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Overview

Trivial Pursuit is a board game in which winning is determined by a player's ability to answer general knowledge and popular culture questions. The game was created in December 1979 in Montreal, Quebec, by Canadian Chris Haney, a photo editor for Montreal's The Gazette, and Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press. After finding pieces of their Scrabble game missing, they decided to create their own game. With the help of John Haney and Ed Werner, they completed development of the game, which was released in 1982.

In North America, the game's popularity peaked in 1984, a year in which over 20 million games were sold. The rights to the game were initially licensed to Selchow and Righter in 1982, then to Parker Brothers (now part of Hasbro) in 1988, after initially being turned down by the Virgin Group; in 2008 Hasbro bought the full rights, for US$80 million.  As of 2004, nearly 88 million games had been sold in 26 countries and 17 languages. Northern Plastics of Elroy, Wisconsin produced 30,000,000 games between 1983 and 1985. In December 1993, Trivial Pursuit was named to the "Games Hall of Fame" by Games magazine. An online version of Trivial Pursuit was launched in September 2003.

Dozens of question sets have been released for the game. The question cards are organized into themes; for instance, in the standard Genus question set, questions in green deal with science and nature. Some question sets have been designed for younger players, and others for a specific time period or as promotional tie-ins (such as Star WarsSaturday Night Live, and The Lord of the Rings movies).

How to Play

The object of the game is to move around the board by correctly answering trivia questions. Questions are split into six categories, with each one having its own colour to readily identify itself; in the classic version of Trivial Pursuit, these are Geography (blue), Entertainment (pink), History (yellow), Arts &Literature (originally brown, later purple), Science & Nature (green), and Sports & Leisure (orange). The game includes a board, playing pieces, question cards, a box, small plastic wedges to fit into the playing pieces, and a die.

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Playing pieces used in Trivial Pursuit are round and divided into six sections, similar to a pie. A small plastic wedge, sometimes called cheese, can be placed into each of these sections to mark each player's progress.

During the game, players move their playing pieces around a track which is shaped like a wheel with six spokes. This track is divided into spaces of different colours, and the centre of the board is a hexagonal "hub" space. At the end of each spoke is a "category headquarters" space. When a player's counter lands on a square, the player answers a question according to the colour of the square, which corresponds to one of the

Trivialpursuit Token

six categories. If the player answers the question correctly, their turn continues; if the player's piece was on one of the category headquarters spaces, he/she collect a wedge of the same colour, which fits into the playing piece. Some spaces say "roll again," giving an extra roll of the die to the player. The hub is a "wild" space; a player landing here may answer a question in the category of his/her choice. Any number of playing pieces may occupy the same space at the same time. A variant rule ends a player's turn on collecting a wedge, preventing a single knowledgeable player from running the board.

Once a player has collected one wedge of each colour and filled up his/her playing piece, he or she must return to the hub and answer a question in a category selected by the other players. If this question is answered correctly, that player wins the game. Otherwise, the player must leave the centre of the board and try again on the next turn.

How to Play Trivial Pursuit

How to Play Trivial Pursuit

Revisions, Editions and Expansions

  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - Genus Edition (Original) (1981, Master Game)
 Geography  Entertainment  History  Art & Literature  Science & Nature  Sports & Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit - All-Star Sports Edition (1983, Subsidiary Card Set)
Nicknames Football Catch All Basketball Baseball Numbers
  • Trivial-Pursuit-Disney-trivial-pursuit-22403638-600-471
    Trivial Pursuit Master Game - Baby Boomer Edition (1983, Subsidiary Card Set)
Television Stage & Screen Nightly News Publishing Lives & Times R.P.M.
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - Silver Screen Edition (1983, Subsidiary Card Set)
Settings Titles Off Screen On Screen Production Portrayals
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - Genus II Edition (1984, Subsidiary Card Set)
Geography Entertainment History Art & Literature Science & Nature Sports & Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - Young Players Edition (1984, released in both Master Game and Subsidiary Card Set editions)
People & Places Good Times Science & Technology Art & Culture Natural World Games & Hobbies
  • Trivial Pursuit - RPM Edition (1985, Subsidiary Card Set, UK version also released with different box art, unknown if questions differ from US version)
Cover Notes Your Mother Should Know Fiftes Sixties After the Beatles Anything Goes
  • Trivial Pursuit - Welcome to America Edition (1985, Subsidiary Card Set) 
America Americans Journey through America Ship to Shore Made in America The Melting Pot
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - Walt Disney Family Edition (1985, Subsidiary Card Set)
World of Places World of Music World of People World of Fantasy World of Science World of Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit Featuring the Magic of Disney - Family Edition (1986, partial re-release of 1985 edition in both Master Game and Subsidiary Card Set editions)
World of Places World of Music World of People World of Fantasy World of Science World of Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - The 1960's (1986, released in both Master Game and Subsidiary Card Set editions)
Personalities Entertainment Headlines Music Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Trivial Pursuit for Juniors - First Edition (1987, Master Game) 
Geography Entertainment History Art & Literature Science & Nature Sports & Leisure & Food
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - A Genus Edition Volume II (1987) - Coleco Games
Geography Entertainment History Art & Literature Science & Nature Sports & Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - A Genus Edition Volume II (1987, revised 1989) - Parker Brothers
Geography Entertainment History Art & Literature Science & Nature Sports & Leisure
  • Family Edition (1988, Later editions changed Places to People & Places, UK Version)
Places Good Times Yesterdays Art & Culture Created World Games and Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - The Vintage Years (1989, released in both Master Game and Subsidiary Card Set editions)
Products & Progress Sports & Leisure History Personalities Entertainment Wild Card
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - The 1980's (1989, released in both Master Game and Subsidiary Card Set editions)
Personalities Entertainment In the News That's Life Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Trivial Pursuit for Juniors - Second Edition (1990)
Every Day Nature Stories & Songs Science Fun Games
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Game - TV Edition (1991, released in both Master Game and Subsidiary Card Set editions)
Classics Sitcoms Drama Kids & Games Stars Wild Card
  • The Year in Review 1992 (1992, Subsidiary Card Set)
Personalities Entertainment In the News Around the World Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Trivial Pursuit 10th Anniversary (1992, Master Game)
Geography Entertainment History Art & Literature Science & Nature Sports & Leisure
  • Family Edition (1992)
People & Places Entertainment History Science & Nature Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • UK Family Edition (1992, Colours of cards changed)
Places Good Times Yesterdays Art & Culture Created World Games and Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit All American Edition Master Game (1993)
People Entertainment History Places Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Trivial Pursuit Game Show Edition (1993, Subsidiary Card Set)
Geography Entertainment History Art & Literature Science & Nature Sports & Leisure
  • The Year in Review 1993 (1994, Subsidiary Card Set)
Personalities Entertainment In the News Around the World Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Genus III (1994)
People & Places Arts & Entertainment History Science & Nature Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Junior – Third Edition (1994)
  • Genus IV (1996)
People & Places Arts & Entertainment History Science & Nature Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Junior – Fourth Edition (1996)
BLUE PURPLE ORANGE YELLOW PINK GREEN
  • Star Wars Classic Trilogy Collector's Edition (1997)
Characters Weapons & Vehicles History Geography Droids, Creatures, & Aliens Wild Card
  • Star Wars Episode I (1998)[not in citation given]
Characters Weapons & Vehicles History Geography Droids, Creatures, & Aliens Wild Card
BLUE PINK YELLOW BROWN GREEN ORANGE
  • Millennium (1998)
Now and Then Tops and Flops Visons and Imagination Milestones Movers and Shakers Science and Cosmos
  • Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition  (1998)
 Geography  Entertainment  History  Art & Literature  Science & Nature  Sports & Leisure
  • Know-it-All (1998, Subsidiary Card Set) - Winning Moves
People & Places Art & Entertainment History Science & Nature Sports & Leisure Wild Card
The following three releases reportedly have some questions unique to the regions
  • Know-It-All New England (Winning Moves – very hard to find)
  • Know-It-All New York (Winning Moves – very hard to find)
  • Know-It-All Chicago (Winning Moves – very hard to find)
  • Warner Bros (1999)
  • Biographies (2000)
People & Places Arts & Entertainment History Science & Nature Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Genus V (2000)
People & Places Arts & Entertainment History Science & Nature Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Know-It All TP (2000, Subsidiary Card Set, duplicates questions from Winning Moves edition but also includes 32 additional cards)
  • Junior – Fifth Edition (2001, 1,200 questions, no categories) 
  •  
  • Family Edition (2000, same as 1998 edition)
People & Places Good Times Yesterdays Art & Culture Created World Games and Leisure
  • Family Edition (2000, 2001 Edition with updated artwork)
People & Places Good Times Yesterdays Art & Culture Created World Games and Leisure
  • 20th Anniversary (2002)
Global View Sound & Screen News The Written Word Innovations Game Time
PURPLE GREEN ORANGE PINK YELLOW BLUE
  • Disney Animated Picture (2002)
Once upon a Time Wonderful World of Disney Monsters & Villains Heroes and Heroines Supporting Stars Places & Props
  • Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy Edition (2003)
Good Characters Evil Characters Things Place and History Warfare Making Movies
Rather than colors, this edition's categories are indicated with icons: leaf, badge, tree, ring, sword, ⊕
  • Volume 6 (2003)
People & Places Arts & Entertainment History Science & Nature Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • Globe Trotter (2003, Master Game, UK Release)
North America Latin America Oceania Africa Europe Asia
  • Pop Culture (2003)
Movies TV Music Sports & Games Buzz Fads
  • 90's (in metal box) (2004)
Hanging Oops Wired Viewing Important Trends
  • Book Lover's Edition (2004)
Children's Literature Classics Non-Fiction Book Club Authors Book Bag
  • Trivial Pursuit for Kids – Volume 6 (2004)
GREEN BLUE PURPLE ORANGE YELLOW PINK
  • Trivial Pursuit for Kids Nickelodeon Edition (2005, Master Game)
  • Pop Culture 2 (2006)
Movies TV Music Sports & Games Buzz Fads
  • Totally '80's (2006)
Sports & Leisure Headlines Music Wild Card Movies Television
  • Trivial Pursuit – Greatest Hits (80's, 90's & Pop Culture) (2007)[citation needed]
BLUE PINK YELLOW BROWN GREEN ORANGE
  • Trivial Pursuit 25th Silver Anniversary Edition (2008)
BLUE PINK YELLOW PURPLE GREEN ORANGE
Geography Entertainment History Art & Literature Science & Nature Sports & Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit - Family '08 (2008)[citation needed]
People & Places Entertainment History Wild Card Science & Nature Sports & Leisure
  • Trivial Pursuit: The Beatles Collector's Edition (2009)
The Beatles in America Albums & Singles History Songs On Their Own Movies
  • Trivial Pursuit Team (2009) [9]
  • Trivial Pursuit Bet You Know It (2010) [10]
  • Trivial Pursuit Master Edition I (2010) [11]
  • Trivial Pursuit - The Rolling Stones (2010) [12]
  • Trivial Pursuit - Disney For All (2011) [13][14]
  • Trivial Pursuit - Classic Rock (2011, Master Game) [15]
More Than a Feeling
(songs, albums, inspiration)
Life in the Fast Lane
(tours, venues, live albums)
I'm Just a Singer
(personal stories, biographical)
Purple Haze
(album covers, art, videos)
Touch of Grey
(recent projects, tours, stories)
Born to Be Wild
(wild card)
  • Trivial Pursuit - Power Rangers 20th Anniversary Edition (2013)
Ranger Gear Allies and Villains Rangers and their Zords The Legacy Behind the Power Wild Card
  • Trivial Pursuit World of Warcraft Edition (2013, Master Game)
Geography Player Characters Lore Loot Villains Encounters
  • Trivial Pursuit Party (2013)
Geography Entertainment History Art & Literature Science & Nature Sports & Leisure

Mini packs

Trivial Pursuit mini packs contain 120 cards with 720 questions in the standard six-color format but no categories.

  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack - Sports (1987) 
  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack - Rock & Pop (1987) 
  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack - The Good Life (1987)
  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack - War & Victory (1987) 
  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack - Flicks (1989) 
  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack - TV (1989)
  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack - Wild Card (1989) 
  • Trivial Pursuit Mini Pack - Country Music (1993)

International editions 

  • Trivial Pursuit - All-Star Sports Edition - Canadian Version (1981)
Nicknames Football Catch All Hockey Baseball Numbers
  • Trivial Pursuit - Genus II Edition - Canadian Version (1984)
  • The Good Life Travel card set (1987) (Canada)
  • War & Victory Travel card set (1987) (Canada)
  • Bicentennial Edition (1987) (Australia) (Master game set - released in time for the Bicentennial in 1988)
  • Trivial Pursuit - Édition France (1989) - In French, with all questions pertaining to France to honor the bicentennial of the storming of the Bastille

Atypical editions/rules

BLUE PINK YELLOW BROWN GREEN ORANGE
  • Trivial Pursuit Pocket Player Set - Boob Tube (1987)
The Boob Tube edition has no categories, but the cards still have six questions, each with the usual colors.
  • Trivial Pursuit Pocket Player Set - TP's People (1987)
The TP's people edition has no categories, but the cards still have six questions, each with the usual colors.
  • Picture Pursuit (1994)
People & Places Art & Entertainment History Science & Nature Sports & Leisure Wild Card
  • In Pursuit (2001)
Who or Where Pop Culture Headlines Science & Technology Sports & Games Wild Card
  • Bite Sized (2003)

Multimedia editions

  • Star Trek Edition VCR Game (1995)
  • Millennium CD-ROM (1998)
  • Pop Culture DVD (2003)
  • Lord of the Rings DVD (2004)
  • Saturday Night Live DVD (2004)
  • Unhinged (Xbox, PS2) (2004)
  • Star Wars Saga 2 DVD (2005)
  • Pop Culture DVD 2 (2005)
  • Trivial Pursuit Digital Choice (2008)
  • Trivial Pursuit (Wii, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360) (2009)
  • Trivial Pursuit (iPhone, iPod Touch) (2009)
  • Doctor Who Trivial Pursuit (board game) (2013)
  • Trivial Pursuit Live! (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) (2015)

Links and References

Family Edition Official Rules

Pursuing Trivial Pursuit

How to Play - wikiHow

BoardGameGeek Review

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