The Apple iTunes Store is loaded with quiz applications and many will have distinct similarities. Map My Mind though attempts to challenge your wits with a slightly different approach in an effort to engage and excite the gamer. Surprisingly the new angle does give you a sense of exploration, satisfaction and even the odd pearl of wisdom.
You are guided through the game by an odd looking fellow, where you can view his brain through a transparent shell. Sounds quite yuk, however it is just to illustrate the idea of the game and is in perfectly good taste. This quirky character will explain the rules and more importantly the useful life savers that will more often than not get you out of a jam.
The goal of the game is to complete a map. These maps are made up of questions based on a subject of your choice including Natural Science, Culture, Sports, Social Science and Entertainment and all of these have sub categories as well. Progression is made by of course answering questions correctly, which gives you access to new routes. The map screen as it is referred to is easy to follow once you get to grips with the basics. Zooming in and out by using two fingers (I am sure we are all used to that by now!) and moving around using only one. Questions are shown in-between large bubbles, referred to as nodes which give an indication of the subject. Holding down your finger on a smaller question bubble will reveal your challenge.
Questions are not always straight forward selecting an answer although this is a part of the game. In addition, questions are formatted slightly differently to give an increased difficulty. These include ones where you need to put a list of four options in order and as another example where you match up four directors with four films they worked on. Answering is achieved by either selecting an option and pressing the OK button, dragging options around into order or by drawing lines from one to another.
If you get stuck there is an escape route. You have three wildcards and if the question leaves a quizzical look on your face, you can employ these to good use to save your skin. The first is a 50/50, which will remove two wrong answers and leave one wrong and one correct. The second will ask your guide his opinion and lastly the third will allow you to leave the question. These wildcards are also limited.
The top right of the screen contains three heart icons, which display your remaining lifelines. They are required when certain paths of your route are blocked due to answering questions incorrectly. These are extremely limited and are difficult to replenish, so use them wisely.
The only problem I can see using a map system is that all the questions remain the same as with any map, questions cannot be generated randomly as it would ruin the route you are meant to take. For many this will mean once completed there isn’t a great deal of incentive to return and enjoy another play-through and if you are indeed one of these people, there is the option of more maps online for a small fee per map.
If however you desire a simple question and answer session without the map, the option is available as a separate game mode. Select the category, the number of questions ranging from ten to thirty and away you go. The challenge in this section is answering correctly within the time limit.
If you create an account within the game, you can track your progress and tell the world through Facebook and Twitter your wonderful achievements. If you don’t, you really miss out so this should always be your first task upon entering the game. Map My Mind will also request permission to know your location, which seems a little intrusive, but never-mind.
Although the iTunes Store is brimming with quiz games, Map My Mind is a pleasant diversion taking you on a tour of trivia, where you will need to avoid blocked paths and tricky routes. With a lovely presentation, almost hypnotic soundtrack and visual experience, Map My Mind will certainly challenge your knowledge when you yearn for something new. The only downside is the slightly limited replay value, however still a worthy purchase for the trivia boffins among us.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
iTunes Store Link: Map My Mind