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Eggheads

For: Mobile

Smashed egg shells everywhere, but where's the omelette?

Product: Eggheads | Developer: Capcom | Publisher: Capcom | Format: Mobile | Genre: Casual, Film/ TV tie- in, Quiz | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 456KB | Reviewed on: K800i other handsets | Version: Europe
 
Eggheads Mobile, thumbnail 1
Eggheads the TV show is very much the Captain Planet of the quiz world. Not because of a driving concern for the environment and an unfeasibly erect green hairdo, but because each of the members of the Eggheads team is a master of his preferred subject, just as each member of the Captain Planet team can control one of the elements (apart from the poor chap who got saddled with 'heart', of course).

This game takes the format of the TV show and compresses its essence down into a casual quiz title, to the point where whole games only take a few minutes.

There are two main round types involved. The first concerns each of the members of your team, and determines whether that character makes it through to the final round. You play each of these initial rounds against one of the Eggheads, so either you make it through or they do.

Once the whole team has been tested, the final round sees the surviving members of both teams go head-to-head as they confer for a further three questions, once again seen off by a tie-breaker if intellectual horns remain locked.

You can even play as the Eggheads, but in reality there's not a great deal of difference between the two. When playing as the contestants, you get to pick which member of the team to take into each round, whereas with the Eggheads the computer chooses for you.

However, an Egghead's advice is generally a lot more reliable than that of one of the bog standard team mates. The Eggheads mode also gets more difficult as you replay.

The questions themselves are excellent, meanwhile, spanning a variety of subjects and sufficiently numerous that you don't keep running into the same ones over and over.

Selecting team mates forms quite an important part of the game, but it's also Eggheads's undoing. Before each initial round - when playing as the contestants - you choose one of the your remaining team mates.

Each one has a pair of specialties based around the standard quiz subjects of Geography, Politics and so on. You're prompted as to the theme of the round before this point, so you can compensate for your own lack of knowledge using that of the team mates.

However, there's an overriding sense that this is overkill for a game this casual. Granted, it may be a core part of the TV show, but it starts to feel more like a quiz management game than an actual quiz game as you spend a good portion of your time navigating character menus.

You don't actually have to pick the answers the chosen team mate suggests, but ignoring this makes the team selection part of the game seem even more redundant and, as such, a waste of time.

Whether or not you take their suggestions to heart, the final round is an unfailing anticlimax, relying as it does on a interpersonal team dynamic that simply doesn't translate to mobile in this case. Plus, if you're going to ignore your team mates, the final round is just like any other.

To speak in favour of the characters though, they don't half look good. You pick a themed team, from the dyed quiff pop stars, to the stethoscope-swinging medics and traditionally lager-toting pub team.

The likenesses of the Eggheads themselves are excellent too, the lightly cartoony style adding a touch of caricature to a real understanding of what makes each of the Eggheads look like themselves.

Although Eggheads represents the TV show reasonably accurately, and with no small amount of style on the visual front, its structures haven't been translated very well. There's too much dull strategic picking of characters, whose advice you can't really rely on anyway, especially considering the short length of the games.

TV shows are often difficult to translate into mobile games, but even the trickiest of formats can be done well. It just takes a good deal of attention to design. Just look at the difference between our reviews for the first and second editions of Deal or No Deal and Are You Smarter… for a pair of examples. Sadly, Eggheads has some way to go to be crowned a quiz king.
 
Eggheads
Reviewer photo
Simon Briggs | 9 December 2008
Although it looks good, Eggheads stumbles over balancing the more troublesome elements of the show. One for fans of the show, but for the rest there are better games out there
 
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