Trivia games often run into the problem of requiring exact points of knowledge, making the game “what you know,” with a reward over a breadth of topics. A new trend in trivia is asking “how much do you know?”, which fits perfectly into the blossoming world of geek culture and its value of encyclopedic knowledge on an incredibly deep level. Playroom Entertainment had great success with comic books and video games in Geek Out! and now brings it to a wider audience in Geek Out! Pop Culture Party.
While it may seem strange to compare geekdom and pop culture enthusiasts, the two are actually more similar than either would probably like to admit. Both have their great depths of knowledge, iconic heroes and villains, and passionate fans. GO! PCP tackles a wide range of topics from movies, television, literature, music, and more, something for anyone who enjoys our modern culture.
Game play in GO! PCP is a little different from typical trivia games that ask for specifics. Instead, a player rolls the die to determine the category and is asked to name as many members of that category as possible. Players might be asked to name at least “two rappers who use their real names,” “four mascots for breakfast cereals,” or “four titles written by R.L. Stine.” The player puts out a bid for how many he or she can name. Before the player has a chance, however, everyone is able to step in and make a higher bid to steal the points. Players can counterbid again and again until one player stands with the challenge.
This system of bidding creates a sense of competition not seen in other trivia games where the pressure is on the single player. A player might be challenged to name “two characters from Gone with the Wind” and decide he or she can name four. Another player may raise that to six. If the original player does not think he or she could name seven, the other player steals. Strategy may come in as player blocks another from winning even though that blocking player may have no chance of naming 18 Sesame Street characters. Others may work up their poker faces to bluff, discouraging opponents from trumping their bids when they know they cannot go higher.
When players are able to name as many items as they bid, they win the card and a point. When a player is unable to match a haughty bid, he or she receives a Penalty Chip worth minus-two points, which makes players not want to be overly sure of themselves. First player to five points wins!
Geek Out! Pop Culture Party is a game for two or more players aged 10 and up. For larger groups, teams are encouraged, which gives a whole new feeling to the game. Players must discuss among themselves before being able to make a challenging bid. Experiences are then shared of earnest shouting, laughter, and the thrill of successfully naming six prequels, or the bitter defeat when they just are not able to think of a fifth celebrity chef.