iPhone App Review: Trivial Free

iPhone App Review: Trivial Free

June 30th, 2012 by

Good trivia games are hard to come by, especially those with a social twist. Trivial Free by MobileFWD is a fast-paced trivia game that connects you with players from around the world and lets you test your random-facts IQ.

Connect through Facebook, play against random foes, support your game with power-ups, and earn “Common Cents” so you can play more games.

How It Works

Basically think “You Don’t Know Jack” (anyone else remember that game?) meets Draw Something. You play against a partner, each taking turns answering questions that range through all sorts of topics, earning points for correct answers and losing points for incorrect ones… you get the drift. You have a stockpile of Common Cents that you spend to play games and choose power-ups. You gradually accumulate them over time, but you can also spend real-world cash money to buy Common Cents to help you along. You can play games against friends on Facebook, which are divided into categories in the app (family, co-workers, etc.), or play a game against a random opponent.

The game has three rounds: General, Lightning, and Bonus. You earn more points for answering faster, and get bonuses for answering several questions correctly in a row. If you take too long to answer a question you get a penalty equal to that for choosing the wrong answer. Your “IQ” is tracked from game to game, going up as you answer more questions correctly and defeat more opponents.

Pros and Cons

Trivial overall is a slick and fun game that really satisfies my trivia craving. Answering trivia questions on your own is about as fun as pulling random cards out of a Trivial Pursuit deck and trying to guess the answers, so this app scratches the itch of wanting to play against human opponents.

Trivial does everything right when it comes to connecting to your Facebook profile, even giving you the option of hiding all posts the app makes to your timeline and making certain permissions optional. There doesn’t seem to be a way to connect to players that do NOT have a Facebook profile though, and believe it or not those people do exist. The only options I found were to select someone through Facebook, search by username, or select a random foe.

I guess if someone created a username instead of a Facebook link when they started the app then I could play them by searching for their name, but wouldn’t it be easier to select a contact from my address book and then let the service find them by their email address? This way I”m not randomly guessing at what a friend’s username might be.

The questions asked were fun and generally easy questions, with the challenge being your desire to answer quickly. The time pressure really adds to the excitement and tension, making it unnecessary to have impossible questions in the “deck”. My only peeve about the questions themselves were in the music category: I feel like every time it asks a question with the template “Who recorded [song title]…?”, the year of the song is always 2012, and not only did I not recognize a single song title asked but I didn’t recognize many of the artists either. Maybe a younger player would have better luck, but a nice mix of those questions through a mix of decades would be fun for a broader range of players.


Trivial Free is a fun, fast-paced, and slickly-designed app that connects you with friends and strangers in a mental battle to the death. The free version is obviously free, with in-app purchase options for play coins, and there is a premium version that removes the in-game ads.

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