Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 10:00AM by Johnny5
Trivial Pursuit is one of those games that you either love or hate. While I am not the biggest fan of board games in general, I do love me some spirited Pursuit.
More often than not, though, I'd find myself abandoning the game quickly. My friends and I would sit around the table and take turns trying to stump each other with questions from the box of cards. There was no score, there was no goal. We all just loved to learn. And we were (and still are) total geeks.
So Trivial Pursuit for the iPhone (released by EA Mobile) was a welcome addition to my home screen. Adapting a board game for mobile platforms is always a tricky proposition, but I am really happy with what EA came up with.
It has everything you would expect from a high-profile release: nice graphics and animations, easy to understand interfaces, and good use of music and sound effects. Where this game really stands out, though, is in the realm of game modes and customization.
Let's take the last part first. Trivial Pursuit allows you to add a number of custom user profiles. You can name the user, choose from a number of 2D mascots, and, of course, change the color of your game piece.
I'm a pirate. Aaaargh!
There are a number of game modes that really keep this game from getting tedious or boring. You can play the "Classic" mode we all know and love, picking up pieces of pie by answering questions. You can play against the computer, or in the "Pass 'n Play" mode, you can challenge friends and pass the phone around.
You can also customize gameplay to make the game last longer or shorter. Maybe you want to end the game after a player has collected only one or two slices of pie (wedges, they're called), or maybe you think you should get a piece of pie for any question answered instead of just on the designated squares. All these options are available, and the customizability makes the game oodles more fun.
There is also a pursuit mode which can be either single player or multiplayer. This mode mimics the "free form question asking" game that I loved as a kid. You progress through levels by answering questions. The faster you answer a question, the more spaces you are allowed to move. This is more score based as you try to go on "runs" of answering questions correctly as fast as possible.
Oh, and did I mention the wi-fi mode? That's right, play the classic version of the game over wi-fi with your other iPhone carrying buddies.
There are a few small areas that this app could improve. I'd really like to see these non-graphics-heavy apps get to the point where internet play is possible. Being able to join games with people around the globe really would be choice, and with 3G and wi-fi speeds on the phone, there is really no reason it can't happen with some clever coding.
Also, the questions are sometimes predictable. Questions whose answers are numbers usually have a high answer, a low answer, and the correct answer right in between. Another thought for the future would be giving me the option of having three, four, or five options in the multiple choice. This would be a great way of making the questions easier or harder to answer. But the app is still well worth the $4.99 price tag.
In the end, though, these are picky little problems. Trivial Pursuit is a lot of fun for anyone who likes the original game. And if you don't? What are you doing reading this anyway? Ain't ya gots better things to do?
Buy Trivial Pursuit HERE.