Monster Trivia is based on the popular 'trivia' question games that have invaded the market over the last couple of years. The idea is an exceptionally simple one: you are asked a question and you have to give the answer, which, if correct, is worth points depending on its difficulty.
Monster Trivia is this sort of game exactly and contains many questions on all sorts of different subjects. When you load the game you are asked how many people are playing and their names and sex. You are then given a character which appears on screen and all characters sit in what seems like a medieval dungeon complete with mouldy walls, slit windows and a large door behind them.
Now the questioning starts. You are asked to pick a subject and are asked a question concerning it. Get it right and you are given points along with rapturous applause and are also allowed to take a bow. Get it wrong and something nasty starts trying to get into the dungeon. The same carries on in this way, with the monster gradually wrecking half the wall and door (at least it did when we played it because we got so many questions wrong).
Once all the questions have been answered, the winner stands and takes the applause and the loser meets the rather horrible fate of being gobbled by the monster who comes bursting in.
Although trivia games are popular and have been very successful I must say I find them rather boring to play. They have certain limitations in that you get to know the answers as you play and after several games it starts to lack in any appeal it may have once had. Admittedly with the board (bored?) game you have thousands of questions and answers to learn but this doesn't quite apply to this computer version.
OK, so there are sixteen sets of questions to load up in Monster Trivia but that isn't that many when it boils down to it, especially considering that a large majority of the questions are so "American". It would have helped if the interpreter used was reasonably lenient, but it isn't. It does get incredibly infuriating when you enter "11" as the answer to the number of players in a cricket team, only to be told you're wrong when you know you're right and then find out you should have entered "Eleven"!
The average graphics don't exactly make the game any more fun to play, neither do the strange sound effects or Cosmi-esque music.
There are two bi-i-iig problems with this game. Firstly, the fact that being an American game 98% of the questions are ones which are based on American subjects.
For example, being a sporty person, the first subject I picked was sport. After being asked about some 1963 pitcher I was then asked about the origins of an American football team. The questions soon became annoying, not because I couldn't answer them, but because I didn't even stand a chance of doing so! The second point is just bad - programming. The computer has no sort of artificial intelligence so if you're nearly correct, it just says "WRONG!!!"
When I thought I knew the answer to one of the questions, I put Chanel No 5. "WRONG!!!" said the computer. "The answer is Chanel No. 5". Oh well! Only one dot out. Perhaps next time I'll remember. The graphics aren't that bad, and the sound is quite good, it's just the game itself that needs a fair bit of Anglicising.
Nice instructions and good on-screen presentation.
Reasonable characters and monster.
Atmospheric screeches, wails and moans with some good music.
Value For Money 53%
Too American and fussy for even hardened trivia lists.
Trivial sums it up quite nicely.