iPhone Game Review: Trivial Pursuit

Last year Electronic Arts released an iPhone version of the popular Trivial Pursuit trivia quiz game. Here’s my review of the “International” version of the game (I’m not sure what the other versions are called).

The game features a single-player option, as well as 2 multiplayer options: “Pass ‘n Play”, where each player takes turns with the same device, and “Wi-Fi Multiplayer”, where each player has their own device.

A basic question pack is included, and you can also buy additional packs within the game.

The questions are all in multiple-choice format, with 3 options given. Most questions are text-based, although sometimes an image is shown along with the question.

The question screen

The game’s 3D graphics are very nicely done, and the interface is easy to use. Sound is limited to the odd clicking sound and some pleasant, if repetitive background music (which you can turn off, of course).

You can play the single-player game in 2 modes:

  • Classic mode: This is much like playing the board game. You see a 3-D representation of the board, and you have to go around collecting all the wedges, then answer the centre question to win the game.
  • Pursuit mode: Rather than having a circular board, you work your way forward along a “path” of squares, trying to complete the path in the shortest number of questions. The faster you answer a question, the more squares you’re moved forward.

The Classic mode

The Pursuit mode

The Pursuit mode is great, and more enjoyable than Classic if you’re playing single-player. It also has special squares that give various bonuses – for example, if you land on a special “50/50″ square then one of the incorrect choices is removed, making it easier to guess the answer.

Poor questions

Unfortunately, the game is somewhat let down by many of the questions. It’s not so much that the questions themselves are low quality – more the fact that lots of them are in the wrong category.

Some screenshots will make this clearer.

Here are some alleged “Science and Nature” questions:

Here are some supposed “Geography” questions:

Here are some, ahem, “History” questions:

Finally, here’s their idea of “Sports & Leisure” questions:

The question writers apparently cannot separate the real world from the fantasy world of movies. Great if you’re a movie buff. However, if you select, for example, the “Science and Nature” category then it seems reasonable to expect a question that is actually about science and/or nature, rather than movie trivia.

There are many, many questions like this in the game – enough for them to come up regularly each time you play. Apart from this problem, though, the questions are pretty good on the whole.

Summary

Trivial Pursuit is a good game overall: fun to play, nice graphics and controls. It’s a shame that the “movie-obsessed” questions detract from the game’s enjoyment.

Rating: 3/5

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