Trivial Pursuit Wii
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
Trivial Pursuit is the latest board game to find its way onto this generation of consoles following in the footsteps of Monopoly and the Hasbro Family Game Night compilation. Those looking for a virtual version of Trivial Pursuit to play on their Wii will be fairly satisfied with this version but it's not perfect and the inability to add new content to the game or to play an online multiplayer game definitely devalues the experience somewhat.
Trivial Pursuit offers three different game modes. You'll choose the Classic Game mode for an experience that's similar to playing the board game. The idea here is to fill your puck with a wedge from each of the six different subjects (Geography, Entertainment, History, Art & Literature, Science & Nature and Sports & Leisure). A single-player experience is provided for with the Clear the Board mode. The object here is to earn as many points as you can whilst clearing the board of category spaces. Category spaces can't be used more than once so if you get a question wrong you won't get a second chance at claiming that space with another question (you can reattempt Wedge HQ and Central HQ questions however).
Facts and Friends is a mode which offers something a little different when you're not playing solo. A single puck is used and the idea is to claim as many wedges as you can. You'll need four points to fill a wedge and a correct answer will earn you two points. You can also bet on whether you think other players will get the right answer or not and if you're correct you'll earn points (you can't bet on the outcome of the questions on the Wedge HQ's however). The mode has some interesting aspects. The "Roll Again" spaces have been replaced by the "Bonus Events" which help to spice things up. These range from the ability to teleport to another space on the board to being able to steal a wedge from another player. When wedges have been completed, all of the spaces for the subject that the wedge represented will disappear and the board will contract. The Facts and Friends mode is a good addition and arguably the most interesting game mode on offer.
We've already mentioned that you can't play Trivial Pursuit online, which is disappointing, but in some respects it's just as disappointing to find that you can't play the Classic Game mode or Facts and Friends as a single-player experience. The game only supports a maximum of four players which is disappointing especially when you consider the board game supports far more than that and that you can play the game sharing a single Wii remote meaning there's no reason to be limited to only having four players.
New content can't be added to Trivial Pursuit but included is an additional Movie Pack of questions. You can either play with the standard questions, the Movie Pack or a mix of both. Most questions are answered from selecting one of four possible answers although there some questions of a different nature. To a certain degree this does make the game easier than the real thing because there's no multiple choice there and you either know the answer or not. To make matters worse, should you pick the wrong answer, you're shown the correct answer meaning that you're going to have a better chance of getting it right the next time the question comes along which will eventually have a detrimental effect on the game's replay value.
You're going to need your geography knowledge to be up to scratch in order to do well at Trivial Pursuit on the Wii. Whilst there is a geography category, you'll find that a fair few questions in other categories rely on having a good knowledge of this subject. For instance you have a question that asks you which city a film was based in. If you're a movie buff you may know the answer but could you pinpoint the city from four unnamed locations? At times I found it frustrating to know the correct answer only to pick the wrong location on the map. I don't mind having to select the answer from a close up of a map but at the very least the names of the locations should be shown (or the option for them to shown should have been included).
The game's presentation is actually quite good, although it's certainly not as good as it could have been for deaf gamers. In fairness to the developers there's only so much you can do with the visuals when doing a virtual version of a board game and in that respect the game looks as good as it could have been hoped for. The game isn't subtitled so you'll be oblivious to the repetitive comments that are made. Thankfully this isn't really a problem as all of the questions are delivered in text and the time limit you have to answer the questions is displayed visually. The text for the questions could have been bigger however.
Trivial Pursuit for the Wii is quite a decent representation of the board game but it's one that has its problems. Being limited to just four players and having no AI opponents to play against means the Classic Game mode is not an option for single players. No online play means that unless you can get a few friends round for a game, you won't be experiencing the game's main mode. It's also a shame that the correct answers are shown if you pick an incorrect answer as this definitely takes away some of the replay value and challenge. The real problem however is that the game simply isn't as enjoyable as playing the real thing and, with the exception of the Fact and Friends mode, offers no advantages over it.