Trivial Pursuit: Music Edition

The world of popular music is a fickle place – what tops the charts one day can be consigned to the dustbin of history the next. Yet while many hot supergroups slide away into obscurity, there remain some acts that stubbornly persist, refusing to go quietly into that good night, continuing to belt out their 'classics' on endless tours or the ever-burgeoning festival circuit.

Of course, there's clearly a very fine line between 'classic' and 'past it' and it's a line that's being trodden by everyone from the Stooges and the Rolling Stones, to the recently reformed Take That and The Spice Girls.

It's also a line along which Trivial Pursuit: Music Edition rolls its dice, for much like Mick, Keith and Ginger, the game has barely changed its tune since the original Trivial Pursuit was released some three years ago.

Naturally, not all of this is under the developer's control – the fundamentals of the Trivial Pursuit brand (roll a dice, answer question, collect cheeses to win) are presumably set in stone like a veritable rhapsody. It's not a terrible tune, either (positively bohemian, in fact), having shifted well over 100 million board games since its inception in 1982 – not to mention salvaging countless dull dinner parties.

In the unfathomable circumstances that you're not familiar with the mechanic, your task is to negotiate a circular board by throwing a dice and then answering a trivia question corresponding to one of six subjects (in this case that means categories such as artists, bands, soundtracks, albums and gossip) with the aim of correctly answering questions and collecting six coloured segments (also know as wedges, cheeses and pies) as quickly as possible.

Clearly these aspects have to be retained (RealArcade couldn't have a square board or suddenly add a random shooting stage), but there are however some elements which could have been upgraded. The graphical rendition of board and bouncing dice, for instance, which seemed quite appealing back in 2004 and has apparently been turned to 3D somewhere along the line, now looks as wrinkly as Iggy Pop's neck when compared to modern fare.

Likewise, the game mode options (simply play on your own for highest percentage or against the clock, or multiplayer via pass-the-handset) feel almost as limited as Status Quo's chord selection.

Where are the multiplayer over-the-air match-ups, the competitive high-scores, the updating questions linked to the latest charts? For that matter, why aren't there any multimedia picture and sound rounds? Or at least some nice sound effects to reward the winning of a segment? This is a music-game, for goodness sake, on a device that is desperate to double as an MP3 player!

These omissions (and the passage of time) are enough to strip a mark from our original review of the game, but it's the excessive simplicity of the questions that ultimately robs the game of an award.

This reviewer would by no means label himself a passionate fan of music – his iPod was bought as a gift and retains the same songs it had on day one and any gigs attended are decidedly mainstream fare – and yet he still managed to sweep through the game with an 85 per cent correct record. Obviously, the multiple choice answering system plays a role here (something which isn't present in the board game), but at the very least it would have been nice to have a choice of difficulty levels to challenge the musos.

Ultimately, Trivial Pursuit Music Edition is by no means a bad game and it certainly offers more value for money than many stadium concerts. Nevertheless, it still feels more like a competent tribute act than a star performer in its own right.

Trivial Pursuit: Music Edition

Like an ageing rock group, this game plays precisely the tunes you'd expect, but the format feels jaded and the presentation past its best
Chris James
Chris James
A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, bossman Chris is up for anything – including running Steel Media (the madman).