Quiz Buddies is a new Facebook and mobile game from Playdemic. It’s available now on both platforms, and features cross-platform play between the Facebook and iOS versions. The iOS version does not require a Facebook login to play — the game also features a proprietary username system whereby friends can compete against one another without requiring a connection to the social network. This review is based on the Facebook version of the game.
Quiz Buddies is a simple asynchronous multiplayer quiz game that pits two friends against each other in an attempt to score as many points as possible over the course of five questions. The questions are initially all general knowledge, multiple-choice challenges, but as the player progresses through the game, they can unlock various themed question packs. These question packs may also be acquired by asking friends or paying real money.
Gameplay in Quiz Buddies is designed to be quick and easy to understand. Players must simply answer questions as quickly as possible, at which point they gain points if the question was correct, plus a bonus depending on how quickly they answered. This bonus can potentially double their winnings for a single question, and this score may be further increased by using a once-per-game powerup that doubles the score attained for a single correct answer. Two additional powerups are also available: one swaps the current question for a new one, and the other removes two incorrect answers, giving stumped players a 50/50 chance of guessing the correct one.
The game monetizes through its energy system, which limits play to five games per day, but which can be restored through expending in-game currency. Said in-game currency can either be purchased or earned through successfully inviting friends. The game doesn’t make it particularly obvious if this currency can be used for anything else — there’s no apparent in-game shop to purchase powerups or new question packs, for example, and when the “unlock new questions” prompt comes up (seemingly randomly after a game) there’s no option to purchase the new questions with in-game currency — only real money or by asking friends.
This trend of not explaining things continues throughout the rest of the game. It’s obvious that answering correctly in particular categories earns the player “stars,” for example, but it’s never made particularly explicit to the player whether these are “for” anything, or just a means of showing their mastery of a particular subject area. Likewise, the game doesn’t explain how many rounds a game is supposed to go on for, and it’s very easy for two mismatched players to develop a huge discrepancy in score within a single round, making for a high incidence of early resignations among those who feel it is hopeless to continue playing the match they are involved in.
Quiz Buddies isn’t a bad game at all — it just feels half-finished at the moment. Its interface needs a bit more fleshing out with more explicit explanations of what everything does, how to unlock questions and exactly how the game is structured, and it could perhaps be balanced a little better, perhaps by determining the victor of a matchup by a “best of three rounds” system rather than a cumulative score for all three. On the positive side, though, cross-platform play works well, and the fact that the mobile version is not dependent on Facebook will please App Store reviewers in territories such as the U.K., where Facebook being the only means to log in to a mobile game or app is typically a feature that is received rather negatively.
Quiz Buddies currently occupies the 50,000+ MAU tier with a rank of 3,835 and the >2,800 DAU tier with a rank of 5,060. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social games and developers.
A good quality asynchronous quiz game that just needs a little work to make its various systems clearer to the player.