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Download Trivia Whiz

Trivia Whiz
 
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It's hard to compare trivia games to other games. Testing one's intellectual level is not something that most gamers enjoy doing, especially since the other genres look so much more fun. You can blame this on weak educational systems, but that's not the case with Trivia Whiz. Trivia Whiz was a shareware game published first by George Broussard under Micro F/X Software and later by Apogee Software. It was re-released as freeware by Apogee in December 2005.

The game comprises five volumes, each containing 100 questions from different categories of knowledge, like Sports, History, Geography, TV Shows, Science, and so on. The questions are randomly generated, and you finish each volume once you have answered all 100 of them. At the start of the game, you receive three free misses. That means that if you get four questions wrong, it’s Game Over. However, with only that, the game would've been too difficult. That's why, after you have answered 10 questions correctly, you receive one free miss. Basically you can win with more than 10 mistakes per volume. Depending on how fast you respond, you can get a number of bonus points, but if you take too long (more than 15 seconds), you don't get any. Also, no matter how much I decreased the cycles, I couldn't get DOSBox to run the game at its original speed. I always end up with no bonus, because those 15 virtual seconds are wasted in only 1 real second.

How do you appreciate a game that has no story, almost no graphics, and generic sounds? The only feature worth reviewing is of course the quality of the questions. Trivia quizzes should be directed towards people with an above-average IQ who are interested in a variety of subjects. Unfortunately, Trivia Whiz fails to be a fun challenge for all people or a viable source of knowledge in fields you've previously ignored.

The first thing you may notice is the game's focus on North America. This is a detriment for the following reasons: on one side, we have the Europeans struggling to understand why they should know the answers to half of the questions - which are about various American sports, TV shows, movies, comics, and cartoons - and on the other side, we have the Americans who think of these questions as complete no-brainers. So it's a matter of either knowing everything, or using pure guesswork.

At least the science questions are common to everyone. However, most of the questions are too easy, be they about American history, American geography, astronomy, or any other field. It’s stuff that you've heard about at least once in your life. You can find some scattered pieces of info that you'll consider interesting, but that's about it.

Trivia Whiz occasionally fails the test of accuracy. For example, Sydney is not the capital of Australia; it's Canberra. The game also incorrectly identifies the year that the telegraph was invented. These may be simple mistakes on the part of the creators, but they are especially unfortunate in a trivia game. Overall, I have to say this is an outdated game directed towards casual players who have spent their entire lives watching TV and sports. It's a good helper when you want to improve your memory, but too boring for you to even finish the first volume.

You probably should decrease the cycles in order to enjoy the beeping music in its full, original glory when you answer correctly or incorrectly. The bonus-point feature, which should give you bonus points for answering quickly, is still not fully functional even at 20 cycles, but at that speed the game is completely unplayable anyway. If you want to earn bonus points, then you should just try to run it in pure Windows or VDMSound.

Since this was a shareware game with more than one episode, after finishing a volume, you need to run the next executable. The files you should run are TW1.exe, TW2.exe. TW3.exe, TW4.exe, and TW5.exe. You can run the game in almost any environment. Like I said before, with DOSBox, the bonus feature is rendered useless, but in Windows or VDMSound the game takes too much time to respond (about 20 seconds), even though the bonus time is as it should be (15 seconds).


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Reviewed by: TotalAnarchy / Screenshots by: TotalAnarchy / Uploaded by: Tomekk / share on facebook
 

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