Trivial Pursuit Live is made by Ubisoft and is one of, if not the only, real trivia games to appear on Xbox One. Obviously Jackbox Party Pack has their own version of trivia type games but Trivial Pursuit Live would be an example of a “proper” trivia game. The game is modeled after the actual Trivial Pursuit game in which you collect 6 wedges, but in this game you compete against up to 3 other players in a game show type format.
First off, the game misses a huge opportunity to implement Avatars and instead opts to give you a selection of 8 characters, most of which are not that great. I think the developers should have at least had a very basic character creator in the game but the best option would have been to use our Xbox Avatars to see my own virtual appearance there instead of the Justin Bieber wannabe that I use to make my family angry. This is also their way to force the Hasbro Game Channel and Uplay on you to unlock different costumes with your hard earned points.
The game show format offers you the choice between a 3 round and a longer 5 round show. A 5 round show only takes maybe 30 minutes with 4 players, so I don’t see a reason to go with the shorter option. The developers offer a nice choice of using all real players with multiple controllers, a single controller, and additionally the option is there to add AI computer players to fill out the show.
The game features a wheel spin before each round to give you the illusion of chance, but for the most part the rounds contain the same game types with just a few variations. Each game type is very fun and offers a unique way to earn wedges. These are the game types in a standard 5 round show.
Close Call – Appears in round 2 or 4. A question appears and players must choose the best answer out of 5 possible answers. That’s not very clear so an example question would be, “Which war was the earliest?” and it shows 5 possible answers on the screen, everybody makes their selection. It ranks the answers from 1-5 and points are awarded accordingly to the top 3 answers, with the most obviously going to the best answer. There is a blitz variant that randomly appears in which everybody selects their answer at the same time, which I find more fun than each player taking a turn to answer because there’s usually some name-calling involved when you take the answer someone else was going for!
Switchegories – Always appears in round 3. Each player chooses between two categories. If the player who chose the category gets the correct answer, they are awarded bonus points so it’s very important to try to play to your own individual strengths. This progresses through 8 questions where every player has the opportunity to choose the category twice.
Grab Bag – Appears in round 2 or 4. A series of questions are asked in which there are 16 possible answers on the screen at a time (with 8 being correct and 8 being wrong). If you get an answer wrong, you are out until the next question. If you get it right, you get to continue playing. Again, there is a blitz variant for this one as well that I also believe is more fun than everybody going one at a time.
Final Round – Everyone answers a series of 5 questions with only two possible fixed answers in random categories. For example, category is Entertainment and the fixed answers are “Matthew Perry” and “Matt Leblanc” and the questions all involve choosing one or the other. If you get a question wrong, you’re out of the entire category until the next round (unless all remaining players also answered wrong.) Whoever is the last person standing gets a wedge for that category. In some cases more than one player might even get awarded a wedge! This is the obviously the end game and the most important round to get questions correct. The game continues to cycle through categories until a player has obtained all the wedges and wins!
The game tracks a multitude of stats such as your overall accuracy for each category, the number of games you’ve played, the number of games you’ve won, etc. I enjoy looking at this section from time to time and seeing how I stack up against my wife’s (and for the record, I crush her). We do have a great time playing though, even when it’s just us playing with AI opponents.
The achievements are fair and will take a decent amount of gameplays to complete. I’ve done roughly 15 games and still haven’t completed some of the easy achievements such as “Answer 50 questions correctly in the Arts & Literature category.” Some of these become significantly more difficult based off the people that you play the game with, because most players choose the popular categories such as Entertainment, History, and Science & Nature.
Graphics are not going to blow you away but they are completely OK for what this game is trying to accomplish. The music in the game is completely suited for it, subtle background music that adds to the stress and intrigue of the questions. The announcer that they picked has a pleasant voice and is there to move the game forward and recaps the player standings between rounds.
Overall, the choice to present Trivial Pursuit in a game show format works very well, much more fun than playing the boardgame with trivia cards in my opinion. My wife and both thoroughly enjoy this game, we play it at least once a weekend. I’m positive there’s more content in the physical game, but there’s still enough variation in the questions that I haven’t seen a single repeat in over 15 games. Sure, they miss the mark on a few small things like character customization but this is still the best, clean content, straightforward trivia game out there to play with your entire family.