Trivial Pursuit has been around for nearly 27 years now, and during its time has undergone numerous video game adaptations. Unfortunately most of them have not lived up to the reputation of the board game, that is until now. Electronic Arts has partnered with Hasbro to bring us one of the most fun adaptations of a board game to hit a console in a long time.
The game features two multiplayer modes; the classic mode, which plays like the traditional board game and Facts and Friends, which add a new dimension to the gameplay. This new version pits you against other local players, all of whom share a puck. The objective is to gain points in order to fill each pie piece. You can gain points a few different ways, whether answering questions correctly or betting against the success of your friends, by placing wagers as to whether they know the answer or not. You can even steal points, and pie pieces, away from them. Gone are the “roll again” squares, they’ve been replaced with a bonus square where you can roll for a bonus feature, such as a “wedge challenge”, where you can challenge your friend and steal their wedge, or “teleport”, where you can move the puck to where ever you want. It’s a new and exciting way to play a classic game.
If you’re not up for some multiplayer action then there’s the single player version, Clear the Board. This is won by clearing the board of category spaces and setting a high score. There’s also a time trial mode where you try to clear the board and collect the pieces as soon as possible.
EA has been pretty clear in their intention to make Trivial Pursuit a fun multiplayer experience, focusing on the system link multiplayer. What that means is no support for multiplayer over Xbox Live (or other online console systems), something that will most likely turn some gamers off. In this day in age, online multiplayer is a standard for the majority games and to have something like that missing from a game like this is somewhat confusing. Imagine being able to play against friends anywhere in the world, it could make the game even more fun then it already is. Perhaps EA will smarten up and make a patch to allow online multiplayer, but it’s not something I’d hold my breath over.
Now comes the important stuff, the trivia questions itself. The questions are a more difficult then I’d imagine, although to be fair it has its fair share of softballs too. It will take you a while to come across duplicate questions, but it’s nice to know that EA will be coming out with even more question packs in the future. And they’ve already released a free movie pack for download.
Questions are straightforward multiple choice, with a smattering of visual questions that involve you identifying the answer based on a photo, or locating the answer on a map. They’re a lot of fun to participate in, but occasionally the geographic questions can be a bit vague since there are no state or country borders drawn on the maps.
So how does it look? Thankfully, Trivial Pursuit is presented in full HD with bright, vivid colors for the board and all the pieces. Your game puck moves around the board with quirky animations, from flying, to hovering and even walking its way to another square. You’re also able to use your avatar to represent yourself and it has a wide range of emotions as you win, and loose.
Trivial Pursuit is a well made adaptation of a classic board game. It’s fun, and best of all appeals to all age groups and people who would normally never play a video game. For $39 it would be an absolute gem if it weren’t for one thing, it’s lack of online play. It could easily have been a five star game, but for what it is it’s still an enjoyable experience. Especially if you’re looking for a game to play when you have guests over. For the price it can’t be beat.