QuizUp, the ultra-popular iPhone trivia game, just got bigger. Literally bigger.
Plain Vanilla Games, the maker of QuizUp, has launched a new version of its app today that is optimized for the iPad. By doing so, they’ve been able to make the game easier to navigate and more fun to play — especially if you’re taking on your opponent with a friend nearby.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last three months, QuizUp is an ultra-fun trivia game in which you can match up against friends or strangers on any number of topics. Players get points based on how quickly (and how correctly) they answer a series of six questions, then scores are tallied, and someone’s declared a winner.
There are literally hundreds of topics to choose from, which means there’s more or less something for everyone. With more than 350 topics and nearly 200,000 questions, you could play for days and never bump into the same questions.*
So far, QuizUp has managed to attract 10 million users since launch, which is pretty impressive for a game that no one had heard of just a few months ago. But that was just on the iPhone. What happens when the app is available on even more platforms?
We’ll find out with the launch of the new iPad app.
Plain Vanilla did pretty much exactly what you would expect in translating its iPhone app to the iPad, which is to take advantage of the larger screen and make the game easier to navigate. Instead of the hidden sidebar used to navigate through the iPhone app, the app now boasts a nav bar that is always on the left-hand side of the screen.
“The biggest change in the UI on the iPad version is that you have more space,” Plain Vanilla CEO Thor Fridriksson told me. What’s important, he said, is how the app uses that space. “QuizUp is an incredibly deep game… With the extra size of the iPad, we’re putting all the navigational elements up top, so it’s always there.”
By doing so, the app makes it easier for users to click through to the home screen, see which friends they can challenge to matches, navigate through their favorite topics, or even see which achievement badges they’ve collected along the way. But the team is also hoping to increase social interactions and build more community between users.
Also included in the navigation bar are options for quickly jumping to messages, where you can chat with players that you’ve matched up against. There’s also a screen for users to jump into discussions about some of their favorite topics.
“We want everything to be one touch away,” Fridriksson said. “With millions of users, by taking away that extra click every time they want to go somewhere, we’re saving hundreds of millions of clicks.”
Over the past few months, QuizUp has been adding to the number of photos in some of its quizzes, taking advantage of the visual element that it can make available in its trivia matchups. According to Fridriksson, photos have been incredibly popular in a series of “Name the X” topics that are available. (Think “Name the celebrity,” “Name the state flag,” etc.)
Since Plain Vanilla has been working to make sure it uses only high-resolution images, those questions really shine when they’re viewed on an iPad’s retina display.
“Visual questions add a whole new layer to the experience,” Fridriksson said. “On the iPad [with retina display] it just intensifies that effect.”
While the iPad is the next device platform that QuizUp hopes to conquer, it’s not the only one. Next up is Android, where Plain Vanilla hopes to soon launch an app that will be available for both smartphones and tablet devices.
And the company also hopes to reach a broader international audience. While it’s being used by users in all the major continents around the world — I know because I’ve unlocked the “Atlas” achievement for engaging players on each of them — Fridriksson says that the team is working to localize its games to reach more players in more languages.
“In the year 2014, there will be a local QuizUp in all major languages and countries,” he said.
Having just raised $22 million from Sequoia, it’s well positioned to do that. The team has increased from seven employees a year ago to more than 40 today, and it continues to grow.
New platforms, new languages, new topics, new games. Plain Vanilla has a lot of work ahead of it, and that first 10 million users is just the start.
* The more committed among us, who pound one topic over and over (I’m Level 60 in The Wire) will know that sooner or later you’ll just start memorizing answers to the questions.