Review: Battle Trivia Knockout (PS4)

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Title: Battle Trivia Knockout
Format: PlayStation Network Download (1.0 GB)
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Happy Dance Games
Developer: Happy Dance Games
Original MSRP: $6.99
ESRB Rating: E
Battle Trivia Knockout is also available on Xbox One.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Happy Dance Games is back with another trivia-based party game. This time, you go head-to-head with up to three other players or three computer-controlled players in Battle Trivia Knockout. The game pits player v. player to see who is the smartest and who will reign as the supreme knowledgeable person.

Gameplay:
Upon arriving at the main menu, you’re given the option to play one of four trivia games individually or play through all four in one session called the Full Game Mode. Each game mode will take around ten minutes to complete, with the Full Game Mode coming in around thirty-five minutes from start to finish.

Adding a new twist to the standard trivia game mechanics, Battle Trivia Knockout actually has you “battle” your opponent during the course of the game. During matches you’ll be able to inflict damage on your opponent that can lead to their early demise and loss of the game. One game type will have you play a guessing game over face down cards to deal damage, while another will have you battle it out over a single correct answer.

Battle Trivia Knockout_20151102190201

Surprisingly this simple, yet unique, additional gameplay mechanic in each of the four game modes goes a long way in making the overall enjoyment of the game quite high. When the boringness (I’m making that a real word now) begins to set in and just knowing more than your opponent isn’t enough, the additional challenge of trying to knock them out makes things exciting, even if just by a little.

… lacks a true sense of fairness …
Happy Dance Games touts that Battle Trivia Knockout features “Over 1000 new questions… “, which might be true, but you’ll quickly begin to run into the same questions over and over again within the span of two playthroughs. Over the course of two hours and about fifty questions, I ran into the same questions around four to five times. So this isn’t a massive issue, but it is annoying that it happened so soon into my overall game time.

During each game mode you’ll play in a four-player bracket. This results in a winner being crowned for each game mode after three matches. While the bracket implementation is a good way of visually bragging about your wins over your competitors, it is quite simple and lacks a true sense of fairness with not everyone having to go against each other

Visuals:
Looking at Battle Trivia Knockout you’ll immediately get an impression of a childish game, due to the visual style chosen, but I still found it quite charming. The childish, cartoonish look to the characters and stages is refreshing and plays as a nice backdrop to the main objective of the game – getting the answers right.

The visuals won’t distract you, they won’t even wow you, but they are pleasing, albeit simple.

… squarely in the realm of funny …
Audio:
The audio offering is simple and appropriate for the game overall. The background music is almost not even noticeable, allowing the voice-over to stand out and be clearly heard.

Throughout the game you’ll be spoken to by a cheesy Chinese accented voice-over for each question that you’ll be answering. The cheesiness of the accent fits the game’s overall tone, which luckily keeps it from being taken too seriously and squarely in the realm of funny.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component, but it does feature up to four-player offline multiplayer. Each game type can be played with up to four players, or any combination of player/AI.

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Conclusion:
Trivia games have a problem with becoming stale and boring relatively quickly because of one major issue – their main gameplay mechanic becomes repetitive and boring. You can only answer so many questions before you’d rather do something else.

Thankfully Battle Trivia Knockout tries to, with varying levels of success, introduce mechanics that lay on top of the standard “read question, select answer, see how dumb you are” loop. These additional gameplay elements, trying to knockout your opponent to end a match early (in-game mind you) or battling it out for the correct answer to a question, are a welcome addition to the standard gameplay loop.

While your overall time with Battle Trivia Knockout will most likely be short, even with it boasting one thousand questions, the price point is what makes this game worth it. You’ll enjoy your entire time with the game, especially if you can play it with someone instead of the computer, because who doesn’t like to beat their friends?

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Kyle Jessee

Kyle Jessee

Your lone Kentucky writer on staff. Loves the Big Blue Nation, rock music, and Resistance 2 (the best in the series).

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