To make this clear, this is not for the 2011 game. Instead, it covers the original 1995 game. For those that are not familiar with the series, how the game works is that the host will read a question and give four possible answers. If you think that you know the answer, buzz in and answer. While this sounds like your typical trivia game, this is far from the truth.
One thing unique to the game is that the players receive screws. If a question appears that it looks like another player does not know, you can use the screw to “screw your opponent” forcing them to answer. If somebody has the lead, using them is a good way to try to catch up. However, if they know the answer, not only will they gain money, but also you will screw yourself and lose money instead. They may be screws, but that risk make them double-edged sword instead.
Another difference from a traditional trivia game is that the host wants action. If one player has a big lead but nobody tries to answer the question, the host will not be happy. When that happens, the host will comment on the leader’s cowardice and gets the audience involved. How can there be an audience in a video game is a mystery. When they get involved, they will say, “Don’t be a wimp!” forcing the leader to answer anyway. If you are trailing and know this, intentionally not answering is both advantageous as well as funny watching the leader’s reaction.
Visually, this is the game’s biggest weakness. Most of the time, the only things to see are some faded text, the current question, and the player scores. The only real animation worth watching is seeing what happens to your icon when the score changes. While this sounds strange, a blind person can play this game with a person that can see without any problems. With almost nothing to see, not even the host, there is little reason to watch the screen. Since this is a trivia game, making a stage like in Jeopardy!
or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
would have made the game more interesting to look at.
However, this is not a game about the visuals. Being that this was one of the first CD games, they crammed it with tons of dialog. That dialog is what makes the game fun. The host always has something interesting to say throughout the question. Even with the categories for the questions, it gets you interested in what it might be. In one case, in the category is “The Fruits in Your Looms”, they ask, “Which of these fruits derives from the Aztec word meaning testicle?” Just the fact that they would create questions using such seemingly unrelated items makes each of the questions interesting to hear. In the case of the mentioned question, the correct answer is avocado. When it comments about it and guacamole can make people burst out in laughter. When the comments are strong enough, do not be surprised if a break is required to recover from the laughter.
Considering that the game has hundreds of questions like the one above, this makes a great party game. Just remember that the game really works only when played with others. Since the game offers no computer opponents, it is not the same without live competition. While the humor is there, without competition, the game does not have the same appeal.
There is one final thing to remember. When the game wants you to type in your answer, tell the game, “F%¢& Y@#”. All three players should do this. You will love how the host reacts. What the host does to you, not so much.
Posted: August 27th, 2014