Few games capture the desire for people to show off exactly how intelligent they are like board game staple Trivial Pursuit. The game is both simple and complex all at once, as you circle a spoked wheel game board acquiring pieces that encompass a variety of subjects. With this game, you can truly prove just how many obscure books or 3 AM History Channel specials you’ve watched.
When I stumbled across a version for the Wii, I was incredibly curious and not just because I have a kitten that enjoys swatting any and all game pieces from a board at every crucial moment. But because I have actually had a good experience with board game based video games. Ironically, it’s the exact opposite of film based video games, in that the developers keep the heart of the game true to the base of the board game.
Trivial Pursuit is a very simple game. You can play solo or in a multiplayer setting, and the multiplayer version is quite useful in large group settings. Rather than lamely hosting a get together and pulling out a board game, you can fire up the Wii, set up some teams, and just let things roll.
The game contains a very diverse set of questions, and some of them are based on newer, more recent occurrences in the world. They aren’t dated or too quizzical in nature. There are only two flaws in the game. The first flaw in the questions is that some of the questions in specific categories don’t apply to the category. For instance, a question about characters from a movie are placed in the Science and Nature category because the film has a flimsy scientific theme. I might be in a small sect of Trivial Pursuit for the Wii players, but cross breeding the questions taints the sanctity of some multiplayer games.
The other major flaw is that the questions range from virtually impossible to preschool level within the same game. But there isn’t a gameplay setting to dictate which set of questions you can get, they are all in the same pool, and it gets frustrating at moments when a team you are playing against is asked to identify the White House, and your team is asked what type of toothpaste Yo Yo Ma used from late 1979 – mid 1983.
Other than those two flaws (and those are mainly to do with the fact that I’m a sore loser), the game is a smashing success. There isn’t much else to say about it because it’s so simple you can probably close your eyes and imagine it exactly as it is.
Trivial Pursuit’s major strength is the multiplayer. It has actually provided my friends and I with some pretty tense, yet intensely fun experiences. The flaws are question difficulty and category allocation, but those tend to even out over time. You’ll get the benefit one game, and get the shaft the next. And if the game was intended to mirror life, then it’s a smashing success!
Final Score: 7.0/10 (Good)