Host: Ok everyone, fingers on buzzers. For 3 points, who can tell me what went wrong with England’s performance in the World Cup?
*sound of mama-mia!*
Host: Yes Mr Capello, you buzzed in first.
Don Fabio: Eh, it was-a the tiredness, eh and the-a ball, yes the ball-eh.
Host: Ooh, I’m sorry Mr Capello – the correct answer was in fact Matthew Upson.
Instinctively, Upson buzzes in.
Upson: “Hey, that’s a little unfair – I wasn’t the only one who played like an under-11’s 5 a-side player”*.
Sadly for Matthew, this reaction only happened 5 minutes after the quiz had finished - much like he did in an England shirt. Shame.
Thankfully, Football Genius: The Ultimate Quiz performs a heck of a lot better than England (or France and Italy, let’s not forget!).
The game can be played in Billy No Mates mode or with up to 4 players along with an online option. Once selected, you move on to character selection and the choice of buzzer sounds for each player. There are a few nice options from a barking dog, to breaking glass and yes, even a vuvuzela. When everyone is happy with their selections, it’s time for the quiz to start.
Each player requires their own pad, so if you’ve got this in mind to play during a party and don’t have 4 pads, make sure to ask your mates to bring one!
Before each round begins, an intro sequence plays to explain how the questions will be asked and how you need to answer them. The intros are really nicely presented and give a genuine TV quiz show feel to the proceedings.
Rounds essentially boil down to two methods with which players must answer. Most often used is a straight forward multiple-choice question where you simply hit the button that corresponds to the correct answer. Other times, you are required to first buzz in using the d-pad and then select the correct answer with the buttons.
Each round does a good job of being different enough to distinguish itself from the others and the football theme is also well intertwined too. For instance, there is a ‘Dribble’ round where, if a player answers consecutive questions correctly, their score multiplies. There is also ‘Tackle’ where answering a correct question allows you to take points off opposing players. This helps give contests a more competitive edge as players can gang up on any know-it-alls to help even the scores out. Another round features a blurred image of a player, team or coach which as it slowly reveals you must buzz in and guess who it is. I also like the word association round, where two players or teams are assigned to button A and B. Then statements are flashed on screen for players to quickly decide to whom it relates.
Questions are based on many leagues including Italy, Spain, England, Germany and France as well as competitions like the World Cup and European Championships. So having a good general knowledge of world football is quite necessary to compete.
I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Football Genius. I wasn’t expecting anything special, but I had a lot of fun playing even on my own to see if I could beat my high scores. Although naturally, playing against friends is the best way to enjoy the game. Also needless to say, if you are not a football fan then there is little if indeed anything for you sad sacks to enjoy! But as a party game goes and with any impending World Cup Final parties planned, you can’t go far wrong playing this whilst Adrian Chiles waffles on pretending to know about football.
*Apologies to any under 11’s who play 5 a-side – suggesting Matthew Upson played like you is very harsh. He was more like under 8’s.