Pros: Visually appealing; lots of fun for Star Wars fans
Cons: Balance issues; hard to come up with that many questions out of 3 movies
Rating: 4 out of 5
First posted 5/11/2001
You have a game board with a big wheel on it, and six spokes. The wheel and spokes are broken up into boxes of six colors. The set comes with a huge cache of question-cards. (A really huge cache!) Each card has six questions on it – one for each color. When you land your token on a square of a certain color, you answer that particular question on a card your opponent pulls out. If you get the answer right, you go again.
If you answer the question correctly and you’re on the extra-big square at the end of a wheel spoke, you get a little triangular chip of plastic of the same color to fit into your token. Once you have one chip of each color, you make your way back to the center of the wheel (where everyone started), and you have to answer one more question correctly, your choice of color.
In this case, the whole thing is Star Wars oriented. The questions are all about the original trilogy of movies (Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi).
Because this is a game for 2-4 players (“Teens to Adults”), there are four tokens provided. They represent Luke, Leia, Han, and Darth Vader. Each one has slots for the color chips in the plastic base. The figures themselves are made of pewter – this means they’re a little soft, so, umm, how can I put this – well, it bends easily. So Leia’s blaster is looking a little… flaccid right now.
In the normal game, you roll a six-sided die to move around the board. In the SW version, you get a several-inches-large plastic R2-D2. You push his head down and listen to him burble and whistle and bleep until he displays a number from 1 to 6 for you. It’s kind of cute, but it also takes a lot longer than rolling a die, and the number can be tough to see on the little screen. So when the batteries run down we won’t bother buying more (and maybe we’ll stop using it before then). It seems to have a sort of sleep mode if you leave it alone long enough so it doesn’t waste power.
The board is very nice-looking. The colors are bright and jewel-toned, making for a much prettier board than the original Trivial Pursuit board. The squares have photos from the movie in them, filmed over with color, which looks good.
The categories are:
- Purple – Characters
- Blue – Weapons & Vehicles
- Gold – History
- Green – Geography
- Orange – Droids, Creatures, & Aliens
- Pink – Wild Card
There’s this odd thing where some of the cards have photos that you show to the person who’s answering the question. Not once have the photos seemed like anything other than window dressing – they don’t give you clues or anything.
Now, you may be wondering how on earth they got enough questions to put six per card on an absolutely HUGE stack of cards. After all, there are only so many factoids you can get out of three movies! Well I’ll tell you the answer, in the guise of a little strategy lesson.
#1. Pick purple for your final game-winning category. More than 80% of the purple questions are dead-obvious. I mean, come on. Even the mildest of fans knows pretty much everything about the main characters of the movie. I’m a fan, but not the kind of fan who’s seen the movies 20 times each, and I found this category to be child’s play. Yes, there are other characters in the movies, but there isn’t much to ask about them.
#2. Blue is difficult. Blue asks all sorts of questions about blasters, lasers, the weapons on an Imperial Walker, and so on. Unless you bought all sorts of models of the Star Wars vehicles, you’ll occasionally run into difficulty here. Unless, of course, you follow rule #3…
#3. The answer is two. If a question asks for a number of something and you don’t know the answer, say “two.” You’ll almost always be right.
#4. Give the obvious answer. If you don’t know the answer, try the obvious. For example, any question that asks for the name of a ship is probably asking about the Milennium Falcon – there aren’t many other ships named in the series, so it pretty much has to be the Milennium Falcon. This holds true for many other things, too. Unfortunately, this makes many of the answers much easier than they seem at first glance. Common sense will allow you to deduce the answers to far too many questions. This might make for an interesting first game, but severely limits the replay value.
This isn’t really the fault of the folks who made the game. There are only so many trivia questions you can get out of three movies. Some of the questions are hard because they ask about very trivial details; the majority are pretty easy, however.
It’s still a very fun game as long as you like the movies! If anything this game might be more fun for people who don’t have every detail of the trilogy memorized, and haven’t seen the movies in several years. Games can last for anywhere from a half-hour to several hours, depending on how good you are and how quickly you land on the chip-spaces.
One Last Balance Issue Note
If you’re playing with a real Star Wars buff and you’re only somewhat familiar with the movies, you’ll probably lose. Because you keep going as long as you answer questions correctly, it is indeed possible for someone to win on their first (very extended) turn, and even if they don’t, turns can get a little long. This could have been solved by having some sort of “turn over” option on the little R2-D2 die-rolling frobbie. Instead, I have some suggestions for you if you find this happening.
#1. Set a maximum number of questions any one player can answer. If he answers that many, his turn ends.
#2. Introduce some sort of means to lose chips into the game. Such as, every time you get a chip you roll the die (or push R2-D2’s head). If it comes up a one, you lose the chip again. Or every four turns. Or whatever it takes to keep things going for a little while.
#3. If the players are of vastly differing abilities, handicap the knowledgeable ones. Give the people who don’t know the movies well a “freebie” chip or two at the beginning. If you’re limiting number of moves, limit the trivia buffs more.
Enjoy your game!