Trivial Pursuit Handheld Edition v1.04 (Palm OS), v1.06 (Windows Mobile Edition for Pocket PC & Smartphone)

Reviewed by: Lianne Reitter, February 2004, send e-mail
Published by: Handmark, Inc., go to the we b site
Requires: 4MB free memory; Handspring Treo 180, Treo 270, Treo 300, Treo 600, Treo 90, Visor Series and Visor Prism only; Kyocera 6035, 7135; Palm m125, m130, m505, m515, Tungsten C, Tungsten E, Tungsten T, Tungsten T2, Tungsten T3, Tungsten W, Zire 71; Samsung I300, I330, I500; Sony Clie N Series, NR Series, NX Series, NZ Series, S Series, SL/SJ Series, T Series, TG Series, TJ Series, UX Series
MSRP: $29.99

We all played it, back in the days when board games were things we did together, facing each other across a table of some sort. Trivial Pursuit for your PDA is here folks! Brought to you by our good friends at Handmark, Horn Abbot and Atari, Trivial Pursuit for your PDA is a realistic and highly playable representation of the classic board game.

There are two kinds of game play, Classic and Flash. We are most familiar with the original board game version, so we looked at the Classic style of play first. Because it is designed as a multiplayer game you need a player name even if you are going to play by yourself. The first screen allows you to choose a player name, as well as host or join a game with someone else over your infrared port, available Bluetooth connection or the Internet. We ran Trivial Pursuit Handheld Edition on four PDAs: a Sony Cliè PEG-N760C (Palm OS 4.1, slow Dragonball VZ 33MHz processor), and a Palm Zire 71 (Palm OS 5.2.1, fast TI OMAP310 144MHz processor), a Compaq iPaq 3950 (Microsoft Pocket PC 2002, fast Intel 400MHz XScale processor) and an HP iPaq 1945 (Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Professional for Pocket PC, fast 266MHz Samsung processor).

Pick a colored token (remember them - the circular piece that holds your pie wedges?) and you are brought to that familiar game board, a six spoke wheel of different colored spaces. Your first move is down one of the spokes to its first space and your first question of the game. Choose from the familiar categories of Sports and Leisure, History, Art and Entertainment, People and Places, Science & Nature and Wildcard. They are all here just waiting to stump you. As you land on a colored game space a multiple choice question from the corresponding category is presented to you with four possible answers for you to pick from. Doesn’t this already sound better than the original game play? How many questions could you have answered correctly if only you were given a choice in the past? Answer the question correctly and you continue play. Get it wrong and it is your opponents turn.

Subsequent moves are made with the roll of a virtual die that appears when needed in little window at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Just like its real world parent, Trivial Pursuit for handhelds allows you to move in any available direction around the wheel or up one of the spokes to your desired question category. Land on a space at the base of each wheel spoke and a correct answer will garner you a wedge piece for your pie token. Once you have collected all six colored pie pieces, you make your way back to the centre of the wheel’s hub and one last correct answer for victory!

You may remember that the game board was pretty big in real life, and one can imagine that a PDA version would be so much smaller it could be difficult to see. In order to get a closer look at the action, there is a little zoon icon at the bottom of the game screen that will allow you to get a much closer look at your game pieces and where they are in relation to the goal wedge winning spaces – a very thoughtful feature and really handy too.

You may also remember, this game can take hours to play. With this in mind the PDA version also offers you a Flash card version. You and your opponent take turns answering questions. With each correct answer you move your token one space up a ladder and the first one to reach the top of the ladder wins the game. Pretty simple, and a lot of fun for those on shorter lunch hours. If you ever played the game and enjoyed it in the real world, this virtual version will not disappoint. Unless of course you like to have some available memory for your other PDA applications.

Not only is the game itself well over 1MB in size, it needs another 2MB of free space to run. I tried moving it from the Cliè's internal memory to my memory card to save space, but the file with the database didn’t transfer properly and I had to move it back to main memory in order for it to work. This is more of a Palm OS 4 limitation. Palm OS 5 and Windows Mobile Edition allow you to install the game database directly to a storage card (although you still need 3MB of free main memory). One of the reasons for the memory loading is that Trivial Pursuit is generally a multiplayer game, and in this version any installation can act as the Host or server for a session (keeping track of whose turn is next, updating all stats and board positions, and so on). That, combined with the huge Trivial Pursuit question and answser database, demands lots of storage space.

While Trivial Pursuit ran beautifully on my Palm Zire 71, it was as slow as molasses on a January evening in Siberia on my Sony Cliè PEG-N760c. It's not just Trivial Pursuit though - if you want to really see how good many of the newer games look and how fast they can run and how many new features are available, get one of the faster OS 5 or Windows Mobile Edition-based PDAs. I had to turn off all the extra graphics on the Cliè just to get the game to move along slightly faster than a snail's pace. Neither could I get any of the sound effects work on the Palm OS 4.1. The Zire 71 and both iPaqs were positively zippy and audio was perfect. We also had a bit of trouble getting the Sony IR port to communicate with the Zire IR port for multiplayer games. We think it's a Sony hardware problem or possibly some sort of issue with the way Palm OS accesses the Sony N760C IR port. In any event, IR communications worked perfectly between the Zire 71, a Handspring Visor Prism, a Sony Cliè PEG-S360, and both of the iPaqs.

I highly recommend this version of Trivial Pursuit. You'll have a lot of fun no matter what PDA you own. This game really does fit the bill.

Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to:




© Copyright 2000-2006 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | forums | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe