Pop! Trivia, from SkyZone Entertainment and Anthem Studios, is a basic trivia game with an interesting conceit. Not only do you have to answer questions correctly, but also plan your route through the game. The trivia field is already very crowded on mobile decks, but Pop! Trivia's eccentric interface touches and simple design make it a standout.
In Pop! Trivia, you must navigate a strange egg-shaped craft across a board that's divided into hexagonal tiles. There are five different types of tiles, each denoting a different line of questioning. The purple paintbrush tile represents art, the yellow drama mask indicates entertainment, the blue helix denotes science, and so on. At the beginning of your turn, you select an adjacent tile to attempt a move. If you answer the multiple-choice question correctly, you'll advance to that tile; if not, the game will lock the tile in stone, making it impossible for you to traverse. In addition to the basic question tiles, there are special Pop! spaces, which are represented by toothy, grinning faces. These guys will spit wild card questions at you. If you get it right, you'll advance and receive a one-time-use hammer power-up that will crack open any locked space.
There's no time limit for answering questions or traversing the board, as a whole, but if you flub enough questions to entrap your ship in a ring of stone, the game's over. Accordingly, you'll have to scroll around the board and carefully plan your route so you can play to your strengths. Pop! Trivia's questions aren't easy by any stretch of the imagination, especially on Einstein mode. Do you know how many first-time all-stars played in the 2004 NBA All-Star Game? Neither did we. Airhead mode will throw a lot of puffball questions at you but will still give you a challenge every once in a while. Ordinary mode, though, should be enough to keep you sweating throughout. In addition, the boards expand in size as the difficulty level goes up, and stone tiles will start to pop up of their own accord. The game's question packs seem to run thin in a hurry (In fact, we saw a duplicate question on our third play-through.), but it is possible to download new modules from within the game. However, the server seemed to be having trouble when we tried to do so.
The fewer number of moves you use to reach Dr. Pop's hexagon, the better your prize will be at the end of the game. For instance, if you break the land speed record, he might give you pirate treasure. Meanwhile, forfeits will be rewarded with a used toothbrush or an empty cardboard box. These sorts of silly sight gags, when combined with the game's clean, functional presentation, make for a high-quality visual experience, even on the lowly LG VX6000. The opening menu screen, where Dr. Pop is rendered in all his hirsute glory, is a great touch. Pop! Trivia also has a couple of quiet, contemplative tunes to help you through the experience. They sound kind of like they've been ripped off of the Nutcracker Suite, though. Despite this, both tunes are nice and are assets to the game.
With an interesting gameplay angle, a pass-and-play two-player mode, downloadable question packs, and a nifty presentation, Pop! Trivia is a solid download for quiz lovers...and it runs nicely on older handsets, too. The game lacks online scores and party play, though, so if you prefer a more socially oriented trivia experience, you might want to check elsewhere.