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TriviaBurst brings competitive trivia to iPhone

Well, sort of. It's not real-time online competition, but rather who-can-score-the-highest competition between you and your friends (and you and the world).

Calling all trivia buffs: if you're looking for one of those cool multiplayer trivia games like they have in bars, where you get to square off against other players (and even other bars) in real-time competition, well, TriviaBurst isn't it.

Though the game promises "group challenges" and Facebook connectivity, it's very much a single-player exercise.

I'm not saying it's not fun, but rather that it's a bit disappointing--and definitely a little buggy.

TriviaBurst offers more than 5,500 questions across three major categories and about a dozen subcategories. You can also submit questions of your own, a fun perk that should add to the game's replay value (approved user-submitted questions get added to the database).

What I can't understand is why I encountered repeat questions during just a handful of games. Let's call that bug No. 1.

The game has no sound effects whatsoever, which makes gameplay a bit duller than it should be. There's background music, but sometimes it failed to play (bug No. 2).

Also, TriviaBurst can publish your game scores to your Facebook profile, but on many occasions the app's Facebook screen popped up, only to disappear again a moment later (bug No. 3). (I should note that after rebooting my iPhone, both problems seemed to disappear, at least temporarily.)

It's not entirely clear how scoring works (somehow I scored "9/19" in a game with 10 questions), though you do get awarded bonus points for speed. You can view your total, cumulative score, and ranking on the Top Scores screen, which is also home to an online leaderboard.

The Compete screen is where you create or join groups and invite Facebook friends to play (on their own iPhones or iPod Touches, apparently), but I couldn't quite figure out this feature.

In any case, group challenges aren't played in real time; you're simply trying to see who can score the most points. My ideal trivia game would offer real-time Internet play against at least one other player.

I can't ding TriviaBurst for not being that game, but I'd definitely like to see the bugs worked out (the repeating questions are particularly annoying), some sound effects added, and a more straightforward scoring system.