Trivial Pursuit

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Trivial Pursuit Game Poster Image
Classic board game goes high-tech in a fun way.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This is a game that encourages friends and families to play together. It teaches you interesting trivia as you play.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

This is a game based on the Hasbro Trivial Pursuit board game

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a video game based on the Hasbro board game of Trivial Pursuit. There is one minor reference to alcohol in terms of complimenting your success by popping bottles of champagne.

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What's it about?

Fans of the classic Hasbro board game Trivial Pursuit can now enjoy a high-tech version on the Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. TRIVIAL PURSUIT lets you play three different modes, including the classic mode where you answer questions covering the six categories of Geography, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure. The goal of the classic game is to fill up your circular game piece with six wedges earned from answering questions in each of the six categories. As you move around the spoke-shaped board, landing on special Wedge HQ spaces allows you to earn wedges; and when you have all six, you can move back to the middle of the board to answer one last question to win the game.

In addition to the classic game, the game offers a solo mode called \"Clear the Board,\" a game where as you land on squares and answer questions correctly, you clear that space off of the board. The other variation, called \"Facts and Friends,\" is filled with quirky extras, like a Wedge Challenge, where you can challenges another to a competition where answering correctly lets you steal the other player's wedge. There is also a way to earn points by betting whether your opponents will answer a question correctly.

Is it any good?

This high-tech way of playing Trivial Pursuit is good, and in most ways, better than playing the board game. The classic game is easy to play, and nicely presented so you never have to count out spaces. The addition of the two variations is a real winner because they are both fun and novel. The visual presentation throughout is crisp and exciting, particularly when the game pieces float and hover around as if they are alive. And this version uses interactive multimedia to make the presentation of the questions varied and interesting. You will see question using photos, sliders, and interactive maps. Another cool thing is the way the game keeps track of each player's stats and displays them on a ticker tape at the bottom of the game.

There is one way that the board game beats the video game version. And that is in letting kids have an easier set of questions than adults. The best way to deal with knowledge inequity in the video game is to play the "Facts & Friends" Mode which throws in all sorts of unpredictable results, so the better player doesn't necessarily win. Also, the size of the lettering used on the questions could have been larger.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why playing trivia games are so much fun. Do you think winning this game shows that you are smarter than others, or is it the luck of the draw in terms of what questions you get? Are you better in some knowledge areas than others? Why do you think that is?

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