Monday, July 15, 2024

‘Dungeons & Dragons Trivial Pursuit Ultimate Edition’ Looks Good But Can’t Decide Who It’s For

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When I reviewed the Ultimate RPG Tarot the other day, I mentioned that the cashing in on the tabletop craze continues from all sides. In that review, I discussed an example of a tie-in that stood out as being actually quite good and useful. In this review, I want to talk about a collectible for TTRPG fans that is distinctly not very good: Dungeons & Dragons Trivial Pursuit: Ultimate Edition. When I brought this game up to people, even before playing it, I got a lot of quizzical looks and confused questions. What questions would it ask? How much of D&D’s nearly 50 year history would be included? Why does that exist? Well I can answer the last question off the bat: this is a game meant to be bought and displayed as a collectible. Like all those version of Monopoly that just swap a few words around and add in some art, you’re not really supposed to play this game. If you do…you’re going to have a bad time.

What’s In The Box?

 Dungeons & Dragons Trivial Pursuit: Ultimate Edition box and contents
  • Game Board
  • 6 Movers
  • 300 Cards
  • 1 Die
  • 36 Wedge Pieces
  • Rules

I want to make one thing clear here: this is a beautiful game. It nails to a perfect tee the look and feel of D&D and is chock full of little visual references to the game itself. The colors all pop nicely, the symbols are bold, and the board is centered around a properly mystical well of magic not out of place at the bottom of some wizard’s tower. And that goes double for the movers, which are frankly wasted on a game like Trivial Pursuit.

 Dungeons & Dragons Trivial Pursuit: Ultimate Edition mind flayer mini

Each one of them is an expertly sculpted mini representing an iconic D&D monster. Before we even played for the first time my group had to pass them around. They’re that good. Unfortunately we could marvel at the for only so long before we actually had to play the game and, well..

How’s It Play?

Dungeons & Dragons Trivial Pursuit: Ultimate Edition plays like any other version of the game: roll die, move to square, answer question from that square’s corresponding category. Get the answers right on the correct squares and earn that color’s pie piece. When you have one for each color you win. It’s fairly simple and it’s not like they could do much with that format anyway. It’s the questions that make this an experience about as fun as a root canal.

The six categories of questions are: Magic & Miscellany, History, Monsters, Dungeons & Adventures, Characters, and Cosmology. Of those, the Magic, Monsters, and Cosmology are the most “fair” to players as they pull mostly from established lore that a semi-hardcore D&D fan will know about. But like the rest of the questions they’re not limited to Fifth Edition or the Forgotten Realms, so you better be damn sure you know about ALL the settings that has ever been published. Can you name 3 of the five major sun gods?

The other three categories are even worse about this, since they require knowledge of extremely obscure D&D history. Do you remember a specific talk show Gary Gygax was on in 1976? Do you remember the title of a random adventure from the 1980’s based only on a vague plotline? How about the name of that adventure’s main NPC who only appeared in a few. These are the questions you’re dealing with here and there’s 300 cards worth of them. So you know…good luck.

The Verdict?

I can really only recommend this game to people who are collecting D&D-related miscellany, and even then only if you’re being completionist. I’m not saying it’s unplayable, but even for Trivial Pursuit this requires a TON of deep knowledge that I think even hardcore D&D fans won’t come even close to knowing. While it’s polished and looks great on the table, as expected from The op, it’s just not worth the experience of play except for a laugh at just how obscure it all is.

Images via The op

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