QuizUp, a trivia app by Plain Vanilla Games, launched today and we’re already addicted.
Unlike other trivia games floating around where you play against a computer, QuizUp lets you either invite your friends to compete or play against other real people around the world.
The app also has chat functionality built in, so that you can communicate with your opponents after the game and make connections with people who share your same niche interests.
Because that’s perhaps the best best thing about the app: It has a wide range of uber-specific trivia topics. There are over 100,000 different questions in almost 300 categories, including pop-culture references (like The Hunger Games and Beyonce) but also quirky stuff like Herbs and Spices and Dinosaurs.
Plain Vanilla’s founder, Thor Fridiksson, told Business Insider that he reached out to fan clubs around the country to find specialists in random topics to ensure that questions were challenging and specific enough.
“You wouldn’t believe what kind of niche fan clubs you can find,” he said. “There’s a specific club in Illinois that’s just about the submarines in World War Two. These are the most passionate people in their topic, so we asked them to write the questions.”
If you access your QuizUp account in a web browser, you can also submit your own questions and categories.
Players can either compete in a quiz against their opponent in real-time or round-by-round (every quiz has seven rounds lasting 10 seconds each), and once a game is over, both see a summary of how they stacked up. As you compete in different trivia quizzes, the app also keeps track of your stats overall, so it can crown users as the Best in City, State, or Country.
Fridriksson noticed the games addictive quality while it was in its beta mode.
“We have investors who have been playing the game for over 40 hours just in the last two weeks,” Fridriksson says. “One VC has been playing it all the time and we’re looking at his stats, and saying, ‘Remember when I was trying to get meetings with VCs and they said they had no time at all?’ We have something here.”
Plain Vanilla Games, an Icelandic startup, faced bankruptcy two years ago, but has recently raised $US3.6 million from the likes of Greycroft Partners, CrunchFund, and Time Warner’s Olaf Olafsson.
Although Fridriksson didn’t specifically lay out his plans for QuizUp’s monetization, he mentioned spin-out app partnerships (Plain Vanilla released a successful Twilight quiz app last year) and the fact that QuizUp will have much more detailed information about users’ passions than Facebook, for example, which uses targeted marketing.
Check out the app’s promo video and download it from the App Store