Oddly enough, Sony has decided to tap into the game-show market by building a videogame around a new peripheral shaped like a buzzer you might find on Jeopardy or similar time based game show. The game itself is presented with a man host / female assistant like you would find in Wheel of Fortune. In fact, we can safely say that the game show itself mirrors America’s favorite television game shows, which isn’t a bad thing and will appeal to a larger market. While not for the uber intelligent, Buzz!: The Big Quiz offers simple to moderately challenging general trivia and multiplayer fun for the whole family.
Since the game itself is based on traditional game show antics most gamers will find a sense of familiarity that is comfortable and entertaining. The animated host, voiced like an Aussie, conducts the show with assured confidence and we found his demeanor to be quite funny at times. What’s great about this game is that it tests general knowledge, so there is bound to be questions that’ll engage just about any type of player. The questions themselves are mostly picture based with audio questions thrown in the mix. Topics range from famous figures, science, geography and nature. None of the questions ever seemed to get too difficult, but the idea seems to keep it simple and fun for the entire family.
The real star of the game is the controller. The controller itself is everything a game show controller should be. A large buzzer button is placed on top, while the answer buttons are color coded and stacked horizontally down the grip. While playing with four people reaction times can get heated and having that large button really helps make the game show feel real. The game allows up to eight players (the game is only packed with four controllers) which is not doubt a great set up for trivia parties. Some might have qualms with the fact that you can’t use the standard analog 2 controller to play the game, but the developers definitely built this game around the buzzer controller so there’s no harm there.
The default settings of Buzz!: The Big Quiz offers six rounds that last 15 minutes each. The goal of each round is to answer the most questions correctly in the fastest amount of time. Simple rules, but that’s why the game is so fun. Pretty much anyone from your 6-year-old cousin to your 68-year-old grandma can pick up this game with ease. The format follows a progressive tier system that allows your build points without penalty for the first few rounds, but then takes points for missed answers in later rounds.
In addition to the standard Buzz! game there are two game modes that players can choose. The custom mode allows players to choose the number of rounds select which topics to keep or discard. This helps keep players from seeing the same question twice, but we found that in the main game of Buzz! questions do get repeated from time-to-time. The other mode is the single-player mode that offers two rounds pitting the player against AI characters. There are three minigames: Hitman, Quickfire Quiz and Eliminator, but all of these are found in the Main game, so nothing new there.
The questions themselves never got too difficult. It would have been nice to see a difficulty setting placed in the game. Also, there is no way to change the length of the quizzes so once you start a match you’re stuck playing for 15 minute rounds, which more often then not is way too long for a game like this. The picture based questions are great, but it would have been nice to see more variety. The occasional audio questions break the monotony, but it still would have been nice to have even a fill in the blank type question.
Buzz!: The Big Quiz is definitely geared for four or more players. If you’re in the mood for trivia and want something that the whole family will enjoy then the game definitely succeeds. It would have been nice to have more customization to the game itself, and obviously future downloadable content would be nice, but that would be something for the developers to include in the next-gen version of this game, should they decide to make one.
- Score: 6.9
- A perfectly designed game show controller and up to eight players makes this an essential party game. Unfortunately, the game itself is too easy, too long and suffers from repetition.
— J. Thomas