Those of you who’ve read reviews I’ve previously written will (hopefully) know that I do my best to interject a little bit of humour into proceedings. The reasons are two-fold; on one hand I hope it helps to keep the readers attention and, on the other hand, it actually helps me write sometimes. If a game is bad, making a joke or two about it can give a bit of a mental lift and stop you from slipping into the pit of despair known as “writer’s block”.
I can’t do that about That Trivia Game. Because The Trivia Game is absofuckinglutely wretched.
Lets start with the game modes. It’s as barebones as the come. You have two options, play against AI in a 1v1 quiz or play local multiplayer for up to 4 players. There’s no online option at all, which is a real shame and a glaring omission. You could regard the local multiplayer as a saving grace of sorts because, if push came to shove, you could maybe derive some enjoyment from adding a drinking game if playing with friends, but really that’s all you have.
We’ll move onto graphics. If you’ve seen the screenshots in this review you might be wondering why I accidentally slipped the wrong pictures in but no, these actually actually screenshots from a Playstation 4 game. I’ve not seen anything this bad for a considerable length of time, possibly going back to Playstation 1 days. The character models are dreadful, limited, and some entirely thematically misplaced; You can pick from two geeks, two punks and, and I’m all ears if someone can explain this one to me, two pirates. The audience are dark and oddly shaped in the background, and do little to nothing to enhance the atmosphere. Finally, the ‘presenter’ is awfully animated, with no attempt made to lip-syncing and body parts that glitch through others. I do appreciate that in a game of this style graphics aren’t the most important thing, but there’s been absolutely zero effort put in, and it’s embarrassingly bad.
Like I just said though, graphics aren’t the most important thing in a quiz game. For obvious reasons, that should be the questions, so how are they? Well, despite apparently containing over 1,000 questions split through 20 categories, I was already seeing repetition in the early on in my playthroughs. There’s also a complete lack of localisation, with the sport section in particular absolutely dominated with US based sport questions. Again, over 3 different rounds of sports questions the overwhelming majority, all but one, were questions about US team sports. Add to that the genres based on American history, American politics, and American geography, it’s not hard to tell that this has been aimed at once specific market.
Even the gameplay itself is excruciatingly limited. Each game is split over 4 rounds, with very little variation between rounds, save for a ‘first to the buzzer’ style round.. The complete lack of variety destroys any willingness to repeat play the game. When you think back to games like Buzz on the PS2, a title that I could play with several hours at a time with friends, I’m appalled that a game that came out in 2005 absolutely dwarfs a game 9 years later in scale.
When I see a game for £20 I feel it hard to turn down. It’s a punt, and surely I will be able to find something redeeming in the title. That Trivia Game is £7.99, and is extortionately and irredeemably expensive, and is as creatively devoid of inspiration as the title suggests. It will go down in the annals of history as one of the most poorly executed titles ever and, at the end of the generation, if this isn’t the lower scoring title on the PS4 I’d be absolutely stunned. If you’re desperate for a quiz game, go to a car boot sale or eBay, pick up a Playstation 2, and then track down a copy of Buzz. You’ll thank me for it later.
Avoid this game like ebola.
One last thing before I leave though. After finishing writing everything about and submitting my words to the site, I thought I’d pop on Metacritic to see what other people were saying about That Trivia Game. Surely I can’t be the only person who’s absolutely despised it? Turns out, surprise, I wasn’t, it’s nearly unanimously damningly critical. Nearly.
There’s three incredibly positive user reviews. Now, I’m not denying that it is entirely possible that three people may have been able to derive some enjoyment from this shambles because there’s no accounting for taste, after all there’s people who rate the acting of Zac Efron, but take a closer look. Don’t those opening sentences seem eerily similar?
I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
MLG Rating: 0/10 Format: PlayStation 4 Release Date: 20/06/2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of That Trivia Game by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on a PS4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.