When we saw Bandai Namco was releasing Survival Quiz City, we were surprised to see the publishing come out with a PC exclusive trivia-based game, but were intrigued by its premise. Time for a closer look.
Officially, it’s billed as a “multiplayer survival quiz battle royale game”, and that’s quite a mouthful. As soon as we saw the trailer, however, we thought “Fall Guys meets Trivial Pursuit“, and we couldn’t wait to play it. Developed by Phoenixx Inc, it does indeed tap into some of that magic, but has plenty of twists of its own as well.
As you’d expect from the “quiz” part, trivia plays a major part in setting Survival Quiz City apart from the titles it visually looks like (which is a mix of Fall Guys and Gang Beasts). Answering questions, which come from a wide variety of categories to make sure the playing field is somewhat level, is as easy as running towards the right answer pad, but the real twist comes after the group that’s playing is split into two teams based on how well they do.
Money/points are earned by being on the winning team, which gives you access to (better) weapons that you can use against the losing team – who are forced to make their way across an obstacle course while being fired on by the trivia winners. Sounds familiar? Well, here you get rewarded for hitting the losers in the face, which feels like a tangible reward in and of itself, even though the money you earn is ultimately meant to be spent on power-ups in the in-game stores. Do well (what this means is determined by the winning conditions you set) and you can crown yourself the Champion of Quiz City as the end of a few rounds.
As you can imagine, Survival Quiz City has all the chaos that we associate with Fall Guys, but it manages to feel different enough to stand on its own two legs thanks to the trivia aspects and win/lose-dynamics. You can get eliminated early though, and here that means having to stick around in spectator mode, which is a tad boring and doesn’t feel as immersive as the designers tried to make it by letting you drop coins here and there for the other players to pick up.
When we played with a bunch of people we know, this was fun, but when trying to play a quick online match it would be much better if you could just jump into a brand new game after getting knocked out. The problem there, however, is that the servers for the game don’t appear to be all that populated. At times where we hadn’t agreed to meet with a few friends, the lobbies felt too empty for a game of this scale, and the PC exclusivity combined with the recent release date for the game doesn’t bode well in this regard.
It’s a shame, because the concept is a lot of fun and those who enjoy dressing up their little avatar (cute chubby foam-like crocodiles running on two legs) there’s plenty to do as well. It’s especially sad because the developers have clearly invested a lot of time in building up the game’s background story as well, painting Quiz City as a real place with a real history through little story tidbits that you can see on loading screens.
Games like this depend on a vibrant online player base, which Survival Quiz City sadly doesn’t have at the moment despite a fresh new take on the genre. If you have at least four (but ideally eight or more) players to play with, then you can have a blast with this one. Just be aware that going in solo might lead to a disappointing play session.