If you've been craving a game of Trivial Pursuit but can't manage to get your friends together, you may want to check out one of the newest additions to the Play Store. QuizUp is a slick and fast trivia game with a focus on head-to-head multiplayer. The easy matchmaking, varied topics, and impressive presentation have made it a hit on iOS, where's it's maintained a 4.5-star rating.
The game is very simple: log in via Google+, Facebook, or email, select a category, and you'll be automatically matched with a random player who's near your skill level. Each round is made up of seven questions. Answering correctly awards points, with faster answers getting more points and incorrect answers scoring zero (with no further penalty). The last question is a bonus round, with double points awarded for correct, speedy answers. The most points at the end of the round wins, gaining an XP boost to push you up through the arbitrary levels and ranks. Rounds are quick, rarely lasting more than two minutes. Losing doesn't really carry any sort of penalty, you just earn less experience than the winner.
The sheer breadth of topics is probably what keeps people coming back: in fourteen main categories ranging from arts to history to sports, there are sub-categories as diverse as WWI history and Disney trivia. If you really want to test your knowledge, you can select the "general" sub-category in each section, or try the overall general category for truly random questions. The presentation is great, making for easy and readable navigation, and it's easy to find interesting topics after a quick round. Integration with Facebook, Google+, and Google Play Games is handy for directly challenging your friends, though QuizUp seems overly fond of sharing like most socially-focused games.
QuizUp is free with no advertising, and there are only three in-app purchases: one-hour experience boosters that come in double, triple, and quadruple XP boosters for $2.50, $5.00, and $7.50. These seem to go against the idea of ranked matches, since a player who artificially inflates his or her level will soon be outmatched in that category by players who got there organically. Still, the game is well worth a look from anyone who wants to test their knowledge in quick battles with real people.