NASA-themed trivia blasts on to Facebook

From the folks over at NASA comes a new Facebook game called Space Race Blastoff. A competitive trivia game, it is relatively simplistic, but still serves its purpose well. That said, it’s nothing terribly innovative and the questions asked are quite difficult, even at the best of times. Additionally, the new title tends to make some odd choices in terms of category selection.

There’s nothing complex about the play style of Space Race Blastoff. After a rather wordy splash screen with instructions, you select from several preset avatars and quickly jump into your first game. By default, the application will attempt to pair you up with two other random players (though it is possible to set up games with just your invited friends), and should two not become available in a short amount of time, a solo game will be initiated.

Space Race Blastoff

Each game consists of 10 questions from various scientific categories. Most questions tend to be fairly difficult and there is no sense of a difficulty curve (the difficulty of each question is very random). What makes most of the queries challenging is the categories themselves, stemming from topics that the average person isn’t going to know much about. These consist of things such as astronauts, chemistry, spacecraft, and even aeronautics. For what it is, it works fine, but for whatever reason or another, the topic of pop culture is thrown in as well ,which just doesn’t really seem to fit with the rest of the theme.

Oddities aside, you score points for each correct answer with a small bonus for being the first to answer. Even if you do not know the answer, there is no penalty for being wrong, so feel free to guess away if needed. Unfortunately, this means its very possible to win just by being lucky (and it does happen).

At the end of 10 questions, the winning player will then get to enter into a bonus round that will allow them to spin a wheel of all the different question categories. This question will award additional points to the score you have already accumulated with extra acquired should you land on a special “Blastoff” category that hosts questions worth anywhere from 500 to 1,500 points.

Space Race Blastoff

This might raise the question of why for some. Why earn points if a player has already won? Well, these points also act as a currency that you earn cumulatively with each match played. They don’t buy anything significant, but herald back to the more traditional reward system of badges. Each one costs 1,500 points and there are several to collect that fall into categories similar to those questions stem from. Other than this moderate means to enhance longevity, the only other aspect of Space Race Blastoff is a set of leaderboards.

NASA’s Space Race Blastoff is not too bad when all things are considered. Really, the determining factor for enjoyment is simply whether or not you like trivia games. If you do, and you’re the science type, then the questions present here ought to provide a decent challenge. You might even learn something. As far as design and innovation go, there’s nothing terribly special to showcase.