Nokia 5800 S60 V5 App : Ovi Maps Challenge
Ovi Maps Challenge is a quiz game based around my worst Trivial Pursuit colour – the light blue that is geography. This is the part that feels a bit like some nice marketing effort, and promoting yet again the free suite that is Ovi Maps. Even with it bundled in the firmware of most phones, people still need to know it’s there and that it is free.
Though I love the irony that Ovi Maps Challenge isn’t as free as Ovi Maps. When you start the game, you’ll see that the major continents have been padlocked. To unlock these you’ll need to purchase and download additional question packs from the Ovi Store – a nice twist on the free demo and premium content model.
Before you have to think about grabbing a pack (and they should address the ever present issue of what to do with a quiz game when you run out of questions) you have what is essentially the “world” question pack to show you what the game is like.
It’s not just straight ahead “Question, Answer A, Answer B, Answer C” factual dumps. Although the basic engineering is around that model, the variations on offer keep everything nice and fresh. Going from “which country’s flag is this” to ordering countries by population size, or trying to guess which country is which with just the outline of the border on show is a great way of stopping the rot of boredom arriving in the users mind for as long as possible.
The sixteen different styles of questions/challenges have a lot of variance on offer, not just in the question, but how you answer them. There are some where you get the answers in text boxes, some where you have to tap a spot on the map to locate a country, and others where you have to slide answers around to create ranking orders.
As you progress through the two available modes (“Quiz” gives you a fixed number of questions, while “Action” gives you a set amount of time to answer as many as you can), you’ll gather up points which contribute to your passport – build up enough of these points and you can collect a “passport” stamp for another country. Again it’s another small thing that keeps you coming back to the game.
Rovio are masters at pitching the difficulty curve and the reward curve across their portfolio to keep people playing a game on their handset. While they might not build up a big buzz online compared to others, once people actually have a look at this, I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised. it’s not an A-List title, but it’s a strong second-string and another smart choice from Nokia to make this available.