So, I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting mobile Shakespeare apps. Even more so since I switched from Apple to Android, because my kids’ Kindle Fires run Android and if I can find Shakespeare apps for those, then, well, score.
Brand new on the scene is MicroShakespeare, where you get an animated talking Shakespeare character who laughs and dances when you touch him, and swings his arms dramatically when speaking his quotes. Cute.
The app itself contains :
- touch Shakespeare to have him recite a quote. That’s probably the main purpose and the thing everybody would use this for. I haven’t yet explored whether he’s only got the most common quotes that we all already know, or if the database is bigger than average
- a “test your knowledge” game. More on this in a bit.
- a mini-biography of Shakespeare (pointless for this crowd, really) which is just a page of text.
- a “magic 8 ball” feature where you’re supposed to ask a question and then shake your phone, and have Shakespear give you an answer. Amusing, I suppose, if you like such things.
It’s quote clear that they have an engine for generating these things, and there’s a whole line of “Micro-” famous people that you can get. I assume that there’s just a little database they’re filling up with trivia questions and famous quotes. Then they get a designer to whip up an animated version of the famous person, and presto, new app!
Let’s get back to the game, which I find the most interesting part. You’re asked 10 multiple choice questions and then given your score out of 10. I did keep getting new questions, so that’s good. That means I can play until I’ve seen all the questions. Unfortunately, if you get one wrong all it does is say you got it wrong – there’s no spot where it tells you the right answer, and most importantly why that one is the right answer.
My problem is that I think it’s getting some of the answers wrong. Maybe I’m having a senior moment, but could somebody please tell me whether I’m understanding the following questions correctly?
- A question asks how many of Shakespeare’s original manuscripts exist, and it tells me that the answer of “none” is incorrect. Is there a way to interpret that question so that the answer is more than zero?
- A question asks when all of Shakespeare’s plays were performed, and the answer of “daytime” is considered the correct answer. But didn’t Blackfriar’s and its candles allow for performances at any time?
- A question asks which play contains the line “A horse, my kingdom for a horse.” Tells me that Richard III is not the right answer.
For the asking price of $1.50 it’s a cute thing for Shakespeare fans to have. I’ll probably see if I can contact the developer to ask about the questions, once one of you good folks tells me that I’m not losing my mind.
Then again, given that I learned of this app just this week within days of its launch (because someone named “RK” posted a comment on an old Android post of mine), I’m going to assume that the guys that wrote it are trying to get the word out and may actually see this post. If so, hello developers! The game’s only been out for a few days and even though the market says it’s been downloaded less than a few dozen times, it’s already got multiple 5 star (and only 5 star) reviews. That makes it pretty obvious that you are writing your own reviews (or having friends do it). My favorite is how all 5 reviews were all posted from a Samsun Galaxy devise. That’s one heck of a coincidence! You may want to tone it down a bit and try to generate some real positive reviews from real users. Just a suggestion. 🙂