Trivial Pursuit is a game that I grew up playing with friends and family, so I've always had a fondness for it. It was born in 1979 in the wilds of Canada, and it made its way down to the United States in the early 80's. Over the years there have been a number of question sets and versions of the game. Star Wars, Saturday Night Live, and Lord of the Rings all lay claim to a version of Trivial Pursuit. Personally, I think it's long overdue that we get a World of Warcraft version of the game.
I had the pleasure of going through and playing World of Warcraft Trivial Pursuit this weekend with my regular table top gaming group. We are a group of current and former players that range from everything from hard core raiders to lore addicts. It just seemed like a good idea to get together and put the game through its paces.
Unboxing the game, it is really apparently how much Warcraft skinning or flavor the game has been given. The first thing that I noticed was that the player pieces that represent your current position on the board were baby murlocs freshly hatching from their eggs. While they are just tiny plastic pieces, they were pretty cute, and more than one person at the table had an exclamation of "Awwww! Baby murlocs!". They were a nice touch, especially since murlocs have become such an iconic race in Warcraft. The game die also sported a highly stylized murloc on each face in one of the game piece colors. The board itself looks like something right out of the in game interface with parchment coloring, the World of Warcraft "W" prominently displayed in the middle, and the map of Azeroth beneath the playing tiles in black and white style art.
The game board is a little bit smaller than what I was used to as far as Trivial Pursuit goes, but it was still a reasonable size for six players. The box that the game ships in also serves as the trivia card box for storage when not playing, and for use when you are actively engaged in a battle of wits with your friends. The cards themselves are also made to look like the in game quest log and quest dialog screen. Even the box cover is reminiscent of the art found on Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Everything feels well made, and the game board is nice, thick and sturdy. There are 100 cards with 600 questions about Warcraft and its history. The plastic is of a good quality for the pieces, and the die is properly weighted and finished to protect the painted art on the sides. This may seem like an odd thing to bring up, but as someone who has purchased more than a few board games, there are quite a number that contain cheap plastic that breaks or melts easily, boards that fall apart without much pressure or use, or dice that are imperfect, cheap, or easily chip. That's definitely not the case here, and you're certainly getting your money's worth out of the materials for the game.
Categories have been updated to go along with the Warcraft theme. Geography is the blue spaces just like in the regular version of Trivial Pursuit, but this is represented on the board by the flight path boot spaces and covers zones, cities, and locations from around Azeroth and Outland. Player Characters take over the pink sections, represented by a smiling Gnome with goggles and covering classes, races, and player professions from the game. Yellow, represented by a scroll, covers Heroes, History, and Events throughout all of the game's long story. Loot is appropriately assigned to the color purple, and is represented by a treasure chest. This covers gear, mounts, and pets that players can, or at one time could, obtain in the game. Villains dominate the green spaces and are represented by the glowing eyes of Arthas as the Lich King. This covers bosses, monsters, and minions from in game and back to the beginning of the Warcraft story. Encounters are the orange spaces, and are represented by the icon for the Dungeon Journal from in game. This covers dungeons, battlegrounds, and arenas. A very appropriate set of categories for the game, covering quite a variety of topics.
Gameplay, difficulty and time
The million dollar question, so to speak, really boils down to "How does it play?". My friends and I sat down, picked our murloc colors and dove right in. The game follows the standard Trivial Pursuit rules. For those of you not familiar with the game play, each player rolls a die and then moves that number of spaces in any direction they choose. When they land on a color, they are asked a question from that category. If they answer the question correctly, they can immediately take another turn. Their turn continues until they get a question wrong, or they pass play to next player. Each category has a special space on the board, that when players land on and answer their question correctly, they obtain a pie piece of that color. The first player to obtain all six pie pieces then makes their way to the middle where everything started, and are asked a question from any category of their choosing. If they get their final question correct, they win the game.
As we made our way around the board and started answering questions, we realized exactly how varied the knowledge base was for this game. There are questions that we all considered easy, such as "Orgrimmar is located in which Kalimdor zone?" to some harder ones like "The smallest bag in the game, the Penny Pouch, has how many inventory slots?" The questions were pretty well balanced between new players and players that have been around since before classic WoW was released. There were quite a few "tip of the tongue" moments where we knew the answer, could describe the answer but not give the actual answer. We were able to get through two games in under three hours, which for four players was pretty good. It flowed nicely and was fun the entire time. The only complaint we had with it was that if you happen to know quite a lot about Warcraft, it's very possible to have an incredibly long turn for one player. Since we were all so well versed, we instituted a house rule that capped people on two consecutive turns so that everyone had an even chance to play. Games are fairly quick as far as board games go. I'm hoping that we'll see some potential expansion cards for this in the future.
Overall, it's a very fun game. The questions are interesting, and can be challenging but not enough that the game caters only towards the most devoted Warcraft fans. Gameplay is quick enough to not have to devote an entire evening to it, though you certainly can. If you're a fan of trivia style games and Warcraft, I think this game deserves a spot on your shelf. It can be ordered on Amazon, from the Blizzard Store, or if you're attending BlizzCon you can pick it up while you're there, too.