Available On: PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PS2
Though board games will always be around for those that enjoy a bit of old-fashioned fun that invokes memories of their childhood (as well as for people that enjoy ensuring that others are seeing that they enjoy it through the many photos they post on Facebook of them doing so), you'll more often see children and adults alike picking up their iPad, Android tablet, mobile phone, or console controller before you see them reach for a board game. With the Trivial Pursuit video game however, people can tick both boxes whilst maximising the fun they have as well as the convenience they enjoy.
Reaching for the remote of your chosen console instead of the door of the cupboard in which you keep your board games has simply been a fact of life for many years now; Trivial Pursuit is yet another game that has been moved well and truly into the modern age, courtesy of developer giant EA . The game is available for a variety of consoles including the PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii, all offering the same relatively unique take on Trivial Pursuit no matter what console you happen to own. This take involves a substantial quantity of loyalty to the tried-and-tested Trivial Pursuit board game, but with a few tweaks to make it a little more accessible to more players than ever before.
The most obvious change to the format that any veteran board-game Trivial Pursuit player will immediately recognise is the introduction of multiple choice questions. This is in direct contrast with the board game version, which simply offers questions from a variety of categories on a card and expects people to simply come up with the answer based solely on their comprehensive knowledge of what are often extremely obscure subjects. On the one hand this introduction of multiple choice does allow for a bit of educated guesswork, which may annoy some Trivial Pursuit Purists; on the other hand this format change instantly accelerates the pace of the game and also makes the game more accessible for the casual gamer and/or quiz fan.
The difficulty of the questions is of course an important factor here, and EA has managed to set the balance between frustration and entertainment just right. The questions are challenging but not to the point of being nigh on impossible, particularly with the multiple-choice answers giving you a bit of a clue as to what area the answer lies in. They aren't as easy as in rival games such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire however and thus Trivial Pursuit retains the difficulty that it has become renowned for.
As you would expect with a board game moving to console, EA have gone ahead and taken advantage of the medium change by introducing questions that involve visual clues that would otherwise be impractical or impossible for a board-based game to use. For example, some questions involve the use of visual stimuli as answers (such as pictures that relate to the question).
Geographical questions are given a whole new lease of life here as well because EA have introduced maps to the equation: these questions require more substantial knowledge since you must answer them by pinpointing the location in question on the map that appears as well as simply knowing the name of the location. The game could have done with a bit more of a shakeup however, perhaps by introducing bets or wagers like the much-loved board game Wits and Wagers.
The game modes that are available in Trivial Pursuit consist of three main offerings: Classic mode, Clear the Board, and the enjoyable multiplayer mode of Facts and Friends. Classic mode really is just the most literal translation of the board game to the console. If you want to play on your own but in a slightly different format then you've got Clear the Board, a mode that requires of you the collecting of all six category wedges. This mode involves point multipliers and another twist that only allows one instance of a question per space whether you get it right or not. Facts and Friends is certainly the most entertaining for a group as it involves each group using the same puck but competing against each other for being the first to fill and own each of the wedges.
There will always be flaws in a video game however, particularly one that takes such a well-loved and well-established board game and repurposes it for console use. Some people won't like the multiple choice format but this concession is probably the most agreeable of all of the changes as it keeps the game's pace at an entertaining level. The main negative would be the wedge challenge aspect of the Facts and Friends mode that allows challengers to gain a wedge by issuing a challenge but doesn't allow the defender to gain anything in return if they emerge victorious. Other than this flaw, EA's Trivial Pursuit is a great video game that does justice to the board game whilst changing its format for the better (for the most part).