There are a lot of board games that just can't be translated to a video game. Pictionary, Charades, and Scattegories are all games that just don't work as video games; they are games that just need that something extra a home console can't duplicate. Trivial Pursuit, on the other hand, is a game that can be turned into an electronic game. With a minimalistic look, a standard question and answer approach, and no fancy graphics needed, Trivial Pursuit seems perfect for the Sega Master System. But don't be fooled, this pursuit may actually be trivial after all.
So, how do you screw up Trivial Pursuit? I mean, it's really just a game where you're moving a pie plate around a board answering questions, how can they get that wrong? Unfortunately in this version of Trivial Pursuit you can't actually answer the questions. That's right, you don't answer the questions! Instead it asks you a question, the computer answers it, and you decide whether they got that right or wrong. It's a 50/50 shot you have, and it takes all of the fun out of the original board game.
The presentation is fine; nobody is going to complain about its basic look and nothing sound effects, it's pretty much what you would expect a Master System port of Trivial Pursuit to look. The board is larger than the screen and very colorful. When you're being asked a question the game shifts to a few different locations, including a home study and a movie theater. These areas are fine, but they aren't going to help you get over the fact that you're not really answering these questions.
The game supports up to six players, so this would be the ideal party game ... if it were fun to play. There aren't any computer controlled players for you to contend with, so your single-player experience will make you feel pretty lonely. It's odd to see that Domark decided against adding competition to the game, but then, we're talking about a company that decided to make a trivia game where you don't actually answer trivia.
I'm sure there are some people who like the idea of a true or false game, but that's not what Trivial Pursuit was supposed to be. Young kids and stupid adults may actually have a better time with this, since there are only two choices per question, but this re-imagining of a classic board game is not only unneeded but kind terribly inappropriate. Couple that with the lack of any computer-controlled characters and you have a game that should not have been released. How hard can it be for somebody to port Trivial Pursuit? The questions are already written out, the board doesn't have any writing or fancy effects, and everybody already knows how to play it. I'm not game programmer, but to me that just seems like the easiest thing in the world. How somebody could get it so wrong is beyond me.