When it comes to hosting a party or having a small gathering at your place, the gaming console is usually a powerful tool in entertaining the masses. With a market full of party games to get your groove on, it could be a nice change to have something new to play that doesn’t require an awful lot of locomotion. It’s time for Ubisoft and developers Longtail to bring us their attempt to fill this void with a revamped form of a classic family board game, now called Trivial Pursuit LIVE!
Billed as a modern twist of Trivial Pursuit, the game itself is set up like a television game show where contestants stand on their podiums and compete against each other to find a winner. Trivia is the basis for every round, whether you play three rounds or the full five round show, although in all honesty there’s not much time difference between the two and the latter will take up a mere 30 minutes at most.
These rounds consist of multiple choice based questions that everyone must answer in order to earn points, which in turn goes towards earning those trademark Trivial Pursuit wedges. My only problem here is the lack of variety, despite there being seven different round types; in reality two are just minor variations on two other types and ignoring the final round, the rest have no decent gimmick to them.
To explain what I mean I will go over the differing types of rounds you may face starting with Quickstarter which kicks off every game show. This is a straightforward ‘everyone pick the answer to a few questions’ mode in which there are four options to choose from. Of course you need basic rounds like this to counteract the zany ones but it’s replicated in Switchagories, the only slight change being players take turns in picking a category to get a question from and they can earn double points whereas everyone else gets the standard amount.
Now onto the Grab Bag round, this is the star of the show or should I say its variation, Grab Bag Blitz is really. Grab Bag involves a question and 16 possible answers, players in turn need to find the eight correct answers and avoid the incorrect because if they get one wrong they sit out that entire question. And what does Blitz do exactly? It makes everyone play at the same time so it becomes a frantic scramble to get those easy answers banked before your opponents do.
Last of the regular rounds is Close Call (and the Blitz version). This involves choosing the best answer from those still available after other players have chosen theirs, unless you’re in last place then you go first! For example if it asked you to pick the newest released console out of PS2, Gamecube, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Sega Megadrive, if Xbox One had already gone it’d be between whatever is left. Again the Blitz mode just turns up the competitive natures and injects a bit of life into what could get a bit dim.
The final round aims to fill any gaps in that wedge wheel of yours; simply correctly guess the right answer from two options more times than your opponent to earn a wedge. It’s a sort of last man (or woman) standing kind of deal. You don’t need to have played well throughout to end up winning but it certainly helps.
All bases are covered in the bank of questions thanks to the six categories on offer; Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, Sports & Leisure, Geography, History and Entertainment. The varying difficulty of the questions that pop up give everyone a chance, unless you’re up against the A.I. who seem to have taken a peek at the answers beforehand. I have got quite a few repeat questions after only ten games which is a shame and there’s been a couple of answers where the research team might need to check again but overall I felt like I was reasonably tested in all areas.
You can play online or offline with real people which is where you’ll get the most enjoyment from and for those gamers worried about not having enough controllers, fear not because one controller can be shared by up to four players. My main concern is longevity, as I’m already finding it tough to locate more than one opponent at best online and those whom I battled with on my own console were indifferent about playing more than one set of rounds.
One of the most disappointing parts is the lack of customisation for the characters in the game, just the two costumes per generic character. They’ve missed a trick not allowing the use of our own Avatars which seem lost in limbo at the moment. Not much they can do about that now, but take note future party games, at least let us make our own players to represent ourselves.
There’s certainly a decent base to build on here and it could easily be a valuable addition to your own game nights with a few tweaks and additions if it’s at all possible. First of all it needs more questions; anyone who’s more than a casual trivia buff will get through these in no time at all. Secondly, add further round types to enhance the randomness and freshness of which game modes are played in the show. And finally, sort out the annoying narration, if I have to hear the word Leisure pronounced “leesshere” ever again it’ll be too soon.
If you’ll not be playing Trivial Pursuit LIVE on a regular basis then I’m sure you will have fun, but for those who want a game they can put on week in week out to entertain the masses then this isn’t the one.