iPhone App Review: The Great Contest

iPhone App Review: The Great Contest

September 27th, 2011 by

Earning prizes by playing games of skill dates back so far that my total lack of research failed to uncover its origins. The Great Contest app by developer Davilad Investments continues that tradition by offering real prizes for playing games of skill on your iPhone. You play and earn entries similar to a raffle, with more “tickets” being awarded based on how well you perform against the other players. There is guaranteed to be a winner every month for one of several prizes, including Playstation 3s, HDTVs, and even cash.

How It Works

Though the app itself is free, you must sign up for a monthly subscription in order to compete for prizes. A one-month subscription lets you play and compete in every contest for that month. You can pay for the subscription through in-app purchase or earn the subscription by downloading and launching free partner apps on your device. In fact, US users are encouraged to use the app-downloading method to earn a free subscription.

There is a new featured game each month, so for the month of September (when I reviewed the app) it was a simple helicopter/cave game. Tapping the screen raises the helicopter up, releasing lets it fall, with the goal being to go as far as possible into the obstacle-strewn cave. Why the helicopter is flying in such a dangerous cave is not explained.

There is a complete breakdown of how your performance affects your odds of winning a prize, available on the app’s website and in the App Store description text. You basically must perform in the top 50% bracket in order to earn any entries at all, and better performance earns you more entries. Your best score out of five attempts is used to determine your entries. Once your game is over, you sign a little “raffle ticket”, which is then dropped in a golden bowl and your entry is submitted.

Pros And Cons

The obvious “pro” in this app is the ability to win actual prizes. The equally obvious question would then be “is this for real?” It’s impossible to be sure of course, but my hunch is yes.

There is a Facebook page available that shows pictures of the winners with their prizes, and my main thought is that it would be supremely ballsy (read: stupid) to try and pull such a massive and publicly visible con for what surely could only amount to a small amount of money. Consider that with the fact that many people would choose to earn free entry into the contest, and there just doesn’t seem to be a very good angle to cheat people on this, at least not enough to make it worthwhile.

The only real drawback to the app is that you’re forced to log into the app each time it launches. A little annoying to be sure, but nothing to get too wrapped up about. You can also check past winning results and your own current standings from within the app, though it seems that you’re only told your current rank and not what percentile that rank earns you.


The Great Contest is a fun skill-based game to try and earn real-world prizes, apparently the first of its kind in the app store. Since it has the potential to be entirely risk-free, there’s no reason not to fire it up and see if you can earn yourself a large-screen TV or a new XBox.

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