Saturday, 16 December 2017

Best Quiz Books of 2017 #4 - The Times Quiz Book

One of the last things I tend to do before bed on weekdays, is tackle the daily quiz that appears in the Times. Written by former European World Quiz Champion Olav Bjortomt, the quiz reminds me daily of how little I know and has served as a fantastic starting point for revision of areas of quiz weakness.

So, as you can imagine, I was over the moon to get my hands on the Times Quiz Book this year and spent the weeks after indulged in the book. Far above your standard pub quiz books in terms of difficulty, the questions contained in this book have been the product of a labour of love by one of the finest setters in the country.

If you want a tough, testing and mind-busting quiz then this is the perfect book for you!

Friday, 15 December 2017

Board Game of the Year

Image result for jask board game
There has not been an inspiring choice of quiz related board games on the whole this year, but in September I did pick up Jask.
Jask is a quiz game of sorts, but more based around lists than standard quiz questions. The came basically involves drawing a card with a theme on (could be Rivers, Boys Names, Kings, Countries, Books by Dickens, Characters in Shakespeare etc) and a character with a letter on. You can see where I am have 60 seconds to come up with a list of whatever your cards say, beginning with the letter in question. However many you beat your opponent by, is your score and you move your counters.
The upside is, the cards are well put together and the game really does test your knowledge.
However, you really do need people with a good level of quizzing knowledge to make it work best, as well as the need to check answers on online sources. Ideally I would say if you have enough players to make a couple of teams then this will be a blast.......I certainly have enjoyed it the times I have got together with a few like minded people and played it!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Quiz App of the Year

During 2017 I have continued to play avidly some of the regular apps I have been into for the past few years...QuizUp, Superbuzzer etc. In terms of new quiz apps this year however, there can only be one winner....


A first glance this looked like just another Quiz list based game, but only once I started played it did I realise that for once, this hasn't just been rushed out with a basic list of cheaply made and bought questions. It has been crafted with question quality in mind.....

There are three types of questions that the app focuses on, in both single player and multi player. Match, Select and Sort....

 TriviAlist!  A quiz of lists!- screenshot thumbnail   TriviAlist!  A quiz of lists!- screenshot thumbnail   TriviAlist!  A quiz of lists!- screenshot thumbnail

As you can see, these question range in subjects and don't just focus on entertainment but history, art, literature, geography and everything you can think of. It gets very addictive and has that "just one more game" feeling that keeps you hooked. Even though I first encountered this only in October, it has been without doubt the app I have spent the most time with this year and enjoyed the most!

Free on IOS and Android.....try it for yourself but be warned, it gets addictive!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Useful Books of the Year - DK Animals

I assume many people reading this will already be fully aware of the quality of the large reference works from DK. Covering as many subjects as you can think of, these titles will line the shelves of many quizzers and for good reason. In terms of colourful, easy to read and fact filled tomes, they can rarely be beaten.

The one I have spent a lot of time with this year, has been the Animal book. As well as Science, Animals is a subject I have often feared in quiz and I will often get simple gimmie questions wrong as its just something I cannot get my head around.

However, this book has helped me on my way to overcoming that.....Well worth every penny of the £20 I paid, just browsing a few pages per day and doing myself some revision questions has helped me improve my Animals knowledge more than any other reference title I have tried!

Top 5 Regular Quiz Nights of 2017 #3

#3 - The Chester's (SpeedQuiz)
(SpeedQuiz the first Tuesday of every month)
Image result for the chesters
My home location of Quiz League matches, and the only venue in Sunderland that is currently embracing SpeedQuizzing. Earlier in the year it was hoped that the SpeedQuizzing would be ran weekly, but due to various issues, it was decided that the SpeedQuiz would only take place on the first Tuesday of each month with the standard paper quiz filling in the weeks in-between.
In the hands of an experienced quiz host, and avid player, the phone-based SpeedQuizzing works superbly. There are no gimmick's, as I have encountered at others, or ridiculous questions worth 100 points....instead you get an intense, fun and engaging quiz night. The first round is the traditional 20 GK questions with a mix of numbers, letters and multi choice questions with 10 points for a correct answer and 5 additional points for the. Round 2 is music with bonus points for the quickest few teams and Round 3, my favourites is a buzzer round....10 points if you're right and 5 points available for teams who agree and disagree correctly. A great night of quiz!
The problem is, bad Speedquizzing experiences can put people off. The hosts have a lot of freedom in how they run the night and I have been to a horror show or two this year where the host awards normal points until the last round where 100 points per questions is the norm. There are all sorts of catch the leader bonsues etc, triple your points etc etc.....luckily none of this happens at the Chesters and if you can find yourself a Speed Quiz with a good host who wants to make a fair game for all, then you won't find many better quiz nights around.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Best Quiz Books of 2017 #3 - The Mammoth Quiz Book

Not a book that was released this year, but as mentioned in the opening posts, this is simply a  list of the quiz books I have found most enjoyable this year.

The title of this book put me off from a long time as I assumed  by "Mammoth" it meant....full of filler....but that is not the case here at all here. This is a fantastic quiz book and within the first few pages I had already encountered dozens of fun, interesting and well written questions. The book has GK rounds but is also broken down into themes  so its easy to target areas you want to improve. I thought the quality might dip later on in the book, but to my surprise it sustained until the very last page.

Perfect for all needs, well set out with answers every 9-10 rounds and a book that I wish I had taken notice of earlier!

Monday, 11 December 2017

Useful Books of the Year - The Times Great Lives

Another series I have been a little late to picking up. The Times Great Lives books contained hundreds of obituaries of famous people who you will encounter in quizzes time and time again. I found these great bed time reading, full of facts and certainly lead me on to further reading as well as plugged a fair few gaps!