Amstrad Action

Trivial Pursuit: A New Beginning

Author: Gary Barrett
Publisher: Domark
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #40

Trivial Pursuit: A New Beginning

Not long ago there was a playing board, six different colours of counters and a thousand cards with six trivial questions of different categories on each. The categories were science and nature, entertainment, art and literature, geography, sports and leisure, and history. The aim was to wander around the wheel shaped board collecting coloured wedges and then head for the hub and answer one more question. Winning was not important (except to the eventual winner): the real purpose of Trivial Pursuit was as a fun party game for people frightened of intelligent conversation.

Influenced, no doubt, by the ludicrous amounts of money pouring into their bank accounts, the designers decided to bring out some expansion sets of questions and charge extortionate amounts of money for them. They too sold incredibly well and the game and expansion sets inevitably came out on home micros.

In this latest addition to the Trivial Pursuit craze, there's a slight variation on the gameplay, and even a scenario. In the distant future, the earth is dying and mankind must find a new place to live. The planet Genus II seems ideal, but the inhabitants don't want any old idiots moving in as neighbours and create a test. Hidden around six different galaxies (one for each question category), there are six objects (futuristic equivalents of wedges) that must be found and collected by answering a question set by the alien lifeforms that live on the planet. Once all six objects have been found, you can go onto Genus II where you're asked a question by six of the wisest beings on the planet. If you answer all those questions correctly, you have found a haven for the earth people and can live happily every after.

Trivial Pursuit: A New Beginning

As with the original Trivial Pursuit, up to six teams or players can take part and you take it in turns to answer questions. Extra goes are awarded if you get the answer right. Dice are no longer rolled to move from one planet to another: you can select your destination by simply moving the cursor over a planet and pressing fire. When you land on a planet, a question is asked and you press a key when you've decided what your answer is. The correct answer is shown and you have to be honest and tell the computer whether you got it right (This is fine when there are several players, but in solo play I found the temptation to cheat irresistible!)

The question categories are the same, though there are are some audio and visual questions too (both can be switched off).

Graphically it's not devastatingly exciting, but they serve their purpose. There are no problems with the graphical questions. Sound effects are adequate and the tunes on the musical questions are played well.

Trivial Pursuit: A New Beginning

Trivial Pursuit is a game you come back to occasionally, and as long as you don't have a perfect memory for trivial details, the 3,000 questions keep you going a long time. As a game tor the family over Christmas it's ideal, but for solo play it lacks compulsiveness.

Second Opinion

What's with these Trivial Pursuit spin-offs anyway? There was the book, now there's another micro version. Don't let Domark fool you that this really is "a new beginning" - that's just marketing!

The little aliens are fun, the questions aren't bad and, unlike Gary, I found no difficulty in being honest about whether I'd got the answers right. If you're a fan of the original, you'll enjoy this too.

Trivial Pursuit: A New Beginning

And I think Gary's right; as a Christmas family get-together game it's fun... but you won't find yourself playing it alone very often.

One last thing: it's too expensive.

Green Screen View

No problems

The Verdict

Graphics 59%
P. Colourful graphics.
P. Cute little aliens.

Sonics 53%
P. A few tunes for questions.
N. Average sound effects.

Grab Factor 67%
P. Fun for a family gathering.
N. Useless for solo play.

Staying Power 73%
P. 3,000 questions supplied. As long as you don't have a photographic memory you'll still drag it out for an occasional game.
N. Fine if you don't have a trivia game already... but not original enough if you do.

Overall 69%

Gary Barrett

Other Amstrad CPC464 Game Reviews By Gary Barrett

  • Victory Road Front Cover
    Victory Road
  • Freddy Hardest Front Cover
    Freddy Hardest
  • Mission Genocide Front Cover
    Mission Genocide
  • Black Beard Front Cover
    Black Beard
  • Mission Jupiter Front Cover
    Mission Jupiter
  • R-Type Front Cover
  • Artura Front Cover
  • Megaplay 1 Front Cover
    Megaplay 1
  • Operation Hormuz Front Cover
    Operation Hormuz
  • Thundercats Front Cover