It's hard to deny the joy in proving that you are the king of trivia. There is something inherently satisfying about dropping knowledge bombs on a variety of arcane subjects, and Trivial Pursuit has long been the arbiter in matters of trivia superiority. Electronic Arts' attempt to bring the hugely popular board game to the home console definitely captures the essence of the original game, packing in a ton of head-scratching questions that will leave savants and scholars alike gasping at their unexpected ignorance. However, though the trivia is as potent as ever, the overall package does little to take advantage of its newfound digital home. The lack of online multiplayer and the overabundance of geographic questions mean that there is little reason to play this version over any of the cardboard originals, and its high price makes it hard to recommend over comparable video trivia games already released.
There are three game modes in Trivial Pursuit. Classic mode follows the standard rules, where you must accumulate a pie wedge for each category. The ending rules have been tweaked, though, so that the active player chooses the final question category instead of having his or her competitors select it. Using the traditional method, would-be-champions would have to answer questions outside of their comfort zone, creating a tense and satisfying conclusion. In this version, the last question seems like little more than a victory lap. One new mode is called Clear the Board, a single-player quest to earn the most points while still collecting every pie piece. You can land on each space only one time, so answering a high percentage of the questions is necessary to achieve success. Though this mode is fun conceptually, playing Trivial Pursuit by yourself is lonely.
The final mode is called Facts and Friends, and it's a clever spin on the classic formula. Here, there is only one wedge for each category, which makes for a frantic fight for the most popular colors. But the strategy goes deeper than that. Before each question is asked, you bet if your opponent can answer it correctly, and you can even steal a piece if you know the answer but your opponent doesn't. There are also bonus spaces that let you steal pie pieces from other players or earn more points for every correct answer. This is by far the most exciting aspect of this game. Being able to pluck pie pieces from your buddies is rewarding, and snatching victory away from an overconfident friend in the waning moments scratches the evil itch deep inside the belly of every trivia fiend.