Game Over Online ~ Quiz Master

GameOver Game Reviews - Quiz Master (c) Smart-Thinker, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Quiz Master (c) Smart-Thinker
System Requirements Pocket PC 3.0, MIPS, ARM, SH3
Overall Rating 84%
Date Published Tuesday, October 30th, 2001 at 06:29 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

The basic concept of the trivia or quiz show has long been with us in mainstream media. Without a doubt, most North Americans have at one time or another watched shows like Jeopardy. The advent of new shows like Who Wants to be a Millionaire or the more British fare, The Weakest Link, only serve to highlight people's zest for these types of games. Indeed, the PC game industry itself also has its own darling; You Don't Know Jack, which incidentally is ramping up to become a televised event itself. Smart-Thinker has lifted pages from these various franchises into a chic package: Quiz Master.

At first glance, admittedly, Quiz Master does not look like much. Its conformity to be a Windows-like application is a bit discouraging at first. Yet, Quiz Master pulls all the stops to be like no other quiz game I've seen before. There is an ample amount of sound effects included to accompany the game; the ticking of a clock winding down, the applause from an audience. The developers have lifted the zeitgeist of the aforementioned quiz shows; the tension or pressure given to the contestant. Admittedly, when I watch a show like Who Wants to be a Millionaire and a topic like classical history comes up, I am simply appalled by how lacking the contestants seem to be. They often choose answers that are completely outside of the era or even the scope of question altogether that anyone with a cursory knowledge of the topic would be able to logically filter out. However, I imagine I discount the fact that these people are under tremendous unseen pressures to succeed. Short of including an ominous soundtrack like Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Quiz Master, at times, can recreate this tension.

Quiz Master gives you, literally, a marathon of questions to go through. You can set whether questions are repeated and given to you in sequential or random order. Moreover, game options exist to create additional pressure. You can have timed questions, in which you must make a decision under an intimidating audible clock. Quiz Master lets you choose specific game modes, like Sudden Death, where one false move will cause you to lose the entire game altogether. Some of the games you start with Quiz Master may amass easily to a hundred questions. Obviously, it is hard to answer all these under one sitting (especially if you are in Sudden Death) and the developers have added allowance for people to save their games in progress.

Capture the Flag, Baseball, Clocked and Custom game variants are available for your perusal. However, they do not detract from the core of Quiz Master. You will be, for the bulk of your time, answering questions. Lifting a page from popular game shows, you can elect to use an option called "Helplines" at any time you want. From there, you can seek three avenues of help: have the computer remove two of the incorrect answers, polling the audience and searching the net (not literally speaking) for the answer. An incorrect answer causes you to lose a life. Depending on what game mode is set, if you have no more lives, the quiz stops.

Almost all trivia games come to an impasse at one point or another. I remember receiving a general history quiz game from my aunt when I was younger. It was presented in multiple choices and my having a distinctly good memory made repetitions of the game, an exercise not of my knowledge but of my memory. Quiz Master is able to avert this problem because of easily downloadable quiz add-on modules that you can download off the website,, for free. In fact, if you think you are an avid trivia buff yourself, you can construct your own with a complimentary question maker application that runs on your PC. Nearly all games these days have ties to the net, whether it is the submission of high scores, expansion packs, multiplayer or some value-adding service provided to the consumer after their initial purchase. Quiz Master, though not multiplayer in itself, opts for a route like The Sims, allowing people to share their quizzes and scores through the net.

In the end, Quiz Master proves the flashy graphics that popularize the PC trivia world (You Don't Know Jack comes into mind) are not really necessary to create a solid, entertaining experience. My only wishes afterwards would be for a quick-start option. Sometimes, I don't really want to play a game or manage the mechanics of one. It would have been nice to have a one-button quick-start or free mode and simply answer questions for the sake of answering them. Also, the default games, even at easier settings, seem a bit lengthy in nature. The ability to load and save is of course, a huge advantage. Finally, an old stalwart trivia show like Jeopardy has recognized that you can only ask so many quizzing questions. They have elected to put in things like audio recording (for music, speeches, etc.) and even video to help reinvigorate the genre. I admit, I don't have any answers to integrating such options into Quiz Master, as in the PDA world, space is limited. This review is based on Quiz Master v2.0. So definitely, this title has not and probably will not be neglected in the future.

[08/10] Addictiveness
[17/20] Gameplay
[11/15] Graphics
[09/10] Interface/controls
[09/10] Program Size
[04/05] Sound
[04/05] Discreetness
[14/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer


See the Game Over Online Rating System






Screen Shots

Back to Game Over Online