In the 1980’s you couldn’t move for living rooms full of people playing Trivial Pursuit. Invented at the very start of that decade by two Canadian newspaper editors, they came up with the idea while playing scrabble and drinking lots of beer; the board game was born and soon was a multi-million dollar success. Since then, the gaming market has continued to develop Trivial Pursuit games but it was in 2015 when Xbox players first had the chance to play Trivial Pursuit Live!, playing with friends locally, against AI opponents, or strangers online. Well, the follow-up is here – Trivial Pursuit Live! 2 – as we get the chance to dust down our brains and collect some bits of pie.
As you may suspect, Trivial Pursuit Live! 2 pretty much runs the same lines as the first game – at least from what I can remember – although that’s not a bad thing. It’s a good family party game, with the added bonus of being able to play against strangers online if you want to. However, you don’t go around a traditional board, and rather the setup takes place via a TV studio with four contestants, sparkly graphics, jazzy music, and a swanky voice-overing presenter.
You can choose at the start whether to play three or five rounds in each game. Each round you play will give you points per question and the position where you end up on the podium after each round. Reach a certain number of points and you get a wedge. Collect six wedges and you’ve won the game. It’s a simple premise. A round basically allows you to answer questions with multiple choices available for each category: Art and Literature, Sports and Leisure, Entertainment, Science and Nature, History and Geography.
The rounds are different each time. Some consist of answering a question within a time limit, as you get to see what each person has chosen after everyone has selected their answer; this makes the stakes high before the answer is revealed. There are other sections in which you are provided with a selection of answers on-screen and you take turns to separate the right ones from the wrong ones. It might be – for example – “film starring Al Pacino”, with sixteen answers in place, yet only half will be correct choices. At the end of the game, you enter a sudden death round where the last one standing gets a coloured wedge.
Trivial Pursuit Live! 2 gives you a choice of avatars to use for your character on screen. These are all cartoony and nicely animated, with different expressions and emotes for winning and losing. As you play more games you level up and can get access to different skins for these avatars. It’s nothing mind blowing, but decent enough if you are interested in things like that.
The whole thing is playable as a solo experience against three other AI opponents which all works well, even if the AI does makes some very strange decisions when answering. For a much more interesting challenge though, Trivial Pursuit Live! 2 is best set up when you go up against real strangers, testing your brainpower amongst the best. The online scene is fairly well populated too. However, in my opinion this is a great party game that is perfect to be placed locally with family and friends; the way most people will play it.
Everything is delivered via a very bright and colourful template that works nicely; jolly and well designed. The menus are clean, and the instructions describing each round are well delivered through a mixture of words and visual guidelines. It all works perfectly well. However, there is only really a small range of avatars to choose from in the lineup and these are all great, but you do get bored of them quite quickly. It would have been great if you could have imported your own Xbox Avatars into the game, especially for the online sessions.
The soundtrack meanwhile is a mix of the type of music you would expect to find on an afternoon TV quiz show; in that aspect, it’s been nailed. It’s appreciated that voice over pops in every now and then, helping to explain things. In all, TPL2 has all the right effects throughout.
Trivial Pursuit Live! 2 is a solid and enjoyable party game that can be played by friends and family at home, against the AI, or online with strangers. The questions are not as simple as you may imagine and you’ll need to work your brain hard to win a game, especially as you head online.
I don’t think this is a massive step up from the first game that came to console, but new questions are always appreciated and it’s fun to step back into the format once again.
Trivial Pursuit Live! 2 is available on the Xbox Store