The last time I strapped on a pair of shin guards and laced up some Sambas, I was on one of the best eighth grade teams in the state of Ohio. My coach’s name was Danny, our team was called the Fairfield Thunderbirds, and our white shorts were dangerously transparent if the forecast called for rain. These bits of minutiae aren’t likely to pop up in Football Genius: The Ultimate Quiz, but unless you are familiar with international soccer, the 3500 included questions will seem every bit as trivial.
Football Genius is similar to many bar-style trivia games. One to four players (represented by Avatars) are presented with multiple-choice questions. Answering quickly will net you higher points, and wrong answers will subtract from your total. There are several different variations on the formula from round to round, but all will test your intimate knowledge of international, English, French, German, Italian or Spanish soccer. As for me, my knowledge is pretty close to nil. I am vaguely familiar with the most famous players and teams from occasionally watching World Cup matches, but I wouldn’t exactly qualify it as knowledge. It’s more a sense of awareness that people like David Beckham, Ronaldinho, and Zinedine Zidane live on the same planet that I inhabit. Even with such a rudimentary background, I am able to pretty consistently guess my way to positive points (and Achievements) in these traditional quiz rounds.
Sadly, I can do nothing but watch my precious score dwindle once the game moves to Scene It?-like photograph clues. In the appropriately titled Match It, panels of a soccer ball are adorned with headshots of players and coaches. You are tasked with buzzing in when the ball rotates to show the photograph of the individual whose name has appeared on screen. Unless Mr. Posh Spice happens to be plastered on the ball, this portion of the game quickly devolves into me ethnically profiling the names against the faces. (James McCarthy, hmm… let’s see… probably not Hispanic... I’ll choose the fellow pasty, redheaded dude! Score one for me!) There are a few more familiar variations on picture-based questions, including trying to identify distorted images and answering several questions about a particular photograph.
Stepping away from the subject matter and just concentrating on presentation, the game mirrors the look and feel of its more mainstream counterparts. The graphics are crisp and easy to read, but the background images are sometimes overly generic and take away from the otherwise polished aesthetic. As for the music, it is neither offensive nor memorable, but it gets the quiz show vibe across. The ability to use Scene It?’s Big Button Controllers is also a nice touch. Whether you choose to either play a half game or a full game, the pace is speedy and it takes less than fifteen minutes to complete a match. You can also play online, but I failed to find anyone playing the few times I attempted to pit my soccer wits against the world.
While reviewing Football Genius: The Ultimate Quiz, I tried to imagine if I’d be inclined to play this game if it were focused on a sport I follow closely like basketball, baseball, or football (the Ochocinco variety – he’s not Hispanic, by the way). Obviously, those topics would be much more in my wheelhouse and I can picture sitting around with some friends for a few rounds of manly trivia. I think this title probably fills a niche for soccer fans, but even with a room full of hooligans, it most likely isn’t a game you will pull out over a more encompassing quiz title.
Outstanding | Very Good | Fair | Poor | Awful
Recommended Buy Price: $5.00
Current MSRP: $10.00
Football Genius: The Ultimate Quiz was provided for review by RTL Interactive. The game was played for an hour and I have accumulated 3 Achievements for 35 GamerScore. Football Genius: The Ultimate Quiz is available exclusively on the Xbox 360.