Football Genius - The Ultimate Quiz (XBLA)

If you're mad about football, have mates that are into football and you have more than one controller - get this, 'nuff said. The pros and cons discussed below are technical and, well, largely irrelevant. Since you're here, though, might as well read on...

Football Genius is a multiplayer quiz game about football. Pretty straight forward - it supports 1 to 4 players (yes, you can play it on your lonesome if you want some practice or are the type that gets picked last at pickup matches), either on or offline. You'll need a controller per offline player though, as most of the games are played simultaneously so there's no scope for a "pass-around" controller mode.

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You can play either "half time" or "full time" modes, which (as you may have guessed) simply alters the length of the match. Each match is a random assortment of games (of which there are quite a few, alleviating the familiarity that can come when several games are played in a row) where players are challenged to answer questions in a variety of ways.

One of the common game types boils down to you answering a question as quickly as possible, scoring more points the faster you answer (but losing that same number if you get it wrong). Another sees famous faces on the surface of a spinning football and each player is challenged to press a button when the face matching the on-screen name spins around.

Presentation is mostly very good, incorporating avatars right from the "press start" screen (where you and your mates spin up the screen in hexagons). Unfortunately you cannot choose an avatar for guests but that's a pretty minor complaint. There's the odd bit of interface that looks a bit clunky but for the most part it looks and feels football, with a real "match of the day" vibe about it.

Questions start at "fairly knowledgeable contestants only" and move rapidly upwards to "writes statistics books on football for tv presenters". The name of the game is extremely accurate - if you want to win online, you need to be a football genius. At least, you probably would - if there was anyone online to play against. During the review period, not once did we see a single person online. It's hard to say where the online community might go from here but if you're buying it only to play online with people you don't know, well, this probably isn't the best investment.

There are loads of questions on offer (the marketing blurb claims 3500), spanning the major European leagues. Unfortunately they don't claim (nor appear) to cover anything downunder, which means if you're in the Yellow Fever and hoping to come up against questions like "How many goals did Shane Smeltz score for the Phoenix before moving to the Gold Coast," then, well, too bad. Which is a shame (you can't even make up your own quizzes, like you can in Buzz). There is support for downloadable content but as of the time of writing, there's nothing available.

Football Genius is a competent quiz engine packed to the gunwales with questions about European football. Yeah, it sucks that there's nothing about the beautiful game downunder (some A-League stuff would be awesome) but hey, in theory there could be some downloadable content at a later date to add this in. The lack of players online is a bit concerning but offline with your mates before a big game is probably more appealing anyway. If you like yakking about the finer points of the game and the legends of yesterday, get into it.

"Perfect for the tiny niche audience."
- Football Genius - The Ultimate Quiz (XBLA)
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Insane   Learning Curve: 5 Min


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Comments Comments (1)

Posted by Deanology
On Thursday 17 Dec 2009 4:47 PM
This sounds like a bit of fun between a few of the mates..
Will probs hire this sometime.