by Trina Yannicos
I remember playing Trivial Pursuit years ago and enjoying it, so I was very excited when I obtained a copy of the new Beatles Trivial Pursuit game. However, playing the game was slightly disappointing to this lifelong Beatlemaniac. While any Beatles fan would welcome a chance to answer trivia questions on the Beatles, the official rules of the new Beatles Trivial Pursuit make things a little more complicated.
The whole emphasis of any Trivial Pursuit game should be on the questions. However, all the tedious guidelines for moving your pie piece as well as the bonus “twist” gamepiece around the board were frustrating and seemed to take away from the heart of the game — the questions. It took a group of five Beatlemaniacs at least an hour just to figure out how to move our gamepieces around the board (and there’s still uncertainty whether we were following the rules correctly). Frankly there are just too many rules to follow for moving your gamepiece – you may just want to make up your own rules for that, so you can get back to the trivia questions!
As for the questions which were created by Beatles author and expert, Bruce Spizer, they range from easy to medium to hard. However, the consensus with our group was that many of the easy questions were way too easy and many of the hard questions were way too hard. There seemed to be a lack of “medium” level questions. For example, a level 3 question (considered medium-level) under The Beatles in America category is: “The May 24, 1964 Ed Sullivan Show ran a clip of The Beatles performing what song at the Scala Theatre?” Huh??? That should be a level 6 for the hardest. (The answer is “You Can’t Do That” in case you were wondering)
Bruce Spizer has written several books on the Beatles focusing on their US record releases and also their invasion of America. Hence, the six categories of questions include: Beatles History, Beatles Albums and Singles, The Beatles in America, Beatles Movies, Beatles Songs, and On Their Own. Many of the questions were obviously inspired by the research that Spizer did for his books.
While I commend Spizer for the hard work he put into the game, some questions were downright frustrating for this lifelong second-generation Beatles fan — like a series of questions on the Beatles Washington DC press conference. First of all, I bet most fans are unaware that the Beatles ever did a press conference in Washington DC before their first US concert in 1964. I wonder if there is any footage of the press conference since I don’t recall seeing it anywhere. The New York/JFK airport press conference in 1964 is a much more well known press conference with widely viewed video footage.
Another pet peeve is the category “Beatles Movies”. Is it really fair to ask extremely detailed questions about the Beatles movie “Let It Be” when the Beatles have still not officially released this movie for public consumption? The only way you will be able to answer Let It Be questions is if you have a bootleg copy of the movie. Maybe as a bonus The Beatles should have released “Let It Be” as a companion to this game!
My feeling about the original Trivial Pursuit was that even if you were not an expert on the subject, you would still be able to participate in the game by using some common sense, and as a result, you wouldn’t feel left out of the whole experience. My feeling for the Beatles Trivial Pursuit is that only lifelong Beatles fans will enjoy playing this game. The casual fan or general music lover will be lost. While I applaud Bruce Spizer for his encyclopedic knowledge of The Beatles, I just wish the game was tested out on some regular Beatles fans first.
January 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm
My family had the same experience. While we didn’t have any trouble moving our pieces (see below), the questions were all way too hard for even me, the only true beatlemaniac in the house. Since we couldn’t get any of the questions answered, moving our pieces was a moot point. For crying out loud, those questions just were way too hard. Some of the people they are talking about I have never even heard of! Maybe someone should put together a better set of questions for this game. I would sure buy a box!
March 5, 2010 at 10:09 am
Honestly when it comes to the difficulty of the questions I beg to differ, at least somewhat. Some of the questions are just stupidly easy…for example “In March of 1964 what Beatles record could fans buy, even if they couldn’t buy love?”
The answer of course is “Can’t buy me love.” And there are alot of questions of this nature, where the question itself leads you to the answer.
While admittedly some of the questions (like the one referenced in this review) are quite difficult, I really don’t know what people were expecting. When you buy a topic-specific version of trivial pursuit like this, it is how the game is designed…not for the casual fan. I’ve played Star Wars trivial pursuit as well…as a casual fan..and I felt ridiculous and unable to answer a large majority of the questions I was asked. That is kinda how it works.
I also think it is unfair to just discuss
the “Beatles in America” section and gloss over the rest..as that is BY FAR the most difficult of the sections.
Now could they have made the questions tilt slightly towards the less difficult…perhaps that would have helped things..yes I can agree to that, but I think that the game is (for the most part) appropriately difficult
January 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm
We played this game (received as a gift) with 4 60 year old Beatles fans and 7 20 somethings who had all grown up listening to the Beatles. It was really boring and too hard. There was little about the songs or words to the songs. Who knows what George was holding on the cover of Sergeant Pepper? Obviously someone,but the object of the game is to have fun with a group of people. 11/11 “let’s stop playing now” after less than an hour.
Why doesn’t someone just write boxes of new questions for the old game?
September 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm
Thanks for the overview, I’ve heard comparable things concerning
the game and might be reviewing it for myself next month!