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Trivial Pursuit - Wii Review

Game Info
Trivial Pursuit

Wii | EA | 1 Player / 2-4 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer)
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Review
8th August 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

Not all video game translations of real-life board games go over well, as recent experiences have shown. However, EA's iteration of this popular board game is well done overall. It's not without its flaws, of course, but anyone who even has a modest appreciation for this game shouldn't hesitate to pick this up.

    If you've never played Trivial Pursuit before, your goal is to answer trivia questions to the best of your ability, attempting to collect 6 game pieces known as 'Wedges'. Once they've all been collected, you head back to the HQ in the middle and encounter one last question (selected by an opponent) before you're crowned the winner. Questions vary in structure, from multiple choice, to true or false, to more interesting challenges such as placing a pin on a map, or selecting from a group of images. And they're all split up into different categories such as 'Entertainment' and 'Sports & Leisure'. 

    The game can be played with up to four players using a single Wii Remote, or multiple controllers. Navigation is really straight-forward. To get the dice wheel spinning, press the A Button or do a quick jerk to the side. Depending on the dice roll the roulette stops on, you'll be able to move your playing piece to one of multiple possible landing spaces in the area. When answering questions, you can use either the D-Pad or the pointer to make your selection. On occasion, you'll need to use the B Button to drag a slider, but otherwise, you'll be making use of the A Button a great deal.

    
There are three main gameplay modes that offer players different variations on the classic gameplay. The first of the three has been designed for solo players. Under 'Clear the Board', you play on your own trying to accumulate as many points as possible as spaces disappear from the board. Naturally, playing on your own can grow weary if you're not careful, but for those that actually like this little diversion, there are achievements to aim for.

    'Classic Game' is the main multiplayer option that makes use of the classic mechanics found in your average game of Trivial Pursuit. Playing as a group can be a lot of fun, especially if you manage to get some knowledgeable friends together. Just prepare yourself for an hour or so of playtime. I guarantee you that if you have a limited attention span, you'll likely want to change games after more than 20 minutes. Thankfully, you can save your progress mid-game and come back to it later when you're feeling up to it.

    The final gameplay mode is 'Facts & Friends' which is definitely the highlight in this whole release. Here, the main ruleset is expanded upon for a more exciting contest amongst friends and family. Everyone shares a single game puck as they each try to earn points in each of the categories represented on the board. When you go into answering a question, other players can bet and predict whether or not you'll answer correctly. There's also the 'I Know!' button which allows you an opportunity to earn some points if the person who initiated the question doesn't answer it correctly.

    
Earning 4 points in total will award you with one of the six available wedges. When this happens, the game will make it so that all spaces corresponding to that colour will disappear, making it off-limits to the rest of the pack. Unless they challenge you to a Wedge Off, where you'll be presented with True or False questions until someone makes a mistake after a correct answer. The best way to make this happen is by landing on the Bonus spaces on the board. Landing here will give you a wheel to spin that will sometimes present you with special card-triggered events, such as the 'Time Bomb'. Once all the wedges have been distributed amongst the group, all remaining players will proceed to a final sudden death match. Here, your wedges are converted into hearts, acting as lives as you're bombarded with question after question until only one player remains. 'Facts & Friends' is very fun I'd say, and it's more exciting than your run-of-the-mill game of Trivial Pursuit. 

    The game's presentation is solid, with bright, neon-like visuals, smooth animations, and a low presence of background elements. There's some pretty catchy music as well, albeit it's very light-hearted, perhaps to encourage social interaction amongst players in the same room. But for those moments of awkward silences, there's a smug narrator who keeps things engaging by insulting players, making jokes and more. He can get annoying when he says the same things back-to-back, but its existence is still justified. Although the game looks very professional, the in-game text could definitely be bigger, though. And playing on a small TV will force everyone to snuggle real close if they hope to get the most out of everything that's on display. 

    
No matter how old you are, you'll find yourself challenged to varying degrees - after all, no one's good at everything! Young ones in a family may have trouble succeeding at a good number of questions on account of them being before their time, or simply being over their heads. But when you do make a knowledgeable answer as opposed to an educated guess, it can be very satisfying. To that end, as you play, live updates appear on the bottom of the screen to keep you informed on the progress of the game. These little blurbs do more than just stating when someone successfully answers a question. They also provide the success rate a player has with a particular category, how long the game has been going on for, and more. And I definitely appreciated this feature, since these all go back to the User Profiles you created for each participant.

    Trivial Pursuit for Wii comes with a soft, yet noteworthy recommendation. Anyone who loves the board game in its truest form and is up for something a little different should be pleased with the Facts & Friends mode. Everyone else runs the risk of tiring from the standard gameplay after some time, opting for something with more variety and excitement instead. Really though, when you give thought to the price it's currently going for, it's easy to see that EA has provided some good entertainment through this release that you may very well want to explore.


23/30 - Good

Gameplay 8/10 - A great translation of the classic board game, includes special rules to engage players, multiple modes and cool features
Presentation 7/10 - Well done, announcer keeps things entertaining, text is small to read even on big screen TV's, light yet catchy music
Enjoyment 3/5 - Classic is enjoyable but it can drag on, Facts & Friends is especially fun, question based can be unbalanced and really difficult
Extra Content 5/5 - Extra movie pack built-in from 360/PS3 DLC, different gameplay modes, stat-tracking profiles, game-saving capabilities

Equivalent to a score of 77% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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