Playing along at home

October 12, 2009 in Games, Quiz Show

PlayYourCardsRightAs you must now be aware, this blog primarily concerns itself with my experiences on the table quiz circuit. By now you also know that’s just as  glamourous as it sounds!

Well, just like any good pro (or determined amateur), I find that it’s impossible to put the brain to rest just because you’re not actually taking part in a competitive event.

The sport similie breaks down at this point though as I’ve never been the type who prepares for quizzing like it’s a sporting event.  I’ve known some – reading through almanacs and encyclopaedia on their spare time. One day, when I was in college, I popped into a service station to pick up some sweets to find a quizzing acquaintance working the till.  It had been a quiet afternoon for him, obviously, as he had a copy of that year’s Who’s Who open on the counter.  Not my idea of a fun read.

So, obviously I play along with other quizzing endeavour when I can.  Here are some of my favourites.

wwtbamThe king: Who wants to be a Millionaire?

The original and best.  Millionaire first appeared on television in 1998 and became compulsive viewing almost immediately.  In my opinion, while the easy-to-grasp structure of the show and the inherent drama of seeing people battle with their internal demons (the “take the money” angel v. the “let’s risk it” devil), another significant factor was the ease with which viewers could play along.

We certainly did in our house.  Once the soft ones are out of the way, each question takes anything from 60 seconds to 5 minutes to be answers.  Thus, the whole family can debate the merits of the various answers.

In recent years, the show’s makers have actually tried to tap into this by posing questions before the commercial break with viewers being offered the chance to win a cash prize (if they call a premium rate phone number).

pointless_smallPointless: It isn’t

My new favourite quiz show is not only structured in such a way as to allow easy playing-along but its makers actually encourage it at the start of each episode.

How does it work? Well, the creators of the show didn’t actually come up with an original idea here.  They simply took Family Fortunes and turned it on its head!

So, the teams are asked to give a correct answer to a question that has already been posed to 100 people for 100 seconds.  Unlike Family Fortunes, however, the contestants have to try and find the answers that were given by the fewest number of people. Obviously, if a correct answer exists and not one of the 100 wrote it down, that becomes the holy grail – a truly pointless answer!

And, before you ask, giving a wrong answer sticks 100 (ugly) points straight on to your score. It also sets off a buzzer, which is a nice touch!

quizquizquiz_smallQuizQuizQuiz: Quizzing on the go

I’m a bit of a gadget fan so I was always, eventually, going to become an iPhone owner. And, lo!, it happened in June of this year.

Now, you probably already know this but one of that device’s big selling points is the ability to download independently created applications.

It took me a while to find a quizzing app that I liked.  In the end, it came through a suggestion I received here on the blog.

It’s called QuizQuizQuiz and, while I’m not a big fan of that name, I think the app itself gives you the best quiz you can have on an iPhone. It’s got single player and mutliplayer modes (up to five people can pass the phonie on the left hand side) and has a vat of questions so deep that I have yet to see one repeat.  And I’ve played it a lot.

It’s also got adjustable levels of difficulty and achievements.  I earned one of these by trying out a round at the highest “Mastermind” setting – I got the “Worse than chance” award, for scoring my first zero for a long, long time…

Alas, it’s not a free app, but it is on offer at time of writing.

So that’s three of my quiz-brain-workouts.  Anyone got any others?

1 response to Playing along at home

  1. You finally caught Pointless then!?

    Won’t be back till next year now which is a shame. I flipping love it, even the woman who thought the Hugh Grant film was called Three Weddings and a Funeral, and the fact that everytime there’s a question where Spain is a right answer it gets the highest points.

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