It has been a while since I have written an iPad app post.
That is probably because, in the end, I tend to use the iPad to read news and Twitter and to text my wife from the office. The iPad screen has nice big buttons that I can mostly hit correctly with my big fingers. So I am still playing DragonVale and Candy Crush Saga in dribs and drabs along with Ticket to Ride. (I am stuck on level 165 of Candy Crush Saga, a level I could easily win… if only I would pay… and I haven’t been able to get DragonVale to even launch in the last few days, so I might be done with that.)
I think there are more apps on the iPad for my daughter than for me at this point.
And then suddenly last week there were two new apps to download.
The first was Hearthstone which, after an exclusive engagement in Australia and New Zealand… presumably because the deserve something first now and again… the iOS version of the game finally showed up in the US iTunes store. I hadn’t played since the second I got my Hearthsteed a few weeks back… I have more games on my PC than I can possible play already… but the iPad seemed like the right platform.
And given that Hearthstone became a top downloaded app in the store almost immediately, I guess I was not alone in that though.
I was wondering what changes or compromises Blizzard might have to make in order to work with Apple and iTunes. A lot of smaller devs avail themselves of the Game Center approach, which worried me. I did not necessarily want another Blizzard account.
But my worry was for naught. When you bring up Hearthstone on the iPad, you log into your Battle.net account exactly the same way you do on Windows. That does mean that you need your authenticator to hand when you log in, which makes sense but which also means I won’t be playing Hearthstone on the road.
The real problem was getting it away from my daughter. Fortunately, with the standard Battle.net login, we could share the device and play on our own accounts.
So, I thought I had the new app to keep me happy when a friend suggested I grab QuizUp.
QuizUp is a trivia game for iOS and Android. There are dozens and dozens of categories to choose from. There is a competitive element in that you always take a quiz (all of 7 questions) in competition with another player, so there is a win/lose thing at the end. And for each quiz you take in a given category, you earn experience (more if you win, but still some if you lose) and level up and earn titles for that category.
Did I mention there are a lot of categories.
So clearly there is something simple but compelling for the achiever in this one as well as the PvPer.
I found it amusing, showed my wife the music categories… where she excels… and then she downloaded it as well. Now we can challenge each other across the living room. She kills in music, I am ahead in science fiction, and we are neck and neck in logos.
The nifty thing is that you can challenge somebody and play against them without both of you being live and online at the same time. You challenge, take the option to go ahead, and do the quiz. Then when the other person shows up, they take the quiz as well and you get the results.
The killer/tie breaker is that there is a time element to answering the questions. The longer you take to answer, the fewer points you get for a correct answer. In random games against strangers, time often fails to be a factor. But when head to head against somebody who is up on the topic, tapping the right button instantly for the full 20 points can be the difference between winning and losing.
Which can be annoying when your finger darts out like lightning to tap the correct answer and then, as you smile smugly to yourself on a job well done, you realize that the damn touch screen didn’t register your tap and you’ve lost a couple seconds and now you are going to lose.
I am pretty sure that is what happened in the game above.
Anyway, that was a good start. And then, just this weekend, a new category opened up: EVE Online trivia. (Under games, category EVE. Why not EVE Online? I don’t know.) And then I spent a bunch of time focused on that, often in competition with Mark726 of EVE Travel, against whom I tied three time running at one point.
It is actually interesting to see when a new category shows up, as people will jump on it just to earn titles and maybe get a world/regional ranking by playing early and often. The top player in any category gets a “world’s best” rank which, considering you get points for just playing as opposed to playing well… and you can buy a points multiplier, which is how they monetize… lends those titles a dubious air. But I guess you should reward persistence.
And, of course, as you play a category for a while, you start to see questions repeat. So if you have the memory for it, you will eventually do well. But when you first start off, get ready to lose.
I can only play in short bursts, so will never be a contender, but there are people out there who are obsessed… and probably paying money too.
So that has been the iPad focus for the last few days. If you want to friend me and/or challenge me in QuizUp, my handle is Wilhelm Arcturus.
I actually had the EVE Online background set before there was an EVE Online category. Call it being prepared. And my title is from hitting level 10 in the WWI category. While I already have two titles from the EVE Online category, the titles suck. “Nooblar” was the best somebody could come up with?
Now my only question out of this is, why is there no World of Warcraft category on QuizUp? That seems like a natural!
Of course, if I want WoW on the iPad, I suppose I could go play Hearthstone.