Trivia Crack (free, iOS|Android) is the latest game to sit atop both the free and paid rankings in both the Android and iOS App Stores. It's reminiscent of a quiz game you'd go to your neighborhood sports bar to compete in, and it has more than a passing resemblance to the gameplay from the classic board game, Trivial Pursuit.
Trivia Crack is definitely fun, but like so many apps these days, the in-app purchase system is disappointing. Fortunately, there's no fee to start playing, but getting rid of the ads might be worth shelling out the $2.99, £2.29, AU$3.79 for the ad-free version (iOS|Android). Either way, in-app purchases will probably put some people off and unfortunately, those willing to spend will get to have wrong answers eliminated and other cheats.
The first time you launch the app you're immediately asked to connect the app to your Facebook account. It's worthwhile because it's the best way to discover which of your friends are also playing. Trivia Crack promises to never post anything to Facebook on your behalf without your prior consent, though it obsessively requests your consent to share after each of your accomplishments.
Alternatively, you can use an email address to create a Trivia Crack account for syncing game progress across devices.
After creating an account, you'll get a brief overview of how the app works. You'll see arrows pointing to buttons with a text overlay explaining what they're used for just like many other apps.
How to start playing
Whether you start a game with a friend or get a random match, each player takes turns attempting to answer questions from six different categories. The categories are art, geography, entertainment, sports, science and history. In Trivia Crack, there are two different modes of gameplay: Classic and Challenge.
Classic is a turn based game, where each player has a chance to answer as many questions correctly in a row as he or she can. At the beginning of every turn, you spin a wheel and wait for it to land on a category. You are then given the option to spin again (extra spins are earned or gained through in-app purchases) or accept the category.
The next screen reveals your question with four possible answers. In the upper corner of the screen is a countdown timer that starts at 30 seconds. Tap on one of the options to submit your answer before the 30 seconds is up.
Answer correctly and you get to spin the wheel again. An incorrect answer ends your turn, sending an alert to the other participant. After three correct answers (or if your wheel stops on the crown icon), you're asked to pick a category for yet another question. But if you guess correctly on a "crown question" you earn the respective character for that category.
The best way to think of Trivia Crack is like Trivial Pursuit without the board and pieces. When you spin the wheel and land on a color you'll have to answer the question to get another turn. But if you spin and land on a crown, it's the same as landing on a pie wedge in Trivial Pursuit. The crown questions are the ones that matter most because if you collect all six characters you win the game. If neither contestant has collected all six characters after 25 rounds, the game ends and the person with the most characters wins.
Challenge mode puts you up against a long list of random players, and asks you thirteen random questions. Whoever answers the most questions correctly in the shortest amount of time wins.