Trivial Pursuit by Hasbro has long been a favorite of mine. Nothing like the pursuit of random factoids, general knowledge, popular culture and current events, I say! It’s nice to know that even those who possess little to no skills for those otherwise mentally challenging games of strategy, those who read and retain information on all sorts of seemingly frivolous but still impressive knowledge, can reap winning streaks in Trivial Pursuit.
Released for the iPhone by EA Games this past April, Trivial Pursuit is now portable and more brightly fun than ever, with different gameplay modes to keep you enthralled. Classic mode is self-explanatory, involving the original gameplay of collecting colored wedges more quickly than your opponent, to answer a final question on the center tile to win. Pursuit mode is more like a race, where you quickly make your way to the finish line as you answer questions at lightning speed. Each game board contains a Start and Finish line separated by question tiles of the six different categories. But, beware: the shortest path to the finish line may not be the easiest one, as based on in-game statistics, Trivial Pursuit may arrange the shortest path with questions from the category where you perform the worst. There are also two multiplayer options, one called Pass N Play where two or more players share the same iPhone device, passing it back and forth, or multiplayer through wifi where you join the “bonjour” network..
Generally, Trivial Pursuit is played in Classic mode, where you collect wedges by answering questions correctly, and to win the game, once all the required wedges have been collected, you head back to the center tile to answer one random, final question. Each turn consists of rolling a die and moving to a tile of your choice. Shake the iPhone to roll the die or simply tap the die, then tap it again to land on a number. A cool spinning graphic is shown for the die, and the board itself is resplendent in bright, nearly neon colors. Choose your destination by tapping on a highlighted tile – all the possible landing spots will be slightly elevated, highlighting your options of travel once your die lands on a number. Answer the question correctly – bright, happy noises will be heard, along with little black Trivial Pursuit icons floating like cherubs - and you get to roll again, indefinitely, until you choose a wrong answer – where a crunching, crashing sound is heard with smoke and steam angrily coming from the obviously incorrect answer.
The game board contains question tiles of the six, classic trivial pursuit categories (Entertainment, Sports & Leisure, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, Geography, History), along with headquarter tiles, re-roll tiles and a center tile. Landing on a headquarter tile and answering a question correctly rewards you with a wedge of the given category – should you desire a shorter game or simply an easier one, you may adjust this option under the Game settings to have you receive a wedge any time you answer a question correctly, regardless of whether you’re on a headquarter tile or not.
To customize the difficulty of the game even further, you can decide the competence of your AI opponent – ranging from ignorant to lucky genius – and before starting the game you may customize your own player’s look, there being many funny profile pictures to choose from, all of which have a slight LEGO feel to them (I chose the pirate with the moustache, since he slightly resembled my boyfriend had he more defined facial hair and a penchant for wearing pirate hats). You may also customize the length of time to answer a question (6 seconds being the shortest, followed by 9 and 12, with 15 being the longest), and how many wedges it takes to win, just in case you want to play a game that doesn’t make you tear your hair out as much.
There really are no complaints to be had about Trivial Pursuit for the iPhone, unless you had issues with the game to begin with (“SERIOUSLY? WHO WOULD KNOW THAT?”) Frankly, I’ve always loved Trivial Pursuit, it’s great for game nights with friends, and should you not have the board game itself, using your iPhone is easier and just as transportable – perhaps more so – than those unsightly, plastic, digital versions of Trivial Pursuit and other games you find in Target, Toys R Us, and other places. I can’t think of how the game could be more simple and aesthetically pleasing, and the different play options improve upon the original gameplay. For $4.99, I think it’s a good bargain, since most board games are up in the $40 range, but take this recommendation seriously if you’re an avid fan of trivia and knowledge, and love the original game, because otherwise you may eventually tire of the game and regret the money spent.