Courtesy of USAopoly
As an avid trivia fan (seriously, I have ten different editions of Trivial Pursuit in my closet), I was incredibly excited to hear about the new TRIVIAL PURSUIT HORROR: ULTIMATE EDITION, an upgrade from their previous boardless version. I invited a few friends, all horror fans of varying horror trivia knowledge, and we gathered (over Zoom) to play a game.

Everyone agreed the aesthetic of the board is enticingly spooky. It looks like old, grainy wood and is complete with runes, feathers, bones, and bloodstains. However, the colors are a bit muted and can be a tad hard to distinguish from each other, a minor issue that is exacerbated by a webcam. Full disclosure: because of this, we did end up using a classic Trivial Pursuit board for our online play-through. There are six player pieces including a hand shooting out of the ground, a table saw, a straight jacket, a cleaver chopping into a brain, a cracked baby doll head, and, my personal favorite, a goat skull. Everything is sturdy and high quality, but it is worth noting that the wedge pieces can be a little tricky to get back out and it is also slightly more difficult to see which wedge pieces you have earned at a glance, unlike with their classic style pieces.

Since each of us comes from a different horror background, the wide variety of topics was a pleasant surprise. There really is something for every type of horror fan. You’ll be asked about the last hundred years of horror, with questions about film, books, television, and even comics: anything from Nosferatu to the latest season of “Supernatural. The six categories in the game are Paranormal, Monster, Gore/Disturbing, Psychological, Comedy, and Slasher. The categories sound fun, but the questions didn’t always match up well to the category, which often made it hard to anticipate what kind of question you would actually get. At times, we faced several consecutive questions asking for very specific facts from obscure films that none of us had ever even heard of. While I consider myself to be a decently well-rounded horror fan and a pretty darn good trivia player, a full round of these unguessable questions becomes a bit tedious.

Trivia games, even more than most, require a delicate balance of difficulty because they have so few mechanics to fall back on. Too easy and the challenge is lost. Too hard and there’s no fun of the conquest. Too wide a difficulty curve and it feels like luck picks the winner. Too thin and the same person wins every time. I’ve been looking for a horror trivia game that strikes that balance, and this one does it for me. Each player in our game, regardless of their horror history, earned at least a few wedges and proved an expert on certain topics. That said, it is certainly made for those with more than a casual affinity for horror. Ultimately, even the hardest questions provided laughs and discussion. Several topics even spawned new entries on my watch list, and I can’t wait to play again. So… anyone up for a game?


Shelley Riley
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