) the app it represented fell under. Next, I was asked which of four different words were in the name of the app. And, lastly, I was asked to guess the name of the app. I got all three questions correct, because I’m awesome.

The developers also informed me that if a player is confident enough in their app knowledge, they can place bets before a round. If they get it right, they earn extra tokens. If they mess up, they lose tokens. Additionally, if they fail to guess what the app is altogether, they can pony up a few tokens to reveal its identity. And if players consistently screw up when trying to guess what an app is based on its icon, the developers may want to consider a redesign.

It’s easy to see the appeal here for developers, and I personally had a lot of fun during my short time with the game. It seems like a rare win/win scenario, where what is essentially an advergame is actually enjoyable to play.

AIQ is expected to launch within the next couple months. Developers interested in putting their apps in the game can do so here.