VH1 I know the 80s Trivia
I know the 80s is a great idea, but the questions repeat too frequently for it to be much fun...
I gave I Know the 80s a fair shot. It isn't getting 2 stars because it's a trivia title in a mobile gaming landscape that is now able to support large, complex action/adventure titles. It's getting two stars because it simply isn't executed to anywhere near its full potential. In fact I think well-executed trivia games would be a boon to mobile gaming, and I hope Kayak Interactive (now known as Blaze) utilizes the MTV and VH1 license to give music trivia more opportunities to shine on mobile handsets.
The problem is that this first effort commits the cardinal sin of trivia games - there just aren't enough questions. Each round is 20 questions long, and I actually received repeat questions in the same round, a couple of times. Granted that was the exception and not the rule, but once you've played the game for a handful of rounds the mixture of new questions to old quickly rises to about 50/50. It should take a lot longer than that to run into a high mixture of repeats, for the game to be of much value to gamers.
The problem is further exacerbated by the organization of the questions. They're split into four periods - 80-82, 83-84, and so on. In the beginning only 80-82 is available, and once you get good enough at those questions the next time period opens up. If the game pulled from one large pool of questions instead of four smaller ones, repeats would take many more play sessions to become a problem. Since a new set of questions is only unlocked when you get good enough at the previous set, its almost as if the development team intended for questions to repeat early and often, allowing you to progress only when your score improves.
The game does include a multiplayer mode, but it isn't very full-featured. 2-8 players all play off of the same phone, and answer the same questions one after the other, passing the phone around between one another.
I know the 80s is fundamentally sound, and extremely accessible. Correct answers are selected with the up/down buttons and the OK key, or with hotkeys. It has the same cheeky style found on VH1's ever-popular I Love the 80s programming, although that's the extent of the license.
I Know the 80s has a heck of a lot of room for improvement. With a larger pool of questions, better use of the VH1 license, and more robust multiplayer (online play and leaderboards would be nice), it would be an absolutely excellent way to get cell phone owners interested in mobile gaming. This first effort is too short on questions and features to be worth your time and money, however.
What's Hot: Very accessible to gamers and non-gamers
What's Not: Very frequent question repetition. Not enough done with the concept