Ever-popular quiz apps test all personality types

  • Article by: KATIE HUMPHREY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 13, 2014 - 2:38 PM
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Screen shots from QuizUp

Photo: Randy Salas, Plain Vanilla

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Q: Is there a quiz app for you?

A: Yes, no matter what your personality.

Millions of smartphone users have already figured that out — if the popularity of QuizUp is any indication. Since launching in November, the app has hovered in the Top 10 mobile games in the United States.

But it’s just one of many brain teasers. Turns out, there’s a trivia app to test just about any personality type.

They’re quick, mostly free, sometimes social, and feed our already established trivia habit.

“Games that tap into our culture tend to do very well,” said Marcos Sanchez, of App Annie, a mobile analytics company. “Trivia is a huge part of American culture.”

QuizUp, in particular, has a following, boasting more than 4 million players worldwide. Imagine that: a game that requires some knowledge — useless or otherwise — standing out amid the Candy Crush craze.

But Twin Cities bar trivia know-it-alls say the apps lack something social. For them, there’s nothing better than drinking beer with friends at a local watering hole, competing against other teams for trivia domination.

Still, Chuck Terhark, co-founder of Trivia Mafia, said he sees how an app can satisfy our competitive trivia impulses.

“It’s cool to be competitive and show you know something about the world,” he said.

Plus, trivia in any form offers a bit of nostalgic fun, said John Cosgrove, founder of Sassy Lassy Trivia.

“It taps into your intuition,” Cosgrove said. “You can ask a trivia question about an ’80s movie and all sorts of memories and thoughts come from that.”

Nick Pennell, 23, of Mendota Heights, prefers daily rounds of QuizUp questions about the human body, “South Park” and, when challenging his sister, animal identification.

“You choose a topic based on what mood you’re in,” he said.

It’s a nightly routine that, depending on his fervor, lasts just a few minutes — or maybe longer.

After all, he said, “You can’t end after one game when you lose by one or two points.” □

The Smartypants

You’re the one who knows a little about everything. Or maybe a lot about something specific, say, musicals, East Asian history, pro wrestling or the periodic table.

Try: QuizUp (available on iOS).

Game play: Tests your knowledge in rapid-fire matches against players from around the world. More than 250 categories, from sports to history to celebs. European geography? Be prepared. Your opponent may be from Germany.

Details: Android version in the works. In the meantime, Android users may want to try Trivia Burst.

The Rockstar

Your musical tastes swing from Jason Aldean to T.I. to Katy Perry, giving you the uncanny ability to shout out song titles after hearing two seconds of any tune on the radio.

Try: SongPop (iOS, Android).

Game play: Listen to snippets, then choose the correct artist or song in a multiple-choice format. But don’t dawdle. Speed counts as you repeatedly challenge other players in a weeklong tournament.

Details: Ads in the free version. Follow the links to buy songs via iTunes.

The Cinephile

Drama, comedy, art-house film — you know them all. You love spending your free time in a dark theater surrounded by strangers.

Try: MoviePop (iOS, Android).

Game play: How’s your “Speed”? You’ll have to be “Fast and Furious” to prove you have “The Right Stuff.” Watch a movie clip and race your opponent to name the title in timed rounds. Then play each other over and over for a week.

Details: Free with ads, links to purchase movies in iTunes.

The Artist

You’re a typography nut, bleed CMYK and graphic design, or you just have a knack for remembering logos for everything from designer fashion to gas stations.

Try: LogosQuiz (iOS), Logo Quiz (Android).

Game play: Nothing but you and a page of not-quite-complete logos, no timer, no competition. Identify them by name and unlock more pages of unfinished emblems. Sounds silly, but people love it.

Details: Multiple variations exist on both Apple and Android devices.

The Numbers Nut

You’re tasked with splitting the bill when out to eat with friends. And that’s fine by you, because calculators are for wimps.

Try: Math QuizUp (iOS, Android).

Game play: Multiple-choice mental math while racing the clock and an opponent. Ten questions times 10 seconds each equals a whole lot of grade-school flashbacks.

Details: Made by the same people as QuizUp; you’ll see ads between rounds.

The Geek

You’re pretty sure you could be best buds with Han Solo, Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen. After all, you already know their secrets.

Try: NerdTrivia (iOS).

Game play: You get an hourly question while the game is active (starts again Jan. 30). It’s heavy on pop culture, but don’t be surprised if you have to recall the Pythagorean theorem. Play against Twitter friends and strangers worldwide.

Details: The game started on Twitter, and Android users can still play through that social network.

The Superfan

The big games — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — are your mental playground, and you can spout stats and draft history like a champ.

Try: Sports Genius (iOS, Android).

Game play: How many times have the White Sox won the World Series? Go 15 multiple-choice rounds for a personal best. Be quick; it’s a race against the shot clock.

Details: The free version is limited to general sports trivia. Pay to play more categories divided by sport, team or region.

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