It’s also the first offering from Game It Forward, a Seattle-based company he co-founded with Brandon Bozzi (who was apparently at Burning Man that weekend, so we can all probably agree he’s pretty chill) in order to make games that are both fun to play and contribute something worthwhile to society. Quingo’s pretty much exactly that, so listen up while I tell you all about it.
Quingo is a made-up word that’s a mix between quiz and bingo, and that’s a really good way to start thinking about how the game works. It presents you with five questions per round, each with five correct answers, and it’s your task to find them within a grid of twenty-five possible choices. As you get correct answers, the squares they’re on remain checked off. The more checked-off squares you get by the end, the more “hope” points you get, and if you get five in a row, you get a Quingo, for even more “hope” points.
As you play, you also earn achievement-like medals, which unlock more questions and power-ups for you to use, as well as coins, which enable you to purchase even more single use power-ups. You can also buy more coins, as well as flat-out pay for permanent bonuses, like extra questions packs or the ability see the right answers after you incorrectly finish a question round. Paying real money to unlock things usually leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but in this case, it’s all for charity, remember?
“It feels like a team effort. It’s cool.”
At the beginning of the game, and pretty much any time after, you can choose from one of six charities to play for, and rather than just throwing your points into an endless charity abyss, each charity is required to provide small-scale goals, so you can watch yourself and your fellow Quingo players achieve things. It feels like a team effort. It’s cool.
There’s also promotions to sign up for and ads to watch every once in a while between games, but again, the knowledge that it’s all for charity kind of softens the blow, and I even found myself participating in one or two of them. Quite simply, you’ll want to do good. It doesn’t hurt that it shows you who’s given the most “hope” points to your charity and how far away you are from them, either. Maybe I’m selfish, but I wanted to be the best good guy, and it drove me to play more.
“Quite simply, you’ll want to do good.”
Is this game going to change the way iPad games are made? No, but it’s solid, and it’s pretty fun to play. However, the idea that you can play this game and help better the world, even if it’s just in tiniest little way, makes this game kind of special and preferable, at least in this reviewer’s mind, to games with similar business models for profit.
Quingo’s out now in the App Store for iPad. Grab it. It’s free.