Something very strange happened to me recently. Just back from a Caribbean vacation, I touched down in Newark, New Jersey, and drove down the post-apocalyptic artery that is the New Jersey Turnpike, and yet the view was as engrossing as the aqua-blue sea I'd been staring at just hours earlier. Billboards, car trunks, office towers—all were ablaze with the images of corporate logos, and I felt like I was getting a much-needed junkie's fix. My addiction? The Logos Quiz game for the iPhone and the iPad.
It all started innocently enough, when friends we were traveling with mentioned the app while we lounged by the infinity pool. One free download later, I was craving it almost as much as the local lager. The concept is simple: Each level (there are nine) features dozens of tiny, colorful logos. You click on one and try to guess the name of the company it represents. Get a certain number right and you unlock the next level, earning enough points for hints along the way. It starts out easy enough—the Nike swoosh, Mr. Pringle, the Michelin man. But try and remember which luxury-car company has a raging bull as its symbol (Lamborghini), or which Swiss financial institution is represented by three keys (UBS), and it becomes more challenging.
On top of being addictive (and the first game since Angry Birds that I've found myself thinking about even when I'm not playing), the Logos Quiz says something profound about our consumer culture. But I can't tell you exactly what that is right now—I just remembered that a gold crown is the logo for Rolex. Level 7, here I come!
—Greg Emmanuel (@gemmanuel), articles editor at Details