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You should play: QuizUp

Leah Yamshon | March 7, 2014
These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Quick! How long would it take to drive the distance to the moon (240,000 miles) if you traveled 10 hours a day at 60 miles per hour? You know you learned this back junior high, but now you only have 10 seconds to figure it out, and you'd better come up with the answer before your partner does.

That's the way of QuizUp, a game that brings Trivia Night from your favorite local bar straight to your mobile phone. It's been available on iOS since November 2013 and has had massive success there, with about 10 million users. But now Android users can get in on the fun: Plain Vanilla launched QuizUp for Android on Thursday. And this new Android release is nearly identical to its iOS counterpart, save for a few controls that are specific to each platform.

"We're so excited to see how the Android community will respond to QuizUp," said Plain Vanilla's CEO Thor Fridriksson, "and we're sorry that it took us this long, but we wanted to really perfect the Android build."

The concept is simple: You play a seven-question multiple-choice round of trivia against another player. You have 10 seconds to answer; the quicker you answer each question, the more points you get, with 20 points being the maximum awarded per question. A wrong answer — or no answer — gets you zero points, and the final question is worth double the points.

When you finish a round, you earn experience points called XP. You get points for your base match score, earning extra points if you finish the round instead of forfeiting, if you win, and if you answer the final bonus question correctly. Earning XP moves you up to a higher level for that topic, and those levels show how long you've been playing QuizUp and how well you dominate in certain trivia topics.

When creating your QuizUp account, you can either connect via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ or just create a fresh account. If you decide to login with a social account, you can see which of your friends are already playing the game. You can challenge your friends directly, or peruse QuizUp's massive list of trivia topics and pick something to play immediately. You're then paired with a stranger who also wants to play that category, and the game begins.

I had a few concerns about QuizUp's real time games — namely, how can we prove that we're playing against a real person when we're playing against strangers, and how it confirms that we're actually playing in real time — but Fridriksson explained both. He said that if both player's internet connection is good, then live play will be really smooth. The question timer is counted from each player's device, so if you see a delay in answering, yet you both are awarded the same amount of points, it likely has to do with a laggy connection. This timer strategy assures that players are never at a disadvantage for being on a slow connection. 

 

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