Genre: General Knowledge
When Trivial Pursuit was released back in the early 80s, it was one of the first successful launches of a new 'traditional' game in the era marked by the growing dominance of electronic toys and computer games. It, therefore, feels like somewhat of a disservice to have a video-game version.
The main gameplay mode is actually quite a departure from the original. Instead of rolling dice to move around a board, players must try to select their colour categories (history, entertainment etc) from a spinning wheel. Once made, you either answer that topic or use chips to pay to play an adjoining question. Before you can do this your opponents can spend their own chips to increase the cost of the topic thus increasing the cost and potentially blocking moving onto a favourite topic or that vital last wedge you need to get to the final question. To earn chips players bet on whether opponents will answer correctly. This game mode does create for a speedier game but it is nothing you can't do with a trivial pursuit game and some poker chips (or failing that a note pad). Faster game sessions also increased the repetition when playing for more than a couple of rounds.
The traditional game mode is included and is a fair approximation of the board game with just some small problems here and there. Also included is a mode where only one player can win each coloured wedge and players must fight on an increasingly shrinking board to collect them before finally they act as lives in an elimination round of questions. It is this variation where the game actually provides an experience that you cannot get from the original board game and I plan on having at least one session of this mode played during my families annual 'Trivial Pursuit Christmas Challenge'.
This game largely delivers a no frills electronic version and includes some fun ideas for variants for those who get sick of the slowness of the original but, really, what is the point in buying this game over the board game? Other problems also come up. In order to incorporate answer with the Wiimote, multiple choice answers are the standard which significantly reduces the difficulty of the questions. The commentary is annoying and should be turned off and no Mii support seems odd. Also as someone who hates geography questions, I was often frustrated by being asking to identify where something happened on a map without city names during non-geography rounds! Finally, once or twice I did seem to get the wrong question for the section. Not that I was complaining when acquiring my sports and leisure wedge (normally an annoyance) by answering where the director Peter Jackson was born
If this was a cheap downloadable game it may be worth the purchase if you suddenly get the urge for family trivia over the holidays but if you are going out to a shop to buy it, why not get the original.
Rent or Buy: Rent
Reviewed by: JP Gallagher