Electron User1st October 1989
Published in Electron User 7.01
Every once in a while a software house produces something that is so out-dated and run-of-the-mill that you wonder why it even bothered. Blue Ribbon has done this with its latest release, Hi-Q-Quiz.
Basically a budget version of Trivial Pursuit, the board consists of a wheel with four spokes, around which each of the two to four players move. Each segment on the wheel and spokes bears a symbol which indicates the type of question that you have to answer when you land on it - sport, sciences, history/art and natural history.
The questions vary in difficulty from easy: What is the name given to a baby cat? To relatively hard: Where were the 1932 Olympics held?
The questions are randomly selected from data files which don't seem large enough to prevent repetition - the same questions keep turning up and the one about the venue of the 1960 Olympics has been asked in every game I've played.
There are four levels of play, the higher you select, the more questions you need to answer to win. Success goes to whoever answers the required number of questions in each category and then returns to the centre and gives the correct answer to a final randomly selected question.
You stop the roll of dice on screen by hitting the spacebar then use the cursor keys to move your marker. You can set a device to limit the time in which the questions have to be answered and there are segments which allow you to roll again if you land on them.
There are a few differences between Hi-Q-Quiz and Trivial Pursuit, but not many. For instance, you can't pass over a segment occupied by another player's marker and you can't pass through into the centre unless you roll the exact number needed. Even then you can go there only if you have answered enough questions to qualify for the final one.
The graphics are a bit squashed to make room for as many segments as possible, and as such the game looks cluttered. Sound is minimal - the rolling dice give a random toned chattering and you get one of two different noises depending on whether or not you answer a question correctly.
There is also a little jingle at the end when the game declares the winner - and that's just about it.
To sum up, the game is fairly cheap, the whole thing takes just a few minutes to load in by tape and occasionally comes out with some tough questions. It is simple to play and contains elements that would make it a fairly nice piece of educational software for the young.
However, it fails badly as a quiz for those with a reasonably high IQ and would only just make a passable magazine listing game. There isn't even a facility for entering the player's names. I can think of much better ways of spending three quid.
* * * Second Opinion (By Janice Murray) * * *
I was initially confused by this trivia quiz as the correct answer is always displayed on the screen following the question. The idea is that you ask your opponents the question and press Y or N depending on whether he or she answers correctly.
Once I'd got the hang of it, I quite enjoyed it. Not as much fun as the board game but still quite good family entertainment.