TNW Quick Hit
Misses: While not a fan of Apple’s Game Center design, Three Degrees of Wikipedia needs to add either Game Center compatibility or a method to compare oneself against friends.
Outside of Angry Birds and a handful of others, we at TNW rarely cover mobile games. There’s a variety of reasons for this, but personally there simply aren’t enough truly good games to merit penning a post on. That said, one game, Three Degrees of Wikipedia ($2.99 regularly, $.99 “Community Building Promotional Sale”), is tremendously enjoyable and worth passing along to those that have yet to discover it.
The game is the brainchild of Ivan Zhao, a Vancouver, Canada resident like our own Tris Hussey. Zhao, a photographer, also creates iOS games, is the co-founder of a startup company, Vittyo, and with Three Degrees of Wikipedia, deftly combines his artistic and technical background in a wonderfully designed iOS game.
When a user launches the app, a brief tutorial presents itself with how to play the game. To begin, players select a problem created by other players.
The first problem one faces is how to make it from Halloween to Candy by connecting two Wikipedia articles through their links, in 3 degrees total.
The first problem is fairly simple. To solve it (spoiler alert) simply move from Halloween ->Trick-or-Treating->Candy. Don’t worry if you make a mistake, Three Degrees of Wikipedia allows you to go back a step if and try, try, try again.
After completing a puzzle you have the chance to rate the problem as either “Enlightening,” “Average,” or a “Waste of Time.”
One earns badges and achievements by completing certain tasks, with creating problems proving to be as much, if not more, fun than playing the game. Creating problems for others to solve is a really enjoyable challenge because one does not want their created problems to receive the “Waste of Time” moniker.
After creating a problem, one can if a Facebook and/or Twitter account has been connected, share your problems with others.
The one added social element that is missing from Three Degrees of Wikipedia, as mentioned, is the lack of Game Center compatibility or a method to compare oneself against friends. The addition of one of these features would really put the game over the top.
However, despite the misses at present, Three Degrees of Wikipedia is a truly grand game for one’s iOS devices. The use of abbreviated Wikipedia articles provides expedited game-play and a fun way to learn that all will enjoy to no end. Pick up Three Degrees of Wikipedia and start solving problems and creating ones for yours truly and other players that are as challenging and a joy to solve as those already present in the game.