PlayPhoto from Kwalee is a fun & clever community driven quiz app!
Kwalee Ltd may not be as well-known as some of the mainstream App developers but the pedigree behind the company is certainly well up there with the best of them, as it was founded back in 2011 by David Darling.
If the name sounds familiar this is because David was one of the brothers that co-founded Codemasters back in 1986; along with the help from their father Jim.
Incidentally Jim Darling is also part of David’s new adventure, so it’s no surprise that PlayPhoto has a strong community/family vibe built into the core structure.
Kwalee is actually based in Silicon Spa, aka Leamington Spa and they employ around 20 people, including Jason Falcus and Andrew Graham (of Micro Machines fame).
PlayPhoto is not the company's first App but it’s the first I’ve had a chance to look at and for the past few days I have been pretty impressed with what’s on offer...
Community Driven Quizzes
For a start PlayPhoto is free, but similar to a lot of App’s these days it deploys an in-app purchase business model.
I’ll explain how this works later, but I don’t really have too much of a problem with PlayPhoto because if you play smart you don’t have to spend a penny and to be honest if you want to show your support you can always pay-out 79p for a pack of lives, but there are no intrusive Ads blasting about trying to get you to part with your hard earned cash every 5 seconds; which is a blessing on its own!
At its core PlayPhoto comprises of a series of Quizzes, but while this doesn’t sound amazing the Quizzes are actually built using Photos from your own library or via the web.
Additionally each Quiz is designed by the community and with links to Facebook, plus a built in comments system, the community aspect is certainly one of the driving forces behind the App's fun/engaging aspect.
At the start of proceedings you have the choice of logging in with your Facebook account or to create an account using an email address. However if none of these sound appealing you can simply login using a Guest account. I opted for an email address in the end so I could fully set-up my profile with a pic and so forth.
After this you are taken through a brief intro which guides you in how to play. In a nutshell you take on a Quiz against a pre-set opponent.
What’s cool is that each Quiz, which comprise of either multiple choice, hangman style or Tap the pic questions, can be played against an opponent in real-time or offline (this is when the Quiz switches to a Your Turn/Their Turn system).
Most of the Quizzes pit you against the clock (as well as your opponent) so you may have 15 seconds to answer a question and then points are awarded as to who can answer it correctly and in the shortest time. With most head-to-head Quizzes you even see what your opponent has selected as an answer.
After each question you can also comment about it afterwards if you so wish.
I found that if you play against one opponent and it’s your turn to pick a Quiz next, then if that person does not take up the challenge straight away you can complete the Quiz first and then it cues it on your Home screen, so you may come back to it later to determine if you beat that opponent or not.
Note: I forgot to mention that you can pick your opponent based on those online or against a random opponent, each one has a skill level so you know who you are going up against sort of thing!
The only gripe I had about the Home screen and the interface in general, is that some of the selectable options i.e. in the top right corner (hiding the Quiz from view for arguments sake), are a touch on the small side and were not as quick to respond to the touch as I would like. However I’m being picky here as generally the interface is still neat and does the job for the most part.
The choice of Quiz is vast/varied and they are all populated on-screen using attractive thumbnails or you can use the handy search system at the top to browse for more. Likewise picking opponents is a doddle and there is always someone about, which is surprising given the Apps young age.
The number of Quizzes will definitely continue to grow and the community so far have come up with some really entertaining questions, some can be based on Dogs, Disney, Marvel or DC, the list goes on.
And unlike other static Quiz Apps you feel connected to the game/others and despite having fun you really are learning at the same time! Especially as some of the Quizzes I played have an education factor.
Of course you need to rely on the person who made the Quiz to know their facts, but this is where the comments system comes into play, as you can suggest corrections.
It’s brilliant stuff and the engaging aspect of PlayPhoto continues with the rewards you get, so for example if you level up you may have power-ups given to you, such as 'Retry' which will allow you to retry a question you may have failed. Alternatively you have a power bomb which will remove one wrong answer.
Of course using these power-ups costs in-game currency, so if you run out of coins to power the latter you are given the choice to purchase some more using real money. However winning a Quiz challenge will earn you in-game currency anyway, so once more you are not forced into buying anything if you don’t want to.
Note: Levelling up also allows you to unlock additional features, one of these powers the best option in the game and that’s how to create your own Quizzes!
The creation aspect is pretty good during downtime because you only get 5 lives to play with at the beginning and each Quiz takes up one life (though newbies get more lives to get used to the game). On the flip-side you can level up gradually and get rewarded with coins and other in-app bonuses so eventually you could grab extra lives for free without paying a penny.
You can also play sponsored videos to earn in-app coin currency and this method is similar to a lot of freebie Apps.
However I digress because the creating the Quiz side is pretty cool. Plus, the more you play, the more chance you have of unlocking the three modes in the Create Quiz section, so for example you can create a Quiz with multiple choice questions, ones with pictures or a hangman style game; where you need to type in the word using the correct number of letters.
Creating the Quiz (Basics)
In order to create your own Quiz what you need to do first is to create a Quiz question based on the above criteria. So you could do a multiple choice Quiz for arguments sake.
I created a Quiz about video games and if you find it on the App give it a go and see what you think.
What I found is you can use a photo for each question and this will allow you to tap into your phone's library or you can search the web using the built-in Google browser.
After an image is selected it will automatically crop this to the correct size for the interface. The only thing I was a little unsure about is Copyright (after-all you are using images from other sources), but the developers must have thought about this to?
Anyway, once the image is in place you can then add your 'Correct' and 'Wrong' answers. Additionally you can add further supporting images/text for those that get an answer correct or wrong. However I need to mention that you can create a question with more than one image in the same view, this will be ideal for games that involve spot the difference; thus the latter shows the depth of the App.
For me after the question was created I found it places this at the base of the interface and I could then drag it to the top of the screen to add a title for the Quiz. Note: Once you have more than four questions you can publish the Quiz and share the news on Facebook.
However I don’t know if I was doing something wrong, but the App was sometimes not saving the images I had added to the Correct or Wrong answer sections. For example when you clicked on the correct answer it should have produced another image with some additional supporting text, such as 'Well done on getting the answer correct', but this did not show*. I'm not sure if this was down to Copyright or not, but either way it shows that the App still needs tweaking here or there.
Even so its still early days and I loved creating the Quizzes and I liked that as you level up you can even unlock new effects for them, such as adding a blur effect to images. The latter meant you could create a Quiz with a new type of question i.e. 'Who is this Character?' and then watch as the image slowly unfolds.
What’s also cool is that the Quiz questions remain at the base of the interface until you need them, so you can create a question on the fly and then compose the whole Quiz at a later point.
Like I said before there are loads of great examples within PlayPhoto as to what you can do with the App and because it's community driven the content should never get stale. I connect to the App most days and always find new challengers waiting for me to test my knowledge.
I forgot to mention that when creating a Quiz you can set-up tags, which has a couple of benefits. One it will allow the system to record each win you make in that particular tag i.e. games, so you can then see your position on a Friend/Global leader-board. Two, the tags are used for searching purposes, so if you get your tag(s) spot on, more people are likely to play your Quiz.
So to re-iterate the App has loads of community driven features and its great fun to boot!
iOS 10 Support
I found last night when messing about with iOS 10’s iMessage App that PlayPhoto also supports the new 3rd party extension system, so this could be interesting to explore further!
As it stands the community driven aspect of this App is PlayPhoto's biggest strength and despite having the odd issue* with the Creating aspect (in terms of images) there is still a lot to like. I definitely recommend that you install PlayPhoto from Kwalee and give it a go!
You can grab the App from the Apple Store via the link https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/playphoto-free-quiz-picture/id932296754?ls=1&mt=8 or just search for the App via your phone’s built-in App Store.
Alternatively keep an eye on the developer using these links....
Main Website: http://www.kwalee.com
PlayPhoto Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PlayPhotoGames
*News: The App updated today (16th September) and this contained some bug fixes. Though I have not had chance to test these yet.
8Overall8Design8Features7Ease of use7Performance8Price
Product Sourced from http://www.kwalee.com