App Review: “Jack N’ Jill” and “QuizUp”

So you may have noticed that it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog. Besides schoolwork taking up most of my time (and trying to figure out what to do next in life once I graduate from university), I’ve been playing some games on my phone. Two apps in particular have really caught my attention…the two apps in the title. However, I’m going to be a rebel and talk about them in the reverse order than they are listed in the title of this blog post.

First up: QuizUp

This app I discovered first, so I feel that I should review it first. QuizUp is a massive free trivia game that doesn’t even really bombard you with ads. Which is good because nobody likes ads.

So how does it work? You choose your category (movies, TV, science, education, games, music, etc.) and then you choose your subcategory or topic as they call it (examples for each of the categories respectively: “Back to the Future”, “Game of Thrones”, “Chemistry”, “Grammar”, “Legend of Zelda”, “The Beatles”, etc.). There are over 400 topics across 14 categories and counting as they add new ones all the time. Every match earns you experience points for that specific topic and you level up for each topic individually. So if you reach level twelve in say “Pixar”, you’ll still be at level one in say “Friends Quotes”. Every ten levels you achieve in a certain topic earns you a special “title” related to that topic that you can add under your name to show people that you’re awesome.

It’s a pretty fun game that everybody can get into as there are so many topics to choose from you’re bound to find at least one you’re good at. And since it’s free, what do you have to lose?

App two: Jack N’ Jill

This is quite possibly the best mobile platformer I’ve ever played. Ever. And I mean EVER! I’ve played many, many mobile platformers but none of them play as smoothly or are as addicting in gameplay as this app.

Basically you play as Jack: a square with eyes. The goal of each level is to get to your girlfriend Jill: also a square with eyes. It starts out fairly easy and each level progressively gets more difficult. I should mention that this app is also free and has a constant ad that sits at the top of the screen but it’s fairly unobtrusive and easy to ignore.

So let’s talk gameplay. Basically you move in one direction constantly. You don’t control his moving, he does. All you have to control is his jumping. You just touch the screen and he jumps. You use that to guide yourself through 120 levels (so far, they’re constantly working on adding new levels). There are six worlds with twenty levels each and each world adds at least one new element to change up the gameplay (power-ups, enemies, etc.).

A lot of the time when I’m playing a mobile platformer I find that I get really bored, really quickly and just stop playing the game. Not so with this game. Each level is fairly short (can be completed in a matter of a couple minutes) and so it’s always fast-paced and never feels sluggish. And with new challenges being added constantly the gameplay always feels fresh and fun. The amount of challenge is just right, too. Not once does it feel like the game is too difficult or that it’s being unfair. Every time I die I feel like it was my own fault and I just go right back and try again. Because the levels aren’t very long, it doesn’t hurt too much to have to go back and try again.

My one major gripe with the game is from a recent update which added in checkpoints part way through most levels. While before they added this I was wanting checkpoints, they made it so that you never actually want to use checkpoints. After you get to a checkpoint if you die, you go back to the checkpoint but your score is reset to what it was when you started the level. So if you start a level and your score is at 49350 (the accumulated scores from all the prior levels) and when you hit the checkpoint your score is over 50000, if you die your score goes back to 49350 even though you’re at the checkpoint. It’s kind of annoying, but other than that this game is perfect and I love playing it. I’m at world 6 now so I’ve nearly beaten it and I can’t recommend it enough.

So those are my two cents on two really good free apps that are both a lot of fun to play (for different reasons). I highly recommend downloading both and at least giving them a try.

Did you like this review post? Do you want more review posts for other things? Let me know in the comments below.

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