Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit

What we liked:

+ New game modes add to the fun
+ Slick interface
+ Tons of questions

What we didn't like:

- No online multi-player
- Token animations are unnecessary

DEVELOPER: Adrenalin   |   PUBLISHER: EA Games   |   RELEASE: 03/10/2009

The classic board game re-invented.

Trivia games are becoming more and more popular these days, and none of them can claim as much enjoyment, frustration and of course party-savers than the long-running Trivial Pursuit. The idea of being chock full of useless knowledge can be exciting, and the sheer amount of challenges and expansions the game has introduced over the years continues to solidify its dominance among the pack. EA and Hasbro have teamed up to bring this classic game to consoles on just about every platform you can imagine. The end result is a highly addictive digital version of the game complete with the possibility of future DLC and a disappointing lack of online multi-player.

As you can imagine most of the standard rules apply here, the object is to answer series of questions about different categories as you strive to earn those coveted pie pieces. The difference between the traditional board game and this digital interpretation is the addition of images and multiple choices. Every question is now presented with a series of answers that range from simply choosing one of the answers to determining where a location is on a world map. The concept lends itself well to the game and makes playing through it not as frustrating as you at least have a 25% chance of getting it right regardless.

In addition to the classic mode of play the developers have also thrown in two other modes to freshen up the experience. The first is called Facts and Friends and is one of the more peculiar takes on multi-player I have seen for a while. In this mode all of the players use the same pie-holder piece and work towards collecting the pie pieces just like normal. The catch is that each question nets you points towards that color’s piece and each one can only be obtained by one player. For example if someone nets the blue pie piece it is then off-the-table, and you are forced to begin working on yet another color.

This mode is further spiced up by the fact that you can bet on each question as to whether the current player can answer it correctly or not. These points go towards your total (or subtract from it) and can change the tide of the game, as well as making it much more enjoyable. There are also challenge spaces that replace the traditional roll again spots. When landed on you can participate in some entertaining events that can even lead to you stealing another player’s pie piece; crafty indeed.

Clear the Board mode was basically designed for players that have no one else to play with. This single-player focused mode challenges you to collect all six pie pieces and answer the final question, but with a catch. Each space can only be used once, so whether you answer the question right or wrong you can no longer use that space to work towards your pie. This mode is also scored and timed, and you can replay the levels to increase your rank on the global leaderboards. This of course leads me to my most disappointing aspect of the game; no online play.

The concept of a trivia game lends itself amazingly well to interactivity, and with today’s standards being able to lay the cranial smack down on your friends and random strangers from the comfort of your home is a must. For reasons beyond our comprehension the team has completely omitted this sought after feature and resorted to only offering local play on every system. They make up for it somewhat with the inclusion of DLC opportunities (as of this writing there are two packs Movies and Videogames), but being able to challenge users across the country, or even the globe would have extended the life of this game exponentially.

As far as presentation goes Trivial Pursuit shines on almost every level. The interface is clean and user-friendly, and the questions are easy to read. The inclusion of images and maps is a nice touch that really adds to the game, but the animation of my pieces is a serious hindrance that is unnecessary entirely. I have always despised having to watch my top hat bounce around the board in Monopoly and the same applies here. While this may be the only chance for the animation team to get some work in, it seriously is not needed and drags down the game when you are trying to fit in a quick session before going to bed.

The bottom line here is that Trivial Pursuit the game is a must-have for fans of the board game. The promise of future DLC is invigorating and the sheer amount of content out of the box is already impressive enough. Even with a lack of online multi-player the game delivers more than enough bang for the money, especially considering it is not a full-priced title. If you are a fan of trivia games then you owe it to yourself to pick up this classic-gone-digital, just be prepared to be humbled.

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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