Fun With Trivia: Passing Around Buzz! Master Quiz

Remember being a kid and playing those talking electronic trivia games that you were supposed to pass back and forth among your friends? Sony and Relentless Software's Buzz! Master Quiz put me in mind of those sort of games, only this time, hosted by a big-headed Muppet of a blond guy and featuring several different types of trivia games.

The neat part about this is the different types of game modes there are. You can play just by your lonesome with your PSP, you can use game sharing among your friends, or use the "Pass Around" mode, in which up to six of you can play the same game by passing around one PSP. It was the latter mode I checked out with the Sony reps, and I was surprised at how neat turning one PSP into a pass-around trivia game can be.

Buzz! Master Quiz features innumerable modes, guessing and trivia games, but in my demo, we tried a picture-guessing game. One person holds the PSP and selects a picture, and then picks only one section of it to show the other player. Once that's done, the PSP is passed to the other player, who must answer a quiz question about the picture after seeing only the one section.

I got mine wrong, and, of course, failed to stump the Sony rep when it was my turn.

The interface is fairly slick, and all you really need to do is push the buttons on the PSP that correspond to the answer you want to pick. Pass-Around players can plug in their names and choose a funny character to represent them — helps, of course, to keep track of who is who. In another one of the multiplayer games, the person holding the PSP is presented with a trivia question and is asked to predict which player will get it right and who will get it wrong.

I was also told about a "virus challenge" mode where taking time to answer questions saps player's scores, so as you pass the PSP around, ultimately the player who answered his or her trivia the quickest will have the most points.

It seems like it'd be a lot of fun for pairs or groups of friends — another plus is the reps and I were able to pass and play while still carrying on a conversation, so it's a way to entertain everyone without necessarily requiring all their attention. I'm the sort to eyeroll a bit at trivia games, but I could see myself playing the hero and pulling out my PSP with this game next time I'm in a restaurant or on a long subway trip with pals and an awkward silence descends.