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Trivial Pursuit Review

Published July 14, 2009 by |

As Trivial Pursuit is one of the most popular board games in history it’s no surprise that there have been quite a few video game adaptations over the years. One GB staffer can recall hours of fun playing on the commodore 64 version, and there have been other versions on nearly every format since. This latest release is part of EA’s partnership with Hasbro which has already seen Monopoly and the compilation Hasbro family pack (featuring titles like Boggle and Battleships amongst others) made available on current-gen hardware. Given the wii’s reputation as a family oriented party console it would seem a match made in heaven.

The core game rules remain the same as the board game: roll a dice to make your way around the iconic circular board, answering questions depending on what colour square you land on, with the ultimate aim being to land on, and answer questions for, each of the ‘wedge’ spaces. Get all six wedges and you have to make your way to the centre of the board to answer a final question and win the game. Like the actual board game this adaptation has a number of good and bad points. While it’s fun as an occasional party game, if you have any more than four players you could be looking at some pretty long, and ultimately dull, games. This is especially annoying if you’re playing with players with two-digit IQs or who insist on dawdling over every question and deciding which square to jump to next. Neither of these are the fault of the game however and the digital version does at least use time limits to keep those moments of excruciating inactivity to a minimum.

So on to the video game’s positive and negative points. For a start, this is at least nicely presented, with clean, clear graphics and unobtrusive music and sound effects. There are several question packs included for a bit of variety (one of the few reasons to recommend this over the real thing) and even after several play-throughs with each set we didn’t find any repeated questions. But due to them being multiple-choice, these questions are ridiculously easy and most can be solved with simple deduction if you don’t already know the correct answer. Also, too many rely on pop culture references, even for categories outside entertainment.

We would have liked to see some sort of online play included, plus the option to use a mii, instead of the available generic characters you can create using the in-game tools. It’s also a shame this game didn’t use the multimedia possibilities offered by the digital format as questions could have been made more engaging with the use of video or sounds for certain topics.

There’s a big problem reviewing a video game based on a board game, and that is just how do you give it a review score? Should it be reviewed through the eyes of a gamer, in which case this would be hard to recommend to those who prefer to spend their time shooting space marines? (4/10?) Should it be rated on its appeal to its target audience? (7/10?) Or how fun it actually is? (5/10?) Or should it have a score reflecting how closely it replicates the trivial pursuit experience? (9/10?) Irrespective of the score we’ve settled on below, if you prefer playing board games on a TV and are likely to get friends together interested in regular quizzing sessions then you’ve probably already made your mind up on whether to pick this up. It’s certainly better than most of the quiz / party games on the wii, not that that really serves as a glowing compliment.

6/10
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