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Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition Deluxe

What's the world's favorite trivia game? Undoubtedly, Trivial Pursuit. Which, incidentally, was no trivial matter for its creators, Scott Abbott and Chris Haney. A friendly argument in 1979 over who was the better game player resulted in its creation.

While it took four years to become an "overnight success," numerous iterations of this "party in a box" have appeared over the years. The latest is Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition Deluxe.

If you've ever played Trivial Pursuit in any of its board, DVD or computer iterations, Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition Deluxe will feel familiar, as the same basic formula applies. Progress is determined by your ability to correctly answer general knowledge or popular culture questions. And, there's quite a few to be answered -- 2,000 to be exact!

Play is served up via three modes: Solitaire, Time Attack and 1 to 4 Players. In Solitaire, your objective is to finish the game answering the least number of questions. With Time Attack, the preferred mode for shorter rounds of play, you want to counter the questions as quickly as possible. Finally, in 1 to 4 Players Mode, a customized game, you select the number of players taking part and establish the rules for each round.

As with the original Trivial Pursuit, play occurs on a wheel-shaped board comprised of an outer ring with six spokes attached to a central hub. Spaces along these paths are color-coded for each trivia category. Geography, Entertainment, History, Art & Literature, Science & Nature and Sport & Leisure are blue, pink, yellow, brown, green and orange respectively. Rolling a die is used to traverse the board, with possible moves displayed. Simply click on the destination of choice.

Located at the outer end of each spoke is a wedge space, one for each category. Your goal is to fill all six spaces on your Scoring Token (game piece) with different colored wedges by correctly answering the appropriate questions. When completed, you return to the center hub to answer a final question and win. What kind of queries can you expect? Here are two examples.

Question: "Who tossed puppies to their death from the Kremlin walls?"
Possible Answers: "Ivan the Terrible" "Brezhnev" or "Khrushchev"
Correct Answer: "Ivan the Terrible"


Question: "What sport awards the Stanley Cup?"
Possible Answers: "Ice Hockey" "Croquet" or "Curling"
Correct Answer: "Ice Hockey"

In each case, you have three available answers. Choose the right one and you earn points. Answer consecutive questions correctly and you receive an added bonus.

As for acquiring wedges, it works differently for each mode. In Solitaire, you need to answer a question correctly while on a colored wedge space to receive a matching wedge. Correct answers given when landing on other spaces add to your point total, but don't earn wedges.

In Time Attack, which offers two difficulty levels, you have a time limit and a penalty. Play begins with five hearts (lives) and a time limit. Answer incorrectly or run out of time, and you lose a heart. Lose all five before collecting your wedges and the game ends. However, answer correctly and you earn points. The quicker you answer, the higher your score. And, as in Solitaire, you earn an added bonus for correct consecutive answers. Wedges, conversely, can be secured on any space. Plus, on reaching the center hub, you're given a mega bonus -- if you correctly answer five consecutive questions.

In a customized 1 to 4 Players game, you begin by setting rules. Select the number of wedges needed, whether an exact roll of the die is required to enter the hub or not, and if any space can earn a Scoring Wedge or only wedge spaces. You can play solo or with up to three other players sharing the same computer and mouse. Unfortunately, basic online play, like that offered in Flip Words 2, is absent.

How does it compare to the boardgame? Well, it's fun, addictive even, but not as enjoyable as playing with a room full of friends. It lacks the associated banter and camaraderie that the boardgame experience offers.
This game can be played in multiple languages, which is a good thing.

Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition Deluxe is a fun diversion if you're in the mood to strain your brain and see how "trivial" you can be.


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