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// review by Beverley

Put your 1992 thinking cap on!

If there is one arcade cabinet I would have in my house, it would probably be Capcom's "Quiz & Dragons". Of course, if you didn't realize this was a Capcom game after playing it, you might be a bit dense because the whole game takes place in the land of Capconia. Basically, this game blends elements of a quiz game and elements of an RPG to make a cheesy fun time. The only way you can defeat your enemies is by selecting the proper answer out of four to multiple choice trivia questions.

You and your friend have the choice of playing as the wizard, the fighter, the ninja, or the amazon. Not only is the amazon the only female character sporting thighs straight out of an 80s workout video, she can also occasionally illuminate one or two incorrect answers from the four available. The wizard is a cool old man who can sometimes help you choose the topic of your question. For example, if you are a science buff, you will want the wizard so you can choose science questions more often. The fighter I find to be pretty generic, but he can recover health points faster than the other characters. The ninja is able to deal more damage per correct answer, so you can slay faster! Occasionally, any of your characters might get a lucky hit and deal more damage, and that can come in handy during some desperate moments. If you picked one you don't like, don't worry: your character will die after you get about three questions wrong.

Once you've picked your characters, you must wander throughout Capconia through forests, swamps, and castles to save the seed of knowledge from the evil Gordian. All these areas are presented as a game board; as the virtual die is cast, each space you land on is an enemy you must defeat in a stand-off of trivial proportions! Many of the questions are very obscure, so don't be surprised if you end up choosing a random answer. Hey, we can't all know the name of the Monkees' maid! In each board, you will meet at least one dragon with whom you will do battle. They always try to psych you out and deter you from taking on Gordian, but you can take them down! In fact, the innkeeper and elf will even help you out. If you land on an 'Inn' or 'Elf' spot, you can either speak to the innkeeper, who will refresh your health, or the elf, who will give you a cheating item. Of course, you have to answer a question to prove yourself worthy of their gift first.

If you don't know the answer... well, you're probably from the future.

The graphics in this game are fairly simple. Even the opening scenes are very primitive. Most of the time you will see still images, with simple animation being reserved mainly for the game board. However, the graphics aren't ugly; much like the control system and gameplay, they are simple but perform exactly the function they intended. The emphasis is on enjoying the actual game, rather than being caught up in bells and whistles.

One place where they certainly didn't skimp on bell and whistles, however, is the audio. My favourite thing by far about this game is the corny sound effects. the music, along with sounds of dice rolling, walking, the roars of your enemies, the grunts of attack, and the shrieks of your kinsmen, can't help but illicit laughter. It is especially hilarious that the beautiful elf who helps your company by giving you cheats has the same voice track -- a husky masculine voice not dissimilar from Wilfred Brimley -- as the monsters and innkeeper. Every time I play I just love hearing the beautiful elf with a husky man voice saying "Question One..."

Quiz & Dragons is definitely perfect for some laidback fun with a friend. It's a game that has a relaxed pace, is easy to play, and doesn't take itself too seriously. The questions are challenging, but the gameplay is still very casual. Just like a board game, this is a nice way to have some relaxing fun while bonding with someone special.

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