Quiz Quest Review

Quiz Quest Review

Jun 30, 2011

Some people are fonts of utterly useless knowledge. We’ve all met them, the sort of person who knows what the currency of the former Yugoslavia was before it broke apart, or who can tell you the name of the man the Wright Brothers bought the screws from that went into building the work bench that they used to prop up a part of Wright Flyer II whilst they built it. If you’d like to join the hallowed ranks of the know-it-alls, then Quiz Quest could well be for you. In it, you have to answer a variety of multiple choice questions, from the obscure to the mathematical, the obvious to the geographical. Not just that, you can also challenge people from all over the globe in brain power contests.

The game is pretty simple in its execution. At the start of each round, you pick one of two categories, then answer questions that relate to that category. The quicker you answer the questions, the more points you receive, the more points you receive, the more you can bask in the adulation of your peers. Or something along those lines.

To answer a question, you tap the screen. Get it right and you’re greeted with a cheery chime, get it wrong and it’s a solemn vibration and a flash of despondent red. Shame on you for not knowing the answer to that question, the game says, shame on you. You hang your head, swear an oath to the knowledge gods and move on to the next brain teaser.

Quiz Quest is a nice app, though it could do with a make over. At the moment, it looks a little dowdy and defeated, with menus and screens that don’t have that squeaky clean sheen that the very best can boast about.

Once you’re over the ugly hump, Quiz Quest is a lot of fun. There are a few problems, such as geographical questions without enough geographical information to answer, but they’re few and far between. If you want to become a learned lady or gent, you should point your phone in Quiz Quest’s direction now.

Sporcle Review

Sporcle Review

May 11, 2011

Some apps make themselves essential – they become the first thing you reach for in a given situation, the app you pull out to show your friends just how awesome your phone is. Then there are the apps that you download and forget about, maybe play once or twice before deleting or removing from the home screen.

Sporcle is an app that sits somewhere between the two, not instantly forgettable but lacking any of the necessary accoutrements for greatness. It’s buggy, unwieldy and far from user friendly, but it does have a certain something that’ll stop you from throwing it into the trash.

To all intents and purposes, Sporcle is a quiz game, albeit one that’s not really a game – you’re really playing against your own brain and its store of useless knowledge. It takes quizzes from the Sporcle website and presents them in an Android-friendly format, giving you a time limit for each quiz.

The quizzes are all user submitted and range from the relatively simple to the spectacularly obscure. If you’re looking for an app to make you feel smart, then Sporcle definitely isn’t for you – the quizzes are often punishing in their difficulty, and the UI doesn’t make things any easier.

There’s nothing pleasant about filling in the quizzes on Sporcle – you write your answers with the keyboard, filling them in one by one. Except you can’t skip between questions, only scroll up and down the list, typing answers in to fill in the spaces.

Still, Sporcle isn’t all bad. Some of the quizzes are actually full of useful knowledge, and as a diversion there are worse things to do than learn new things. If you can get past the horrible design and interface, and just how user un-friendly the app is, then you’re probably going to gain a lot from Sporcle. And if you can’t, well, that’s understandable.

AskTheLocals Review

Ask The Locals is a social networking tool with a difference; rather than connecting you with your friends, work colleagues or like-minded strangers, Ask The Locals connects you to specific places. You post a question through the app, then tie that question to a locale. Say, for example, you wanted to know if a bar you were considering going to was busy; post a question and anyone using the app in the bar would be able to give you an answer.

It’s a clever concept, presented to the user with the minimum amount of fuss. Once you’ve registered, you can ask questions, review the responses you’ve been sent and answer any queries that have been posted about where you are. The menu screen is uncluttered, with big icons and asking and answering are accessed with a single tap. Options and customization are kept to a bare minimum; your only real choices are whether to allow anonymous responses to your questions and whether to show notifications when you receive answers.

You pinpoint your question using an in-app map system, which is a little too vague for the precision that the app needs. You can zoom into locations, but it doesn’t allow you to tag your question to an actual business. You can mention the business in your question, but the app really needs a better way of making sure the question you’re asking is getting to the right people.

As with all social networks, Ask The Locals depends on a strong user base and at the moment, the major concern about the app is that it doesn’t have that. I’ve been using it for the best part of three days and despite asking numerous questions and checking in everywhere I went with my phone, I’ve not had a single response or a question to answer.

If Ask The Locals can get over this stumbling block and find a larger audience, then it has the potential to be a huge success. Because it’s so targeted, and because it’s entirely created by the people who use it, it stands apart from other geo-based networking apps. With a big community behind it and a better implemented geo-tagging system, Ask The Locals could well be massive.