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 Wars, Saturday 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.
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
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.
Revisions, Editions and Expansions
Trivial Pursuit Master Game - Genus Edition (Original) (1981, Master Game)