The Higher vs Lower Ultimate Game is actually a different game to the previously reviewed, The Higher Lower Game though there are a lot of similarities. I do mean a lot too. At first glance you would be forgiven if you thought that they were both exact copies of each other but when you scratch the surface, you start to see why and where they differ.
This game, The Higher vs Lower Ultimate Game, is brought to us by TouchApp and credited in design to Younes Douiri on the App store. It is available for download at no cost on Apple’s App store, the Google Play store and is also playable directly on the internet. For the purpose of this review, I have downloaded and will be playing the game on the Apple App store.
I have already mentioned the similarities between this and the first game. The first game was so simple. You were given a statement, or a person or an object and the amount of google searches that it received. You were then given a second thing and have to decide whether or not you think this second item received more or less google searches on average per month by pressing either higher or lower. Get it right and you get another item and try to rack up a chain of correct guesses, get it wrong and you are treated to a little meme of failure (or success if you did quite well) and get to start again.
That is literally the whole idea of the first game so how exactly would it be possible to improve on such a basic, but solid, idea? Well there is only one way and that is what the second game brings. More categories to guess higher or lower between.
Instead of just choosing between which two things had the most google searches, there are now a plethora of new ways to play. 10 categories exist now to choose between and they include “which subreddit has the most subscribers” or “which popular YouTuber has the most subscribers” or even “which celebrity has the largest salary” and, away from the modern pop and social culture, “which car has the most horsepower”.
All of these add a much needed freshness to the game. Granted, they are not all going to be categories everybody wants to play but at least now you have options and, if you don’t want to use any of them, well at least you still have the “how many google searches” to play anyway. I, for example, really struggled with the popular subreddit category and the popular YouTuber category so have to assume I am getting too old.
Cleverly, to add replayability, not all of these categories are available to play right from the off. When I saw this, I thought that the unlocking of these extra categories would be the place for the in app purchases but I was pleased to see this is not the case. Instead you unlock them for playing the game more and setting high scores.
The final other new thing is the addition of difficulty levels. While you would think maybe they will ask harder questions between two things that are closer in search numbers, instead the questions stay the same and difficulty is added by, in medium difficulty, reducing the time you have to choose higher or lower to just 3 seconds and in hard difficulty, keeping it at 3 seconds but the button for higher and the button for lower swap places occasionally. Medium is good and the 3 seconds puts a heap of pressure on you to read quickly and choose quickly but Hard irritates me.
I find the button swapping to be a cheap and silly way to get me to fail. Hard should have just been something like a time of 2 seconds to choose. There is no need to try to trick me into failing, make it harder, yes, but not deceptive, especially when I need to play it to unlock a specific category.
Overall though, I still find it fun to play and the addition of difficulty levels and additional categories has added loads to the game. More fun and much more longevity. All the nice little touches like the background memes and clips are still there too. Despite the worthwhile addition of all the extra categories, I personally still find the google search category the most fun to play and love the little snippets of information you get from the questions. Things like how Luis Suarez has more searches per month than revenge porn has got to be a good thing and, while Formula 1 beats it easily, 22,200 people per month still googled how to make meth. You also get a good glimpse at how ridiculous celebrity status is nowadays with Hulk Hogan being more popular online than Anne Frank as well as Selena Gomez being much more popular then birth.
I should mention though that the game does have timed adverts (a couple of seconds before you can quit) which pop up after a few fails in a row. There is also the option to watch a video when you fail to continue on with your current run. They aren’t overly intrusive though so aren’t a reason to avoid the game at all.
As an added nicety, you also get the option to directly submit your best scores straight to either Facebook or Twitter, should you wish to.
A worthy upgrade to an older game. It makes the original feel more like a demo, or a lite version. The added categories and difficulty levels add a whole lot of replayability. It is difficult to place a really good score as you end up guessing but it is quick and smooth to start playing again so you will have played multiple games before you even notice. It is the sort of game you will come back to time and time again for short bursts to kill a few minutes.
Give it a go yourself on the website or you can download it on the Google Play store or the App Store. Check out the Facebook page for the game for more info or to get in touch with the TouchApp directly.
The Higher vs Lower Ultimate Game