Social Quiz Games: The Attraction of Brain Power Challenges

Mark Stephens

With more bandwidth and increasingly powerful mobile devices, we are seeing more complex and graphic-intensive social games in the app stores; and a new genre of “midcore” gaming is attempting to bridge the gap between hardcore and casual gaming. But another entirely different category of games has captivated people presumably since they first started communicating…

Present-day world beaters like Dragon City, Farmville and its variants, Angry Birds, Candy Crush and Bejeweled Blitz and its variants, are all easy to learn and play, but there is a complexity to the motion and the graphics in the games…and the important element of challenge comes more in the dexterity, skill and action of the game rather than exercising one’s mental powers.

That’s fine, but challenging brain power does go back a long way…


Two Cavemen

It’s not too hard to imagine two cavemen challenging each other to feats of physical strength; but the complicated system of grunts and other guttural noises that our distant ancestors used to communicate surely had a social gaming element to it! Somewhere along the line, with the hunting done, the beast cooked and in the glow of the fire, they must surely have challenged each other to mental games.

Perhaps it involved drawing on the cave walls or simply guessing which animal they would see next ,or a caveman version of I-spy?

Who knows? The point is that the element of testing brain power is a fairly basic and a primal human instinct.

That’s partly why games based on brain power have lent themselves equally well to the social gaming landscape as the more action-filled games mentioned above. There is no usually frenetic screen tapping or clicking with games that test brainpower, but the challenge can be just as fierce.

From the Royal Game of Ur to QuizPix

Archaeologists often find artefacts linked to gaming in historical sites. A game called The Royal Game of Ur, or Game of Twenty Squares, dates to before 2600 BCE, and is still played in Iraq. Many ancient Chinese games like Go are also known to have been played for over two thousand years. Modern day Backgammon is likely based on a very ancient game and another of the earliest references to gaming is to Chinese dominoes.

These games are all based on exerting one’s mental and strategic powers, mixed with a smattering of dice-throwing luck. When mass-production became possible games like Scrabble and later Risk became popular because of a similar attraction to this type of game.

Such games retain popularity up to modern day and have converted very well to electronic format. It seems to be a human trait that we love to exert our brain power in an environment of challenge against other people.

The social platforms around today, the range of devices, and the huge amount of developers involved in producing games, ensures that these types of games still play an important role in the gaming landscape, even as the more feature-heavy and graphic intense games catch the eye.

Take Words with Friends that spun off from Scrabble, and which has featured in the Top 20 games on all the main platforms since 2009. Take all those picture matching games that are so popular.

On the back of that we bring you Quizpix & Friends, the new game from Monkeybin. It’s a picture guessing game where you are presented with an image from one of many categories and the idea is to guess what it is before your challenger. It might be the name of a famous person, a place, a sports picture, a movie…


Bring Out the Competitive Caveman in You!

Quizpix & Friends is a very simple-to-play game that you can pick up and put down at will. It is suitable for if you are waiting for a bus, have ten minutes spare at the end of a lunch-break, or all day to kick back and enjoy.

The element of challenge is big, and you will give your brain a workout trying to tap into those memory banks to find the correct answer before your opponent. It is multiple-choice based, so you get a few options to help you along the way.

We guarantee you – if the cavemen we spoke of earlier had Quizpix & Friends they would have been trying it out in between bringing down a wildebeest.

Don’t believe us? We challenge you to give it a try!