“Oh no… Odie spilled coffee on the newspaper again. Can you figure out what’s missing from the comic strips?” Cynics and Garfield critics will no doubt be filling in their own punchlines for that question, which sets up the premise of the game: With part of each strip obscured by coffee, you have to correctly choose one of four answers to score coins.
Questions come in five categories in each of the three packs available, starting with the first one unlocked. You choose by spinning a wheel that includes the categories plus a bonus slot for gaining additional coins. Ultimately, you’ll want to get one of each category answered correctly to win, though getting that last category can be a real pain, as the wheel seems to like to stick with the same one repeatedly at times.
You can play solo or with someone online through Facebook, e-mail, etc., but the multiplayer is rather lacking. Remember how in Super Mario Bros., if Player 1 was good enough at the game, Player 2 would never get a turn? That’s largely how this works. Rather than taking turns back and forth, each correct answer allows for another turn, and if someone is familiar enough with Garfield, then the other person might never get a chance to go, sucking the fun and competition straight out of a match.
The game features an interesting dynamic with its advertising as well. By partaking in sharing the game or clicking ads, you can earn more coins, which allow you to unlock new packs of categories or better your odds in different ways, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”-style. But just as with the multiplayer, someone who knows their Garfield may never (or at least rarely, as there is the occasional stumper) see those ads.
If you’re a Garfield fan, then the game is definitely enjoyable, at least in single-player mode. It features lots of Garfield strips, most of which seem to be back from when he was in his prime, and those are fun to read again with the interactive element, along with definitions for words which help illustrate how Garfield himself sees things. If you’ve decided you don’t like Garfield, this game probably won’t change your mind, and if you’re unfamiliar with him, this might make you a fan.
All in all, Garfield’s Trivia Party is a fun time waster for fans of the fat cat, and might have been even better if the multiplayer didn’t allow for such one-sided competition.