May 11, 2011
Some apps make themselves essential â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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.