As an avid gamer and a big lover of movies, I’ve tried quite a few of the movie trivia based quiz games available on the App Store. And I’ll be honest, most of them don’t last very long on my iDevice, usually due to poor design, silly questions, or some kind of free-to-play shenanigans. For this reason, I went into CustomPlay’s PopcornTrivia (out now, free) with super low expectations — which, I’m glad to say, were promptly blown out of the water by how fun and well made the game is!

When you start playing PopcornTrivia, you’re given the option to either a) spin a wheel and start answering questions about one of three randomly selected movies, or b) search through the game’s huge catalog for a particular title. I’m not exaggerating when I call the catalog huge, by the way. It’s got classic movies like Casablanca and The Godfather. It’s got popular kid’s flicks like Home Alone and Frozen. It’s even got current blockbusters like Logan and Kong: Skull Island. There’s something for everyone, in other words, no matter your age or taste in film. CustomPlay are also fully committed to updating the game with new question packs on a regular basis, so PopcornTrivia will always be bang up to date with all the latest theater releases. Plus, if you discover that a favorite movie of yours is missing, you have the option to cast a vote for its future inclusion from within the game.

There are three rounds of ten questions for each movieThe questions themselves are intelligent, well-researched, and obviously compiled by a team with a deep knowledge and love of movies. Unlike most other quiz games, PopcornTrivia asks relatively few straight multiple choice questions and, instead, focuses more on audio and visual based challenges. These task you with doing things like trying to correctly identify characters from movie stills or listening to soundtrack snippets and then matching them to scenes they were played in. If you get stuck on a question, you can use “lifelines” like “50/50” and “Redo” to help you figure out the answer. As an added bonus, the answer page for each question provides you with an extra bit of trivia, such as behind-the-scenes filming details or interesting facts about actors and shooting locations. (Trust me, you will learn a lot more about your favorite movies by playing PopcornTrivia.)

In addition to a single-player mode, PopcornTrivia includes a multiplayer mode in which you can challenge other players to exciting head-to-head, randomly generated movie trivia battles. Fair warning though: It’s a lot tougher than single-player and some of these guys are absolute pros at the game. PopcornTrivia does have a pretty thriving and engaged community of online players, but if you’d prefer not to play against strangers, you can also invite your own friends to join in the fun via Facebook or text message.

Since PopcornTrivia is a free-to-play title, you might be thinking there must be a catch to how good it is. For example, is it riddled with annoying ads or bogged down by intrusive IAPs? The answer is no. Rather than being ad-supported in the traditional sense, PopcornTrivia contains (what I assume are affiliate) links to sites that specialize in movie memorabilia such as books, props, costumes, toys, soundtrack songs, and more. To my mind, this is a really clever, seamless way to monetize this type of game, because everyone playing it is likely already interested in these kind of products. You are given the option to use IAPs to buy in-game currency (popcorn), which can be used to customize your avatar and unlock premium content like question packs based on popular TV shows (Game of Thrones, Stranger Things etc), but personally I never felt as if I was being aggressively coaxed into spending real money, since popcorn can also be earned through gameplay.

It probably goes without saying, but I thoroughly enjoyed testing PopcornTrivia for this review. I will also be keeping it on my iDevice for a very long while to come, as despite playing it obsessively for over a week now, I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of everything it has to offer. Five stars, two thumbs up, a standing ovation, whatever your own personal highest rating is — PopcornTrivia deserves it. An essential game for movie buffs.

Verdict

If they gave out Oscars for fantastic movie trivia based quiz games, then CustomPlay would definitely have one on their mantelpiece. PopcornTrivia is a slickly designed and expertly executed masterpiece of the genre that’s only going to get bigger and better as new content is continually added.

Positives
Immense selection of movies
Intelligent, well-researched questions
Single-player and multiplayer modes
Attractive and slickly designed
Negatives
Nothing to see here; the game does everything it sets out to do perfectly
5
Exceptional
Download on the App Store