Is Quizup the latest app-craze to take over your teen area? Available initially only for iOS, this addictive trivia game was released for Android platforms just this month. With over 10 million iOS users already, the game is well on its way to over 1 million Android signups just 10 days after its platform release. In February, Quizup CEO Thor Fridriksson told Adweek that on average, users spend 30 minutes per day on the app’s trivia challenges. So take a breath and get ready to plunge headlong into the world of Quizup!
With Quizup, players pit their wits against friends and strangers alike in real-time, intense, timed trivia challenges on hundreds of topics. With over 220,000 questions, and more added all the time, it is a hard game to get tired of. To start players sign up either through Facebook or an email address. If a teen chooses to use their Facebook account (which most of the teens I know do), the app will connect them with Facebook friends that also have the game. (The app will also notify players when Facebook friends sign up.) Privacy issues when using a Facebook account of course abound so library staff should encourage teens to think carefully when choosing this option. Players teens connect with in the game will see a teen Facebook profile picture and cover photo as well as being able to send messages through the app.
Quizup is regularly adding new topics but for now there are quizzes that cover everything from math and science to popular culture. When a player finds a topic of interest there are two choices. Users may play a friend or a stranger. Playing a stranger, the app will match the player with someone else from anywhere around the world. If playing a stranger, all that’s needed is to hit “Play now” and the app will match the user with another player and the game starts. (Of course, that stranger could come from anywhere in the world. Try playing Australian geography with a player from Australia!)
To play a friend, players select Challenge and then choose from a friend on their list. If a teen selects to play with a friend, that friend doesn’t have to be available to play at the moment a game is started. Friends are notified of a game challenge and are able to join when they next log on (this is similar to Words with Friends except the player doesn’t have to wait for a friend to make a move before continuing).
Each quiz has seven questions and the faster each is answered correctly, the more points awarded The final round is worth double points for a correct answer. For each individual topic, players can achieve a separate status level. The more the game is played, the higher the level achieved.
Along with points and higher levels, players can gain achievements throughout the game. These can be anything from “engaging with players from all inhabited continents” to “winning a match after getting the first four questions wrong.”
Like many apps that take teens by storm, Quizup is social. Not only can teens play friends, they can send messages inside the game as well. With the chat feature, teens can talk to friends and egg them on as points are scored, or not.
All trivia games within the app are not created equal. With so many topics and a growing number of questions, some quizzes are better than others. Teens might find themselves disappointed with some of the questions. Sometimes questions seem off topic or completely random (no I’m sorry, I do not know the name of the director of the third episode of Game of Thrones) and sometimes the difficulty may seem too easy or too hard. I also noticed a trend on many of quiz topics for repeat questions. (With over 50 books in the Discworld series, you’d think there wouldn’t have to be questions repeated!) As with anything, quirks can be worked out, and I anticipate as more quizzes are added and more are updated, the questions and topics will only become better and more diverse. Users can suggest topics by checking out Quizups’ Topic Suggestion Form on the app’s website. Via that part of the app,teens can suggest a topic and others can vote for favorites. The topics with the most votes get turned into quizzes!
For Teen Tech Week this year I brought out the library iPads and instituted App-y Hour on Friday. I had several apps I planned to show off to the teens but since I started with Quizup, they quickly lost interest in everything else. Many teens already had Quizup accounts so they were able to jump right in. The most interesting thing for me observing them playing, was that while ostensibly it is a single player game, the teens while playing each other in person, quickly teamed up for the challenges. They found topics they hoped they could beat the other team at and helped each other with the questions. It became a mini-trivia night right there in our Teen Space. The teens were having so much fun I immediately began planning future “Quizup Challenge” programs.
Who knows how long this latest app craze will last but I think that with the developers constantly adding new topics and questions, this game has a pretty good chance of keeping teen, and adult, attentions for a good long while!