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Quiz based video games have been around for a long time, but very few manage to capture the fun an exuberance of a Saturday night in front of ITV. Buzz provides that genuine TV quiz show experience, where you get to play from the comfort of the sofa.
Mini games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relativley short time requried to complete a level or two.
Buzz is unique largley because of its slick presentation and bespoke wireless controllers. The game comes with four controllers, each have on large buzzer button and four choice buttons. This enables the game to pit players against each other in rounds that make use of the choosing ability of the controller.
These rounds include Stop The Clock, Point Builder, Pass The Bomb, High Stakes and the Final Countdown. There is that common quiz show issue where the higher scoring later rounds make the earlier ones a little redundant, but such is the fun that this isn't really a big issue.
Each game runs through the same series of rounds, albeit with different question types. Some may find the lack of variety a little disappointing. What is there is well executed, and can be played online against other people, but it seems like a trick is missed here to create a more varied experience.
Players should also ensure they have loaded the game before an evening's play. We came to play it after dinner and ended up with a large (hour) download before we could get started.
People are attracted to Buzz because of its convincing TV style presentation. The computer generated (appropriately annoying) host, the spangley stage, even the bizarre contestants all create an experience that is surprisingly close to many ITV quiz shows. When the credits roll at the end of the game and the camera pans back, you really expect to hear the voice of the channel announcer say something like 'And next tonight on ITV'.
Each game takes around 30-45 minutes to play through with four people. It seemed surprising that the length of game and number of questions couldn't be adjusted (unless we missed something).This does however keep things to short snappy bursts, that can be punctuated by topping up the snacks and drinks.
Although younger family members may struggle with the questions, they are all read aloud by the announcer so most ages will have a shot at answering. Those too young will benefit from teaming up with an adult.
Intermediate and expert players alike will enjoy Buzz. There is a Mature setting (mature as in grown up) that includes categories and questions for older audiences, this can be useful to adjust the game to the audience.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: