Ricochet Lab’s QRANK (pronounced “Crank”) plays like a mash-up of every quiz show you’ve ever seen, but squished into a couple of minutes. The app allows you to play a quiz once daily and then rank your scores against your friends via the usual suspects (Twitter and Facebook).
The game’s general format is a little like Jeopardy – you are given 20 questions and 4 categories. Each of the 20 questions falls under one of the 4 categories, which are chosen randomly from a total of 7 possible categories (business and government, entertainment, history and places, life, literature, science and nature, sports). The twist is, you don’t know which questions are from which categories. What you do know, however, is the number of points each question is worth. There are 8 easy questions worth 100 points, another 8 medium questions worth 200 points each, and 4 difficult questions at 500 points apiece.
To choose a question, simply click on a tile on the questions screen; those marked with a small leaf are “fresh” questions, culled from the day’s headlines and thus testing your up-to-date knowledge. Your objective is to gain as many points as possible by answering 15 questions out of the given 20. Hidden in the questions are double and triple bonuses to help you earn more points if you answer correctly; also, the faster you answer, the more points you’ll add on to your score. (There is, fortunately, no penalty for getting a question wrong.) Added to this are two “power-ups”; one allows you to see the topics of the questions in one row, so you’re not going in completely blind, while the other shows which, if any, of the questions in a particular row has bonuses. Each of the power-ups can only be used a few times per game, as they take a couple of turns to become available again for use.
Answering is a little like “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?,” as you are given 4 possible answers to choose from. There are more power-ups, much like lifelines, such as one that eliminates 2 wrong answers and one that freezes the timer for 10 seconds so you don’t lose possible points while you deliberate; these also need time to regenerate for use after the first time. After you answer each question, the game shows you the friends that chose the question and how they fared; it then “ranks” you based on your current score on a list of your friends. For more involvement, you can even submit questions on the developer’s website, and if your question is accepted, you’ll get the “Published!” award in the game.
QRANK is a neat little way to kill a couple of minutes, but unless you’re into trivia-question writing, it doesn’t really ask for a lot of involvement. If you make QRANK into a daily ritual (which is what the app hopes to be, as it markets itself as “your social quiz addiction”) to compare scores with your friends, it may be a little more interesting with the competition, but otherwise it’s really just a test of self-knowledge (though the questions are sometimes a little obscure, so you shouldn’t beat yourself up over not knowing all the answers). Overall, the app has funky, slightly grungy graphics and a soundtrack that suits the edgy feel of the game. However, it’s a little disappointing that the daily games are so short, and you aren’t allowed any re-plays, so you have to wait until the next day to play again.
Here is a video demo of the QRANK app on the iPhone
This 3rd Party App is available at the Apple iTunes AppStore. Browse the full list of all AppStore apps filed under the AppStore category.
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