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Askutron Quiz Show released into Early access, some quick thoughts

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If you’ve ever wanted to appear on a quiz show or relive past pub quiz glories, Askutron Quiz Show [Official Site] gives you the opportunity to test your knowledge. You can play this title alone or with a group of friends.

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Note: Key provided by developer

I have to admit I’ve always had a fascination with trivia. Knowing random things about as many subjects as possible has always been appealing to me, part of the reason why I jumped at every opportunity to participate in contests back in school. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now but I think it’s great fun to test assorted knowledge against other people. So, unsurprisingly, my interest was piqued by this game.

The premise is remarkably simple: compete in different categories through various rounds in and attempt to get the various trivia questions correct. Askutron Quiz Show plays up the, well, quiz show aspect by having a robotic host with a synthesized voice (apparently powered by the same voice tech behind Amazon’s Alexa). Players vote for which category they’d like before each round and the questions are then randomly selected. There’s a few variations on the question-asking format with rounds where response time matters and the like, but it’s fundamentally a straightforward trivia-asking experience.

You can play by yourself against a bot (one that apparently chooses answers based on aggregate choices by the community), online against other people or offline local multiplayer. Up to 8 players are supported if you have the gamepads (or mobile phones), though I didn’t have the chance to test with more than three gamepads and my keyboard simultaneously. Games can be as long or as short as you want them and you can configure the types of rounds and length before you begin.

The categories in-game are varied enough and I haven’t really seen repeated questions yet after playing for a little under two hours. The game is in Early Access so I expect things to get tweaked and added over time. At any rate, the game features both a built-in question editor and steam workshop integration which allows for potentially infinite more trivia goodness. The developers, Goldsaucer Ltd., get extra kudos as far as I’m concerned for making the question editor work on Linux. Too often devs don’t bother to target all platforms.

There are a couple caveats to keep in mind, however. I found the final round in every game to be supremely underwhelming as it ranks players according to their scores, creating podiums where positions are marked by 100-point differences. This means that the final round is really the only one that matters, especially with a low player count, as a single bonus trophy is often the difference between the winner and the rest.

Another thing to watch out for is that, as of time of publishing, I haven’t really been able to play an online session as I haven’t found other people online the times I’ve tried. The developers warn that crossplatform play is still experimental but it may also be that not enough of a playerbase has formed around the game yet.

Other than that, the game still has a long way to go. According to the developer’s own FAQ on Steam, new game modes, mechanics visuals and characters have yet to be added. The game also is due to support more languages for questions (besides the current English and German) further down the line. I look forward to seeing how the game shapes up and hope that it’ll continue to improve as it’s a good way to channel my trivia addiction.

You can grab Askutron Quiz Show on Steam.

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