Arcade-style quiz fun with Trivia Harvest

Trivia Harvest is a new free-to-play trivia game for iOS and Android devices, developed by Jenkins Software. It’s available now as a free download from both the App Store and Google Play.

Trivia Harvest takes the form of a virtual board game in which players roll a die in order to move around several farm-themed tracks. Many spaces contain opponents who must be defeated by answering a particular number of trivia questions, the exact number represented by the opponent’s “health.” Other special spaces may allow the player to restore their own health (depleted by incorrect answers) or move them around the board in various ways — a “wind” space sends them backwards, for example, while a “hole” allows them to teleport to another pit on the board.

Trivia questions cover a wide variety of categories and pleasingly for international audiences, do not focus on American sports and politics to an overwhelming degree, unlike some other mobile trivia games. Players will find themselves answering questions on anything from computer science to popular culture — and upon defeating a “boss” opponent at the end of each level, may remove one category with which they are struggling.

The game may be played by one or two players, though the implementation of this is baffling and possibly broken. When playing in two-player mode, players must first tap on the appropriate character to answer the question, then the answer. This requires a degree of honesty on the part of both players to not select their opponent and pick a wrong answer — perhaps taking it in turns would have been a better method of incorporating a multiplayer system. Moreover, when playing in single player, after the first question the game invites a second player to join anyway, effectively giving the one player twice as many chances to progress as they would have normally. This does not seem like the way this system is supposed to work, but it doesn’t hurt gameplay to a significant degree for solo players.

The game is well-presented, with amusing background and character art — though some Retina display art would be nice — and an endearing retro “chiptune” soundtrack that gives the whole experience a feeling of playing an old computer game. The question text seems to be free from errors and ambiguity, too, ensuring that players feel that the challenges they face are fair.

In terms of monetization, Trivia Harvest makes some peculiar decisions. Players have four choices: continuing games after their health has expired, unlocking a new character called “Daisy,” acquiring the ability to post high scores online or a “special deal” pack which effectively gives players all three of the benefits for the price of two. While the ability to unlock a new character through in-app purchase is understandable — some players may wish to use the new character’s special “healing” ability and others may simply appreciate the opportunity to play as a female competitor — the fact that it is impossible to brag about one’s score online without a $0.99 in-app purchase is utterly bewildering. A “brag” facility is more often than not a means of viral promotion for the game rather than a convenience to the player, so to lock this functionality behind a paywall seems counterproductive.

Strange business decisions and seemingly broken multiplayer aside, Trivia Harvest is a sound game that is a lot of fun. Its charming retro aesthetic and simplicity of play make it an ideal mobile game for fans of challenging trivia questions, and the board game element makes the title a little more interesting than the usual straightforward quick-fire “score attack” approach that many other quiz titles take.

Trivia Harvest is not yet listed on our tracking service AppData. Check back shortly to follow the iOS version’s progress through the App Store charts. Meanwhile, Google reports that the Android version has only been installed between 10 and 50 times since its launch in mid-July.