Developer: Cirrious Naraghi

Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s difficult to review a trivia based app, with a topic as specific as international soccer/football (depending on where you’re from), unless you are up to speed on the subject in question. Thankfully I know my way around a football pitch, and can usually find my way between two goal posts. Therefore I was able to make it through a significant number of questions in World Cup Trivia Challenge (WCTC) without stumbling over confusions such as ‘Are Holland and the Netherlands the same place?’ Don’t get me wrong though, you could be Mr. Statistics when it comes to World Cup knowledge and you’ll still get stumped by a few of these questions.

WCTC certainly has a great approach to doing trivia, and offers a style of gameplay that you won’t find in many other places. My knowledge of other trivia games and formats isn’t great, but I’m sure there are many out there that do little more than ask you a set number of questions over a set time period, and give you a score at the end. Granted, if you stripped away all the gameplay elements from WCTC this is essentially what’s happening, but the makers behind WCTC have done a great job of making trivia more interesting and competitive.

The basic format has you picking your favourite international team and an opponent, and then answering as many questions as possible over a couple of minutes or so. For every question you get correct you gain one point; collect three and your team scores a goal. For every question answered incorrectly, your opponent gets a point. Now while you may not have realised it at first, but the difficulty of the game is set when you pick your opponent. Rather than assigning different questions varying difficulty (something that has never been particularly effective given the nature of trivia), the team you pick as your opponent governs the difficulty of the game based on their real world ranking. For instance, pick Brazil and you only have to get one question wrong for them to score a goal. Pick Australia though, and you get four chances to screw up before they score. Whichever team you pick, you always have to get three points before the goal is counted, which is nice as it allows you to always play as your favourite team regardless of their real world skill.

One of the more challenging questions

One of the more challenging questions

The meat of the game is the World Cup mode where you get to pick a team, fight through a couple of qualifying games before reaching the group stage. Make it out of the group stage and then fight your way through a series of knockout games against progressively harder opponents before reaching the final. Not only are the questions World Cup themed, but you get to answer them in a World Cup tournament which feels more like a competitive game than a test of your knowledge.

The database of questions seems pretty solid, with the developer claiming 600+ questions in three languages (which is a nice touch). I played through a few times, and while I did spot a few repetitive questions, it didn’t happen often. The developers also claim to be on the lookout for new question material for future updates, so it’s probably reasonable to expect future updates if the game takes off.

Another nice touch is the multiplayer mode. If you’re a football fan then you’re certainly a competitive type, and what better way to indulge in this than challenging your friends to find out who really is the most knowledgeable fan. You can play on one system, and simply hand your iPhone/touch back and forth between questions.

The game looks fine graphically, and comes with added football sound effects. While you can turn these off, it doesn’t allow you to play your own music in the background, which is unfortunate given the casual nature of playing trivia on the go. While I would certainly recommend this to the World Cup buffs out there, given that it’s not a World Cup year quite yet and the trivia is strictly limited to World Cup internationals, I’m not quite sure if it’s worth $1.99 considering the amount of gaming available in the store right now for 99 cents. Don’t get me wrong though, if you’re a big football fan you’ll certainly find enough knowledge to entertain you, I just feel it may be a little mistimed.

The format works though, and I would love to see it expanded into other international tournaments, as well as the national leagues. I can’t help but imagine a mega-app with questions on the Premiership, La Liga, Euro, the World Cup and many other leagues. This could be worthy of up to $5 and would have much greater appeal. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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