Trivial Pursuit

Publisher: Domark
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer & Video Games #61

Trivial Pursuit

They said it couldn't be done. But Domark has done it! Turned the world's best board game into an entertaining computer challenge. If you've been hiding your head under a stone for the last few years you won't know that Trivial Pursuit has sold almost 70 million copies in board game form worldwide and entertained at least twice that number of people who enjoy answering totally trivial questions.

Domark's version, programmed by the Oxford based ODE team, follows closely the spirit of the original. But it uses the capabilities of the machine to present more titillating trivial questions in a way the inventors of the board game never dreamt of. There are pictures using computer graphics - and sound questions too.

The game has a host. A little chap called TP. And the game takes place in the study of his luxurious Oxford home.

Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition

Everything he needs to test your knowledge is there - a screen to project graphic questions, a hi-fi to play the tunes and all the best reference books. He also gets to wear a different hat for each different question category - a crown for history, a beret for art and a mortar board for science.

The game begins with the set up screen which allows you to enter the names of the players - up to six - load new questions, turn the sound effects on/off, set a time limit for answers - and even turn old TP on and off if he irritates you!

Then it's on to the board screen where TP throws a dart in place of the dice to get you moving. If you turn him off, the numbers on the board flash rapidly acting like a dice until you hit the fire button.

Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition

Once you've thrown, you can select which of the six categories you want to answer a question from. Once you've done that, TP wanders off to his study where he asks you the question. The timer is represented by a candle on a shelf. If you've got the timer on, it burns down. TP also walks around impatiently tapping his foot...

You have to say your answer out loud for everyone to hear before pressing the fire button. TP then gives you the correct answer and you have to tell the computer if you were right or wrong. No cheating please! Then it's back to the board screen for another go.

The computer keeps track of how many questions you have answered, how many you've got right, and in which category. This is another thing the board game can't do for you. Give an indication of what areas you're really smart at!

Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition

Your ratings appear in bar graph form and you can call them up at the beginning or end of any turn from the board screen.

All the questions you've come to expect from Trivial Pursuit are included. They also include a number of computer game related questions, Like what do the initials J.S.W. stand for. Betcha can't guess that one!

The sound questions are a bit tricky on the Spectrum version - you have to strain your ears to hear - but they are fun. Especially when the tune is played backwards!

Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition

The best thing about the game is that you can play with a whole bunch of people. No longer do computer games have to be solitary pastimes. And it means the game really captures the TP spirit.

Another good feature is that you can enter a new player who comes along after you've started a game. Simply go back to the main menu screen and enter his or her name and you're away.

ODE have developed an amazing new multi-load system which means one tape can be used to load question modules into any computer. This means that they can be continually updated.

Domark will be issuing a Young Players Edition, and a Baby Boomer Edition. But the system means that the game could go on forever adding new modules.

Trivial Pursuit on computer is as much fun to play as the original - and the graphics and sound add a whole new dimension. TP will make a far from trivial addition to your games collection.