I’d like to give a big ol’ smooch to the genius that came up with the idea of using mobile devices as controllers for playing multiplayer party games. It’s quite possibly the greatest videogame innovation of the past few years.
From Jackbox Games’ Party Pack to Sony’s That’s You!, the simple ability to play a multiplayer game with a bunch of friends with relative ease is an absolute delight. I want to put them all directly into my mouth. Just pop them right in. Lovely. Thanks.
It’s Quiz Time (developed by PlayStation 2 question based classic Buzz! veterans, Snap Finger Click) delivers a hefty package of over 25,000 questions into this delicious mobile-device-controlled-sub-genre, allowing you and a bunch of friends to compete against each other without having to touch a single console pad in the process.
Built up like a traditional TV quiz show, a default game presents its contestants with a set number of randomised rounds to compete in before facing off against each other in a final challenge. Splitting its huge amount of questions into thousands of categories (given to players based on their age, eliminating typical age-gap related issues), rounds range from classic general knowledge based affairs to more inventive tasks such as one in which a player attempts to name as many key-words and phrases from a category as possible (out-loud) within a tight time limit, whilst everyone else keeps score. They’re all great fun and contain a surprising amount of variety.
Put simply, It’s Quiz Time is a great quiz game. Its rounds are well designed and its staggering amount of content means repeat sessions will rarely (if, at all) bring up questions you’ve seen before. Which is, let’s face it, all you could ever want from a game in this genre.
The presentation, however, is… odd.
Visually, the game bears a striking resemblance to what watching a quiz show from the early 2000’s whilst high on acid would look like. It’s Quiz Time’s cripplingly garish backgrounds are a tough thing to look at for extended periods of time. Although in concept, the idea of fragmented digital cities and Tron-esque abstract patterns as interesting backgrounds may seem pleasing enough, in practice they become irritating distractions from the core game.
The game’s host, Salli, is equally as strange. Although the developer’s decision to use text-to-speech tech instead of full voice acting is a smart move (as a result, Salli can speak player’s names, frequently mocking contestants based on their performance, category choices and even their age throughout a game) her overall appearance is, quite frankly, unsettling.
Stiff and dead eyed, Salli is a haunting spectre that looms in the corner of the screen. Her smile instils terror. She is about as comforting a presence as a painting of a manor owner covered in fresh blood. She has this one animation where she grins, wide eyed, and presses her fingers together. It’s horrible and made both myself and everyone I played the game with feel deeply uncomfortable as a result. She’s a bit naff. I’m not a fan.
All in all, It’s Quiz Time is a good time all round. With a wealth of fun options (including a single player mode, the ability to create custom games and timed, seasonal events) it’s one of the best question based multiplayer games I’ve played in years. It’s just a shame it’s let down by questionable presentation decisions and a weirdly animated host that has escaped from my copy of the game and now wanders around my house screaming and trapping family members in a quiz based dimension from which there is no escape.
Seriously though the game itself is wicked, I just really dislike Salli.