Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition

Everyone loves an underdog. If the odds are stacked heavily against you, someone, somewhere is egging you on and hoping you succeed.

And that's certainly the case with Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition – we've never seen a mobile game that so blatantly assists and helps the person that's losing.

Trivial Pursuit, if you don't know by now, is a game that tests your general knowledge. Originally a board game and converted to mobile phones by Mr. Goodliving, up to six people can play at a time, each trying to become the first to collect six different mosaic pieces.

The mosaic pieces – called widges, cheeses, triangles, or any one of a dozen other names – are won by a player landing on a prize space and correctly answering a question on one of six topics. Additional questions are posed en-route to the prize spaces.

Not surprisingly, games can (and frequently do) take several hours to complete. So the fact that the Trivial Pursuit series has become so popular on mobile phone is, to put it bluntly, a little unexpected.

But once you start playing, all such doubts disappear. Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition, like the other versions already on offer (including football and 1980s-themed editions), is an absolute blast, particularly when playing against other people.

Covering topics set between 1984 (the year of the original game's release), and 2004, the questions are contemporary enough for young players and broad enough for older ones, with cultural references ranging from Lulu to Lara Croft. And with two game modes on offer, there's plenty to keep you occupied.

The single player Time Attack mode provides you with five lives, and forces you to answer questions against a very stern clock. Respond correctly and you can carry on around the wagon wheel-shaped board; get a question wrong and you lose a life. Lose all five and you're out.

The multiplayer Classic mode is the best, though, replicating the board game experience almost to a tee. With a virtual dice determining who moves how far, and questions covering geography, literature, culture and sport, among others, it's a real laugh to play with friends, especially when the taunting, teasing and showboating takes off.

It's also in the Classic mode that the game reveals its softer side. While the single-player Time Attack mode hurls real fastballs at you (some of the questions are stinkers), the Classic mode will instead toss up a weak under-arm pitch to whoever's not winning. The leader, additionally, will be faced with an uncooperative dice that hardly seems entirely random, while the losers will find themselves landing on prize spaces nearly every other roll.

It's infuriating and inspiring in equal amounts, but there's no denying it makes for a closer game. Your brainy friend (there's always one) doesn't win by a country mile every time, and even if you're lagging behind by a couple of triangles, you've a real chance of catching up.

Whether the other players will still be rooting for you at this point is open to debate, though, as the tactics employed to delay the leaders does mean that games can go on for far longer than they ought. Still, it also means you're getting your money's worth, and Trivial Pursuit is certainly intellectually enriching – you'll never be considered the plucky outsider at the pub quiz again.

Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition

Well-balanced questions combined with a great multiplayer mode makes Trivial Pursuit the mobile quiz master