Hardly a year goes by when I don’t receive something Beatles related for Christmas, and this one was no different. I’d been meaning to try out the Beatles edition of Trivial Pursuit for quite a while and finally decided now was the right time.
This bite-sized edition can be played without a board. It comes with a set of cards and dice. For those unfamiliar with the rules of Trivial Pursuit, there are several question categories, each one corresponding to a particular colour. Each player takes it in turns to roll the dice, and whichever colour they land on dictates which category they must answer a question from (each card contains a question from each category). If they get it right, they get another turn. If they get the next one right, they get to keep that card, and so the pattern continues. If they get a question wrong, the next player takes their turn. The first player to keep six cards wins the game.
In the case of the Beatles edition, the question categories are as follows:
- John, Paul, George or Ringo
- Albums & Singles
- On Their Own
This ensures that almost every aspect you can think of is covered within the game. In addition to this, there are easy, medium and hard questions, though you won’t know which you’ll get until you have to answer one. The idea behind this is to ensure that the more knowledgeable players won’t necessarily dominate the game.
So just how challenging are the questions? The answer, for both Beatlemaniacs and casual fans, is very. I’ve taken part in a couple of very challenging Beatles table quizzes at festivals and found them easier than playing this game. Some of the questions in the ‘Movies’ category, for example, are a bit too much. Expect to find questions which ask what colour a minor character’s jacket was in Magical Mystery Tour. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t pay attention to that kind of detail, and there are certainly lots of other questions about the movies that would be more relevant. Things like that don’t really challenge someone’s knowledge about The Beatles themselves; they only test someone’s memory for ridiculously tiny details.
Other questions almost give the answer away by using puns and wordplay, when it would have been easy enough to answer without silly hints. But for the most part, the questions are very difficult and frustrating. Of course Trivial Pursuit shouldn’t be too easy, but if even the most knowledgeable fans are finding it hard to answer the majority of questions, there’s a problem. It’s not much fun if nobody is managing to win any cards.
This game had the potential to be brilliant, but is let down by too many obscure questions. I find myself shouting, “What kind of question is this?!” far too often. It’s a shame, because it would otherwise be great fun.