Who doesn’t love a good quiz game? Whether its Buzz on the PS2, PS3 (and PSP), Trivia Pursuit Live on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One or It’s Quiz Time on just about everything, quiz games make that unique crossover which bring together seasoned gamers and professional pub quiz nerds. But the one crucial factor that help all of the aforementioned quiz games stand out, is that they all had a unique selling point, something a little bit extra to take the traditional question and answer format in a new direction. They were fun. Who can forget the first time they heard Jason Donovan playing the diminutive Buzz quiz presenter all those years ago on the PS2?
It’s a lesson that seems to have been ignored or forgotten by The Binary Family, developers of Knowledge Trainer: Trivia. With Nintendo deciding to cash in again on their golden goose, Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, it stands to reason that other developers will think this is a great time to jump on the brain training bandwagon. After all, how easy can it be to create a great quiz game, right? Well, after spending a few days with Knowledge Trainer: Trivia, I can confirm that it’s pretty damned hard. Offering over 6,000 questions in ten categories, ranging from film to Miscellaneous, Knowledge Trainer: Trivia is a polished and functional question and answer title that will test your general knowledge to its limit.
The game fires a group of ten questions at you and keeps on going without a break. There is a handy timer that will prevent you from looking anything up online and, after you’ve answered the question, a few lines of text will appear congratulating or commiserating with you, depending on whether you got the question right or wrong.
The questions themselves range from the fairly straight forward, for example, ‘What are a carnivores pointed front teeth called?’ to the obscure, for example ‘Sergey Bubka was a member of what team?’. If you’re wondering, I’m pretty sure the first one’s an incisor and Sergy was a Ukrainian pole vaulter.
Knowledge Trainer: Trivia also allows you to play against three other gamers (in a four player match) but the format is pretty much the same. Audio-wise, Knowledge Trainer: Trivia offers a soothing background of strings which loop indefinitely. The only option here is to turn the sound up, down or off and that’s pretty much it. Oh, there is an interface that tells you which topics are your strong and weak points (depending on how you performed with the questions) and you have the option to select which topics you answer questions in.
Knowledge Trainer: Trivia lends itself well to the Switch console with players able to use the right thumbstick to select one of four answers labelled A, B, C or D and then use either the A button to select an option or simply tap the screen with your finger. This makes Knowledge Trainer: Trivia ideal for playing as a mobile game while travelling on the bus or train.
During my test run with Knowledge Trainer: Trivia I couldn’t get over how much more entertaining the game could have been if the developer had chosen to implement a few minor additions. The fact that it offers over 6,000 questions means there’s little chance of repeating questions and you’re going to learn something every time you play it. However, there are no fun mini-games, no leader boards available to compare your score against your mates. No voice-over from a knowledgeable or at least cheeky quiz master. Nada. Just page after page of questions and answers. As this is billed as a training game, I also wanted to know which part of my brain I was supposed to be training. But, sadly, this option was not on offer. For anyone looking for a no frills, polished but Spartan quiz experience, Knowledge Trainer: Trivia may well be your cup of tea. But for anyone hoping for a fun and entertaining pub quiz style offering, you may well have to look elsewhere.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Knowledge Trainer: Trivia Review
Gameplay - 5/10
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 5/10
Replay Value - 5/10
For anyone looking for a no frills, polished but Spartan quiz experience, Knowledge Trainer: Trivia may well be your cup of tea. But for anyone hoping for a fun and entertaining pub quiz style offering, you may well have to look elsewhere.