Helvetiq – (Almost) Pointlessly beautiful
Let me start by saying I have absolutely no interest in Swiss history or culture. Yet I’ve wasted quite a bit of my time answering Swiss trivia cards on the iPhone game Helvetiq. Designed by Jilion, the guys behind the stunning HTML5 video player, Helvetiq brings aboard those same juicy buttons and controls you see on Jilion’s website and other projects.
Every facet of the game is beautifully painted. Jilion’s designs thrive in colour, and Helvetiq just brings out the most vibrant reds, purples combined with some pastel greens and yellows. The Jilion team has done a fantastic job in deliciousifying everything from the start screen, to the subtle sound effects, to the gentle flashing of ‘Correct!’, making this app worth spending time with.
That said, since I was wasting my time anyway, it would have been nice to have learnt something about Switzerland, but the way it’s designed makes it hard to keep up with. After you answer the question out of guesswork, the answer card is presented with the same question in reverse. While this technique would be excellent for someone studying for a Swiss immigration exam, it’s not very effective for a casual approach. You also hardly repeat questions since there aren’t any stages to complete (just ten random questions after which you get your scorecard), so the trivia doesn’t get drilled into your brain. That, coupled with the time constraints means I still don’t know much about Switzerland other than they make cheese and army knives.
The app is free, definitely lickable, but I’m not sure how far it will take you in learning about Switzerland.