Publisher: Oxygen Interactive
Developer: Oxygen Interactive
Release Date: October 26, 2007 (Europe)
As a games journalist, you wind up asking a lot of questions, albeit mostly internally. "Is this good?" is naturally the most common, while "Why on earth was this made?" is fortunately less of a concern. Usually. Cheggers' Party Quiz answered the first question rather quickly, but has left lingering doubts over the second.
For the benefit of Americans and sundry others who've never heard of him, Keith Chegwin — the titular "Cheggers" — is a TV presenter largely known to Britons of a certain age. He's not exactly a household name, and despite being reasonably well-known, this raises that nagging question for the first time: Why did someone think it was a good idea to release a Buzz-style quiz show with him as the presenter? We can only assume the answer is to appeal to the casual gamer market that recognizes the name.
So, what do you get for your money? Well, you get a frankly terrifying rendered Cheggers who looks to be made out of sweaty shiny plastic, and some questions. Cheggers also does the voiceovers and presenting and whatnot.
It's really a difficult task to get enthusiastic about the game, and Cheggers' Party Quiz has little intention of helping you along. The presentation seems largely to have been cut to the bare minimum, with backdrops largely comprised of rather dull looping animations and no music whatsoever, save for the main menu. Questions aren't read aloud but are simple text, with interjections from the host based on right and wrong answers. Even these sound bites seem to be extremely limited in number, with repetition noticeable after the first few rounds.
The star of the show really is Plastikeith. Despite only showing up in about seven cut scenes, all of which repeat, his eerie gaze pierces into your soul as his non-sequiturs gradually become more and more disconcerting. By the time he tells you that he's not wearing any pants, you're about ready for the men in white coats. No, really; you are informed in a hush-hush manner that your rubber host is without undergarments. Horrifying.
The actual text of the questions is, sadly, completely without panache. Most are very UK-centric ("Which British band had a Top 40 hit with Random Song in the year Random?") and vaguely uninteresting; they're rarely clever or involving and don't really go outside that setup. In terms of topics, it's all about the media, whether film, music or celebrity, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but again, it totally lacks the essential spark. You might be shown a picture of Morgan Freeman and asked which one of four films he was in, or asked where Kate Winslet was born. This seems like the perfect opportunity for movie clips or sound bites to help things along, but everything remains quiet, save for the incessant ticking of the clock and the sounds of the buzzers. Dull.
The rounds themselves have the potential to save everything through being clever, but disappointment reigns supreme. Most are simple things that have been seen before, like hidden celebrity names gradually being revealed in order to help you along with the question — usually another "Which band was this singer a part of," or "Which movie ... " sort of deal. The one round that shows an inkling of sparkle is Channel Hopping, which dictates that after the players have given their answers, said answers are revealed, and everyone then has a second or two to decide if they want to swap over to another choice before the correct response is revealed. With a lot of players, it allows for a modicum of backstabbing (deliberately picking the wrong answer, for instance) and a wee bit more interest, but even so, the idea seems wasted in this product.
Options are a bit sparse, though you can at least choose whether you want a short, medium or long game. This largely seems to affect the length of the rounds themselves, as our games always seemed to include the same rounds.
What else is there to say, really? Cheggers' Party Quiz feels very much like a cheap cash-in, and it reeks of abject cynicism. It has base presentation and almost no charm whatsoever in any other aspect of the game. The sole good thing about it is Cheggers' voice, and really, his presenting is the only thing that raises it anywhere near Buzz!. Even then, that's unlikely to appeal to those who aren't fans of his (although if you're one of them, I have to wonder why you're reading this). It's extremely focused on the UK, so it's not really aimed at all at anyone outside of the country, unless for some reason you want to learn a bit about the UK's entertainment history — in which case, you'll have to import it regardless. The only reasons the score is as high as it is are that it's pretty much bug-free and, if you're buying it, you already know whether you'll love or loathe the presenter.
Don't bother with this, at all. There are much, much better quiz games out there that will last you a lot longer.