There are a few games that pretty much everyone had growing up: Monopoly, Twister and Trivial Pursuit. Sure, my Trivial Pursuit was from the 80s, which meant that questions were either too easy (how many planets are there?) or way too hard (name this animated character from this popular advertisement in the 80s!). So we mostly played Monopoly, because we couldn’t find the Twister board.
Monopoly has gone through innumerable changes, but the game mechanics have always remained the same. We’ve had all kinds of Monopolies, from Zelda to Adventure Time to, soon, Australia.
On the other hand, Trivial Pursuit and Twister are pretty much what they are, with the exception of some updated questions to the former. So Hasbro’s release of anniversary editions of both these games is of note.
Of course, the basics remain the same: in Trivial Pursuit, you answer trivia questions to get coloured wedges, and in Twister, you spin a dial and get tangled up on a colourful mat. However, each have a few changes that add a bit of extra pizazz to gameplay.
Both released for the 21st century and released this year, it was only natural that as a big fan of the party game, we tried these out at a party.
First: Twister. I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Twister is always better received when there is alcohol involved. Without alcohol, adults can be a little reluctant to crawl around on a mat, even with their friends. Weird. But add a couple of beers, and Twister is actually a lot of fun.
The new game has a couple of extra mechanics: Spinner’s Choice, and Air (which we called ‘cloud’, because we’re very literal). The first is self-explanatory: when the dial lands on ‘Spinner’s Choice’, the spinner chooses a movement. The second is also pretty simple: it means your right/left foot/hand goes in the air. Definitely a fun addition, but one of our players ended up with four limbs in the air at one point, which made the game interesting.
Both these new mechanics are fun, but by no means essential. Still, it’s a fun little twist on a classic game.
Trivial Pursuit, on the other hand, benefited greatly from an update. I’ve played previous iterations of Trivial Pursuit, and I’ve always found them iffy. Generally speaking, the science category is too easy, whereas the culture categories are way too difficult.
The reboot is a lot more fun and far more accessible for people who weren’t alive in the 80s, or even for most of the 90s. There are some stereotypical questions – think Kardashians – but mostly, the new questions are just updated for people under the age of 30. That’s not to say questions are unanswerable by older people, but the questions are now easier for a wider range of people – in my opinion (as an under-30) a huge improvement. Cards are also thematic, which is an interesting addition.
The way your coloured wedge moves around the board has also changed slightly, making gameplay far faster and more competitive, and there are a few fun twists thrown in (you can choose to ‘stump’ your opponents if you don’t know the answer to a question, for example). The updates make the game much faster – no more slowly plodding your way around the board – but for some people, it might be too fast.
Overall, these games have benefited greatly from their reboots. There’s a reason they’re classics, but there’s no doubt that Trivial Pursuit is infinitely more fun when you actually have a shot at guessing the questions, or you’re able to throw it to your friends or family.
For those who don’t already have these games in your arsenal, Trivial Pursuit and Twister are excellent additions, both for the Christmas holidays and beyond.