It was legendary World War 2 soldier General Patton who said "battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge". We don't think that he'd have said that if he'd just been playing Battle Trivia Knockout on his PlayStation 4.
Battle Trivia Knockout from Happy Dance Games sees you "fight" opponents using DualShock 4s and your trivia knowledge as your weapons of choice. Made up of four rounds, each with their own unique feature, you'll need to be quick on the recall – or guess – as being the fastest to record the right answer is key.
Some may be a bit put off by the simplistic and cheese-tastic presentation – it all looks a bit PlayStation 2 with blocky graphics that could generously be called "retro" – but underneath the distinctly average looks is a mildly fun head-to-head four player question-'em-up. You'll need to look past the potentially annoying 'Trivia Sensei' who narrates the action and reads the questions, too – he's amusing for the first couple of games but the novelty wears off quickly.
Like the best multiplayer contests, Battle Trivia Knockout can be a raucous way to take on your friends or family and find out just who is top dog. There are a decent mix of over 1,000 questions in the standard package and they cover a host of subjects, although you can't pick the topic areas, so it's fully random as to whether you'll get a question about a film or a technical scientific quandary.
The first round – each can be played separately if you want – sees you answering multiple choice questions using the face buttons. The quickest correct answer bags the chance to spin the 'Battle Wheel of Damage'. Each player gets points for answering right, with more for the person who got their answer in first, and whoever ends up with the most points is the winner – unless, of course, you manage to take your opponent out by inflicting sufficient damage from the battle wheel, resulting in an immediate K.O. It works well and functions as you'd want it to, although for those PlayStation veterans out there who remember Buzz!, this is a pale imitation.
The next round consists of questions once again, followed by a set of cards which the victor can "flip". If you get a points card, you add them to your score and pick another card to turn, but if you get a damage card, you do that amount of damage to your opponent's life bar and move on to the next question. The flipping adds a random element here which can see you wrack up a huge lead with just one right answer if lady luck is with you.
The third round lists the four possible answers on the screen and players must repeatedly tap on the one that they believe to be correct to move it to their side of the screen, and if both of you pick the same one, it becomes a competition of who can tap the button fastest. Those old time gamers who remember controller destroying games such as Track & Field will have some idea of what is involved. Even if you pick different answers, you can still try and move your opponent's choice back to the middle just to mess with them, if that's your idea of fun.
Finally, there's a betting round, where each player wagers an amount of points before seeing the question, and getting it right allows you to scoop the points. However, incorrect answers see the wager points taken off your score, which can lead to humiliating minus scores. This danger element really ups the tension factor as you weigh up whether to risk big or play it safe.
If you've got no friends to play with – there's no online option – the artificial intelligence will step in and provide a random level of opposition. It doesn't feel as good beating a machine, but it does allow for some practice. Ultimately, though, when all's said and done, this is a game that you'll likely play a few times and then possibly forget about, partly due to the overly cheesy, unmemorable presentation.
Battle Trivia Knockout is fun while it lasts, providing a short dose multiplayer quizzing satisfaction, but it just doesn't have the class to live up to its name and actually score a K.O. Stuck with a novelty look and feel that would attract younger players – who won't actually have a chance at many of the questions – this is one for battle hardened quizzers with short attention spans only.