Trivial Pursuit Wii Review

When games based on board games are released, there has to be a very good reason to purchase them. Lets face it, it would be pretty damn criminal to just take the good name of a famous board game and give us nothing to make it worthwhile over the physical, cheaper original.

Following the likes of Monopoly and Hasbro Family Game Night, Trivial Pursuit is EA’s latest take on a famous board game. The game thankfully offers good reason to choose it over the original game or as an alternative, which is all very well as this is no cheap budget release.

The game is split into three modes, obviously you get the opportunity to play the game with the classic rules (alternatives are nice but it’s still nice to be reminded that this is Trivial Pursuit), but there’s also a mode for the solo player as well as the fantastic Facts & Friends multiplayer mode.

For those unaware of the Trivial Pursuit rules, the game is basically a trivia game with a board. Rolling the dice and moving your pie-shaped puck backwards and forwards will determine what category of question you’ll be given, answering said question correctly will allow you to roll the dice again and so forth. Landing on particular spaces will give you the opportunity to win wedges (or pie slices if everything reminds you of food) to slot into your puck if you answer the question correctly, and as you need a wedge for each of the six categories to win the game, classic sessions can last quite a long time, perhaps it‘s a good job that you can save it and return to it at another time then.

An alternative to the classic mode is, of course, the very different Facts & Friends mode. This mode is a quicker way to play the game and the winner is always determined much sooner, making it an ideal mode to go for if you are running short on time and would like to finish a game in one sitting. In Facts & Friends, all the players share the same puck, whilst winning wedges determines the amount of lives that you’ll receive in the closing stages of the game. Points towards an unclaimed wedge can also be won by answering a question correctly on any category space, whilst bets are sometimes placed by other players to guess if the current player tasked with the answering of a question will get the question correct or not, and if you guessed correctly you’ll earn points towards that category wedge. There’s bonuses as well, including score multipliers, teleporting to any space on the board and more. Facts & Friends is actually my preferred way of playing the game, it’s that good!

Surprisingly, there’s also a rather good single player mode. Clear the Board sadly isn’t about tipping the said board and watching the pieces fly everywhere, but rather as you win each wedge the board gets smaller. Providing the correct answer will also earn you a multiplier for that category and there’s an Achievements-like system included as well. It’s possible for you to aim for either highest score or fastest time and there’s local leader boards included.

Presentation is also something that should be high on the agenda with a game such as this and EA have managed to achieve this whilst also giving the game some sort of personality. Pucks move around in charismatic ways, there’s an information ticker at the bottom of the screen (displaying stats on question categories, how long the game has been running etc), and a sarcastic, albeit overly repetitive, commentator doesn’t pull any punches with his comments. It’s just a shame that the text has to be so small and you’ll have to be sitting close to the TV in order to read it without putting enough strain on your eyes to make them pop from their sockets (I wasn’t playing on a HDTV and didn’t have access to a component cable, so perhaps this would rectify it), and the problems don’t end there.

There’s a nice amount and variety of questions (there’s images but sadly no video content), although why exactly does geography appear in every single category? Some of us may have known some of the answers if they had been the usual multi-choice answers, although as some of us just didn‘t concentrate in geography at school, we don’t all know the pinpoint positions as to where certain countries or places are on a map. Thankfully all the questions aren’t like this and if you’re good at geography this won‘t be a bugbear for you, but I felt it was a point worth making all the same. Also, the lack of online play may irk some, although I definitely feel that games such as this are best played in same-room groups.

Trivial Pursuit has many good points and certainly has some worthwhile reasons to purchase it rather than or as a companion to the actual board game, but it has some rather nasty problems as well, taking away the shine from an otherwise very well presented and playable package.