Why It’s Terrible: Trivial Pursuit

Classics never go out of style, they just fade… and gather dust

Everyone has a copy of this in a basement somewhere. It’s gathering dust next to old grip strengtheners and a half eaten copy of Atlas Shrugged. Venture forth into your basement and dust this off and you will see all the fun that your parents had in the 80s! Talk to them about what life was like before Google, when their friends would eat books and compete to see who had the biggest forearms. The 80’s were crazeballs.

Imagine being at a party today and somebody saying that you should all play a Trivia Board Game. Watch as your friends get up off the floor (buy some furniture JESUS), get their jackets, and leave you and your 7 layer dip to ferment and become a horrible 8 layer dip overnight! (The 8th layer is sadness). Trivia games are anathema to parties. They grind things to a halt. The best party games allow your friends to be funny and creative, which is probably why Cranium took over in the 2000s. Cranium gives all the illusions of a fun party game, while pretty much being Trivial Pursuit. Everyone has a copy of Cranium and everyone knows that the plastecene has dried out. Try to bust it out nowadays and watch as your 8 layer dip… just sits there… because everyone is gone. Cranium took Trivial Pursuit and added shitty impressions and charades. The game is the same, and it’s just collecting dust on your shelves.

Round and round and round and round and… is it time to go already? I was having absolutely no fun!

In Trivial Pursuit, you’re trying to fill up your circle with pie pieces of different colours. I suppose this has to do with being an all around master of trivia. Some people played it with teams and other people played it solo, and still others played it once, said that it was nice, and then moved on to their knitting. There is something very satisfying about getting more and more pie pieces in Trivial Pursuit. As you accumulate more pie, you’re able to answer the final question. Are you a trivial master? Did anyone actually ever read the rules and find out how this is supposed to work?

All the fun of pie charts! All the sadness of statistics!

Trivial Pursuit has the actual problem of potentially going on forever. If you don’t know which team scored the most Goals in the 1972 NHL Finals, or who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958, this game can go on for DAYS. Either you know the answers, or you’re doomed to keep rolling the dice and landing on sports questions AGAIN! Maybe someone will come through with a series of correct answers, but more often than not you’re all going to be hella bored by the time this is done. PACING people! A Board Game should have a beginning, middle and end. The end game should be tense for all players- they’ve been playing long enough, give them something to get involved in! Trivial Pursuit goes on for so long with no respite that by the time it’s over, your 8 layer dip has become the 9 layer dip of boredom.

Reveal your Inner Rock Star- by answering trivia questions!

It’s terrible because not everyone is “that guy”- the guy that spends WAY too much time with old Baseball Almanacs. The oldest version of Trivial Pursuit was for “that guy”. Finally, he had something to do at the party besides eat the 9 layer dip. Finally, he could sit next to a girl and impress her with his knowledge of whatever it was he knew. And she wasn’t impressed and already had a boyfriend and he was going to arrive any minute anyway.

Apparently people used to get in fights because the answers on the back of the questions were sometimes wrong. These people stopped getting invited to the fun parties and eventually found their way to playing Diplomacy online! There they could yell at each other to their hearts content. Everyone else got bored of Trivial Pursuit and moved on.

Today, Trivial Pursuit comes in a variety of different flavours! Just like Monopoly! Here is a link to a list of the editions.


My favourite is the World of Warcraft edition!

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Q: “What do you call the process your body goes through while you play World of Warcraft?”

A: “Muscle Atrophy!”

There’s also a Lord of the Rings edition, and a Star Wars Episode 1 edition! Why would you want to answer questions about any of this stuff when you could simply go and watch the movie? If you have 4 people willing to play World of Warcraft trivia, maybe just go and play World of Warcraft. The dip can come with you.


It makes a LOT of sense that there are numerous sports editions. The kind of people that like sports trivia love congregating and playing this kind of stuff in between rounds of fantasy draft football (which is just Dungeons and Dragons for sports nerds).

What should you play instead?

You have a group of people and you want to play a game? I’m assuming that you want it to be somewhat trivia-esque, else you would have just picked up one of the other recommended games on the site. Okay, how about “Wits and Wagers”?

If you must play a trivia game, at least play something fun and short!

In Wits and Wagers, every question has a numerical answer. When did WW2 end? How tall is the CN Tower? How fast is the speed of light? How many people live in France? All of it can be answered by number. You each answer the question with a number, and put that answer facedown. Each of you then turns over your number at the same time, and arrange it in numerical order on the board. Each answer has an odds value depending on where it is placed on the board, and you all bet on who has the closest answer. Then the answer is revealed, and you either lose your bets or get your chips back. Easy.

Wits and Wagers replaces answers with good guesses and boredom with fun.

It’s a great party game because everyone plays all the time. You’re all answering the question, and you’re all betting. The betting gets intense as one player confidently puts their chips on an answer and you’re trying to figure out if you should do the same, or go with your own answer. This is great. Everyone is engaged every turn. No one gets to play by themselves! It’s a lot better than Trivial Pursuit, which at this point, is starting to smell as bad as the 10 layer dip (the 10th layer is your evaporated dreams).

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