Ah, Trivia. A waste of time so ancient it predates iPhones, computers, probably even books.
We are fairly certain that on some long-ago winter night, in some long-forgotten language, a hunter or gatherer grunted “he paint seven antelope on cave wall, then die from oozing wound,” and was answered “Who Og?” Yet here we are, in 2010, no smarter, no more advanced in any real sense, tapping on our iPhones like chimps trying to get skittles in some demented grad school experiment–and still obsessed with trivia.
Since we can’t stop playing trivia games, we may as well be entertained. Here are the 5 Best Trivia Apps for your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices.
Ben Stein: It’s Trivial, Griptonite Games; $3.99. What is it about Ben Stein that just screams inconsequential but accurate facts? Is it the nasal monotone? The horn-rimmed glasses? Whatever it is, this game features plenty of the signature snarky Stein sarcasm, the Stein faux- (or is it?) egotism, and the opportunity to denude Stein of some of his hard-won stuff (shades of the TV forerunner, “Win Ben Stein’s Money.”) Well worth the $3.99, and his trivia is actually, in some way, significant. For just a taste of Stein, download the lite version free. Anybody got a better trivia app? Bueller? Bueller?
Trivial Pursuit, Electronic Arts; $4.99. Just after the stone age mentioned above, in the eyes of some, came the 1980s, when Trivial Pursuit was born (with some bits of unimportant history in between). Fortunately, their elders can now school them on those bits of unimportant history through Trivial Pursuit–at least the history pie wedge, which is where the original Trivial Pursuit game now resides. You can play the game in classic mode or a new “pursuit mode,” play with up to four friends via wifi, and download new questions for a price. Typical of the EA formula: buy the rights to a classic, offer a new option, charge a premium price–and do it all very well. Psst, Sony, take note: Jeopardy has more than 3 categories per round.
PopQ Trivia, Sina Mobasser; $1.99. It’s trivia from the pop world, and you’ll find everybody who’s anybody in PopQ’s 15 categories, not to mention everybody who’s nobody. Attention parents and grandboomers, you can play too–pop means all eras of pop, and there’s a “where are they now” category that should make you feel right at home. No friends-only game play, but you can challenge friends to beat you to the top of the global leaderboard–along with a few thousand strangers.
6501 Crazy Facts, Charles Jamerian; Free. The best of a genre of “just the facts, ma’am” apps, Crazy Facts has no gameplay, no mass-market namesake, no glitz, no glitter. Just facts you didn’t know, unless you’re very strange. It keeps growing, and is still ad-free and free-free.
That Ain’t It, IMAK Creations; $4.99. One of these things is not like the others. Spot it…fast! Play for either top dollar or speed record. Play until you can put it down–and good luck with that. Two global leaderboards, no multiplayer option.
Full disclosure: though some are well-done, we avoided games based on anybody’s favorite band, TV Show, or sacred religious texts. If you want niche trivia, hit the App Store search box!