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For a simple question and answer game
Powerplay is superb, but it goes far beyond that, often becoming fast and fraught with action. It's the extra features, such as the mutation and the challenges that make it sheer excellence. The graphics are well defined, especially the representation of the mythological beasties who just add that extra dimension to the game. This is the best Trivia game on the market at the moment, and it sets a high standard which others will have a hard job to beat.

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I hate Trivia games -- they bore me senseless.
Powerplay, on the other hand, is highly enjoyable to play and I didn't find it dull in the slightest. This may well be a Trivia game, but it's far more interesting to play than Trivial Pursuit. The graphics are very nice, and the jingles and spot FX work well. Powerplay is a neat multiplayer game which is worthy of any Trivia players' attention.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Powerplay - The Game of the Gods
1986 Arcana Software Design
Programmed by ?
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: September 11th, 1986).
 

POWERPLAY
Arcana, 9.95 cass, 14.95 disk, joystick or keys


Powerplay is a two, three or four player arcade trivia type game. It is set upon the heights of Mount Olympus, way back in Roman times, and puts you in the position of one of the ancient Gods or Goddesses who live there.

The Gods persistently argue over which of them is the wisest and most powerful, so Zeus, sick of their bickering, decides to set up a competition to settle their arguments once and for all. After a great deal of thought, Zeus devised Powerplay, which is played on the checkerboard courtyard in the gardens of the Temple of Apollo.

Each player has direct control over four warriors. When the contest begins, both players' warriors appear at opposite corners of the board. The first player is asked to select a warrior, done by moving the joystick to cycle through the pieces and then pressing fire button to make the choice.

Once an action has been taken, a question appears at the bottom of the screen, the subject depending upon which coloured square the warrior is standing on. Below the question, four answers are printed on the four points of a compass. Once you've decided which answer is the correct one, you move the joystick in the relevant direction to pick the answer -- don't be too slow because a time limit constantly ticks down. If the chosen answer is wrong, your turn has ended: if it's correct you're allowed to move your warrior onto any of the eight adjacent squares.

Four of the squares on the board act as transporters and if jumped onto, the warrior is randomly transported to another transporter elsewhere on the board. Answering enough questions correctly builds up your warrior's 'wisdom rating', and if enough points are added to the total, it is given the opportunity to mutate and become a more powerful individual.

When one player tries to move his warrior into a square already occupied by an opponent's piece, a challenge takes place. Both players have to press their fire buttons to show that they are ready, then a question and four answers are printed up in the usual fashion. However, this time both players have to race to guess the answer correctly. The first player to choose the correct answer is judged to have won the bout, but if a player chooses the wrong answer then the opponent wins, or if the time limit runs out and neither player has answered then the challenger loses out. The loser has a chunk of points knocked off his wisdom total and is mutated down a grade. If the player is already on the lowest grade, his piece spins out of existence and 'dies', playing no further part in the game The first player to remove his/her opponent's warriors wins the contest and is considered 'the wisest of the Gods'.

 


COMPILING YOUR OWN QUESTIONS

A nice feature of Powerplay is that it gives the user the ability to create his or her own questions files which can be loaded into the game at a later date. The files have storage space for about 200 questions which can be about anything the user wants -- computer games, pop music and so on. If a question can be asked about a subject then it can be included into the file.

Each file must have four separate subjects (to correspond with the four colours on the playing area) and each subject has four levels of question (for each level of piece). The system is incredibly easy to use and gives you the chance to put some really difficult questions to wreck your friends' chances of winning the game.
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This is what a computer trivia game should be -- fast, uncluttered, action packed and with a clear objective. Its only stumbling point is that it has no single player option, but the way the game is played means that a single player option would be totally impossible anyway. Powerplay is brilliantly simple throughout so that even computer novices can play with ease -- perhaps you'll even be able to get your Mum and Dad to challenge you! The graphics are really good, with nice screen layout and great sprites. If you fancy taking your family or friends on in a battle of wits and reflexes then rush out and get this -- it's brilliant!
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Presentation 96%

Pleasant title screen and all the options you ever needed -- including a question compiler -- but unfortunately there's no restart facility.

Graphics 82%
Attractive playing area and characters.

Sound 68%
Variety of tunes and jingles
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Hookability 96%
Instantly playable and addictive.

Lastability 95%
With the multiplayer option and question compiler you can play for months.

Value For Money 94%
Although there is no one player option this is still an essential purchase for Trivia fanatics.

Overall 95%
Original, novel, and immensely playable.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (28 Feb 2010)

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