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Trivial Pursuit: A Strange New Beginning

Platform: Atari ST
Publisher: Domark

Ok, let’s get to the box shot, right away:

 

I recently switched jobs. One  cool thing about my old gig was I worked in an suite built for about 12 people, but it only had four people in it. So, I had tons of free space to store things like giant lots of vintage microcomputer software purchased from eBay and Craigslist. I had a little collecting problem there for a while, which is how I ended up with all the Apple IIc’s.

In the process of packing up and moving all my games, I saw some things I really hadn’t noticed before. I found this Atari ST game behind my wall of Infocom games and I’m really not sure how it got there. It caught my eye right away because it had such a weird form factor — like a giant over-sized cassette case. 

It also had what has to be one of the most tender pieces of cover art I’ve ever seen for a trivia game. Two dudes, one tall and thin, one short and chunky, stand together on a cliff in the desert watching a brilliant sunset, or maybe a fiery sun rise. It’s not exactly what immediately springs to mind when I think of Trivial Pursuit, but hey, it is subtitled A New Beginning, so who am I to judge?

I flipped the box over and things got awesome. Rather than deal with trivia questions around a board, TP:ANB fast forwards you to 2045, where the Earth is dying from pollution and the greenhouse effect (that’s not a sun rise, it’s the destruction of the earth, by the way). Humanity’s got one chance: the “far away but habitable planet of Genus II.” You do this by flying a laser-powered rocket ship to six different galaxies, and interacting with alien races you find on planets there.

   

The aliens, of course, want to ask you trivia questions, and if you succeed in answering them, they may give you a wedge shaped artifact. (I can’t actually play the game, as I have a lot more Apple IIs than Atari STs, but I assume failure is punished by disintegration, or being fed to a Sarlac or something.) 

If you can collect six of the wedges, you can make it to Genus II, where you face the Genus II High Council. I’ll be honest: The screenshot on the back of the box may be my favorite screenshot of all time. What would the Genus II High Council ask you to prove your worth to bring your entire race to Genus II? What do you think they’d ask…

Who is Martina Navratalova’s most frequent doubles partner?

WHO IS MARTINA NAVRATALOVA’S MOST FREQUENT DOUBLES PARTNER?

I love it. Replacing rolling dice (very boring on a PC) with randomly selecting planets from galaxies that represent the 6 different subject categories in the game is actually sort of genius, but this has to be the strangest milieu for a trivia game of all time, even beating out my previous favorite, Capcom’s excellent Trivia Action RPG, Quiz & Dragons.

  1. incrediblystrangegames posted this