A&B Computing1st January 1985
Published in A&B Computing 2.02
There is no doubt that this type of game has been a success on other computer systems and at last it has been transferred to what you might call its natural home, the BBC. The game is a faithful reproduction of the television series, complete with the signature tune and all the phrases that have made Magnus Magnusson a household name. Unfortunately, you don't receive one of those chairs through the post by filling in a little card in the pack!
If you are the sort of person who likes to pit your wits against another then this might interest you, but be warned that the type of game you can enjoy depends entirely on the databases that you have had developed for you. I say "for you" because it will need a little planning to design a game from scatch - you need to get people to develop questions on the specialist subjects as well as the general knowledge questions, and there are only two sets of each enclosed with the package. The specialist subjects included on the tape or disc are Films and TV and Sports and Games. This means that unless you can make a team of people who all wish to specialise in these subjects you have a fair amount of work ahead.
Once you have your databases, for which you need a special program to create them called Quizmaster, you can start the game. First you are asked your name and occupation, then your specialist subject and at this point you must have the file of questions ready. Once this has loaded you have two minutes to answer as many questions as possible of to pass. Answers have to be typed and accuracy of spelling and typing is virtually important or you tend to lose points without need. Passing involves a simple press of the RETURN key. The next contestant follows and if the same subject is requested the program doesn't need to reload the database - a nice touch. As there are 60 questions per database you can use the same subjects for all the contestants without any overlap, it being unlikely that anyone will use all fifteen questions. Scores are kept and passed questions are displayed with their answers.
The next round is general knowledge and follows the same pattern as before, and exactly as in the TV show. Then a winner is found and hailed in a suitable manner. Overall I cannot help but feel that this is one of those games that will be used once and then ignored, particularly in view of the amount of effort needed to get the questions organised. Rather like Dungeons and Dragons, it all revolves around one person being prepared to put in the effort to get the game going. I also feel that it is rather a cheat to make you pay extra for the question-making program. Great for a laugh but not a serious program due to its limitations.