The trivia game features an interesting combination of themes that only kinda, sorta go hand in hand. Although Stranger Things is a Netflix series that takes place in the ‘80s, a big chunk of its fanbase is probably a little too young to know the in-depth level of ‘80s pop culture knowledge that this game requires. And let me tell you, I love Stranger Things, but I didn’t know the answer to a damn question. So, I’d say this game is either A: pretty challenging or B: targeted toward superfans.
The game features 1,500 trivia questions across six categories: movies; TV; music; famous people and events; trends, tech, and fun; and Stranger Things. In the original Trivial Pursuit game, you need six correct answers, one from each category, to win. This version changes the dynamics: While you still need six wedges to win, they can be from any category. These new rules may work in your favor because if you’re a Stranger Things fanatic who doesn’t necessarily know ‘80s TV shows or celebrities, you can try to avoid the other subjects and focus all of your attention on the Stranger Things category.
Some of the Stranger Things questions that I had no clue about were: “What investigative journalist did Barb’s parents hire to investigate their daughter’s disappearance?” (“Murray Bauman”) and “What is the name of the bully who pees his pants in the Hawkins Middle School gym?” (“Troy”). Maybe you know the answers and I just don’t pay enough attention while watching Netflix, but let me tell you, I did a hell of a lot better in the Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit game.
Although the questions are challenging, the fandom factor of this game gets diluted because of the broad categories (five out of six of the categories have no relation to the show). Stranger Things fans would find this more fun if every category focused on the show, like in other versions of Trivial Pursuit (*ahem: Harry Potter*). Either way, the replay value is high because of the sheer number of trivia questions.
The good news is, to make the game a little easier, players are allowed to help each other out. If you get stumped on a question, you can “walkie-talkie” another player for help. If the other player agrees to help you and their answer is correct, you both collect a wedge. If their answer is wrong, no one collects a wedge and it’s the next player’s turn. No harm, no foul.
I hope you didn’t think you’d get off that easy. The best AND worst part of the game is that if players land on the portal spaces or roll a certain symbol on the die, they have to flip a section of the board over, turning the “real world” into the “Upside Down” and vice versa. It’s cool because it’s based on the mysterious sci-fi universe in Stranger Things. But it also sucks because every time you flip, everyone loses their spot on the board. Plus, as long as you’re playing in the Upside Down, you lose a wedge piece for every answer you get wrong. And guess what? You will get every answer wrong unless you are an ‘80s genius or have seen Stranger Things 5,000 times. You’re also not allowed to use the “walkie-talkie” feature in the Upside Down, so you’re on your own; no help for you. So, getting sucked into the Upside Down is a major setback, and it’s very stressful. But what did you expect: If you’ve ever seen the show, you know that the Upside Down is no walk in the park.
No matter if you’re in the Upside Down or the right side up, the first player to collect six wedges wins. It’s safe to say that I did not win. In fact, I’d probably die in the real Upside Down, and I’ll stick to the Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, thank you very much. Wingardium Leviosa.
Photos: Hasbro Gaming