Trivial Pursuit Review

We’ve collected a fair number of pie slices in our extended Trivial Pursuit career, running through everything from the old standby Genus Edition to Totally 80s. Now our pursuit of all things trivial has led to the App Store, where EA’s iPhone edition is serving up thousands of new questions for $4.99.

For that price, trivial Pursuit on the iPhone has plenty of content–and it doles it out in a way that’s good for lonely commutes or party sessions alike.

Filling up on pie.

As always, Trivial Pursuit’s questions fall into six different color-coded categories: Geography (blue), Entertainment (pink), History (yellow), Arts and Literature (brown), Science and Nature (green), and Sports and Leisure (orange). Each question has three possible answers, and your choice is timed, at least by default.

The questions range widely in difficulty, and a few are based on images. These don’t always seem fair, because the pictures are tiny and often very similar-looking. Wait, you’re saying that wasn’t the International Space Station? Time to get that Lasik surgery.

There are two ways to play. Classic Mode drops you right into the board game, where you roll a die and roam around the wheel-and-spokes board trying to collect colored wedges. You can set the number of wedges needed to win, where you earn them (only on special hub tiles or anywhere), how tough the computer opponent is, and the length of the time limit. All this works fine, but it makes for a pretty dull single-player experience.

Far more interesting is Pursuit Mode, something EA cooked up to add pizazz to solo play. Here you are traversing long mazes of tiles by answering questions as quickly as you can. The faster you answer, the further you get to move; wrong answers or elapsed timers only get you a single space.

There are also powerup spaces that add distance to your move, teleport you to new areas of the map, or knock a possible answer off a question. You earn medals based on the number of questions it takes to get to the end space.

Further into the game, Pursuit Mode starts to exploit your weaknesses–the shortest path to the goal will be lined with the question color you’ve historically sucked the worst at. This punishes idiot savants like us, who are great at History and Geography, but not so good with the pop culture stuff.

On the multiplayer side, Trivial Pursuit supports up to four players via pass-and-play or WiFi. Both game modes are enabled, so you can run a Pursuit race against three buddies and leave them in the dust.

Overall, this is a nice, clean, functional game of Trivial Pursuit. It lives up to the brand and even goes a little further, thanks to the innovations in Pursuit Mode.

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