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The 80's Game with Martha Quinn

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: MumboJumbo
Developer: Funkitron
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Trivia

Graphics & Sound:

The 80's Game with Martha Quinn is a stylistic trivia game based on - you guessed it - everybody's favorite decade, the 80's! And who better than 80's poster child, Martha Quinn, original MTV V-Jay to be at the helm. Martha is not only the emcee in The 80's Game, but she is also an integral part of it. As cute as ever, she'll quip after each question and subsequent answer, whether right or wrong, with such gems as "Bummer dude!" or "Don't have a cow, you'll get the next one." At times, they get a little redundant, but they never completely aggravate. Clips of 80's style music play with every question and new section/episode you come to and although I couldn't place the actual songs, they all sounded "right." Sometimes, during the initial loading screen, I experience some stutters in the sound, but this quickly goes away and never occurs again during the game.

As far as graphics go, since this was a casual game, I didn't come in with ridiculously high expectations. My hope, however, was that Funkitron would take the Jellyvision (You Don't Know Jack!) approach and have fun, cool graphics and a slick interface. Although The 80's Game is not nearly as snarky as YDKJ, design-wise, I was quite pleased. Everything is bright and colorful and has a very 80's look to it, while still remaining sleek in appearance. It almost has a Windows XP look, if that makes any sense. A static image of Martha pops in from the side from time to time, but it's cute and not at all intrusive. There is 80's symbolism all over the place, as well.


The 80's Game with Martha Quinn is a trivia game and nothing more, but it excels at what it sets out to do. You must first create a character by selecting your name and picture. You can choose from existing pictures of Madonna, Molly Ringwald, Cyndi Lauper, Don Johnson and other 80's icons or use the Custom option and import your own picture. You begin with the rank of "Airhead," but increase in rank as you rack up points. Your mode choices are Free Play, Challenges, Episodes or Versus. Free Play is just what it sounds like. You are presented with the categories to choose from for each of the questions. Easy, Medium and Hard are how they are ranked, but they could be anything from the Episodes selections, like 80's Food, Rain Man, Baseball, etc. The points you'll receive go like this - in question 1, Easy nets you 100, Medium 500 and Hard 1000. Question two doubles the points for each and so on. Your goal is to get a high score. When you answer a question, either correctly or incorrectly, Martha makes a comment like "Nailed it!" or the oh-so-nice "I didn't know that one either." You'll be presented with the question, then given 4 answer choices. If you correctly answer the question, you are asked what year it happened in and given 2 year choices. Get it right and snag a bunch of extra points and watch your ranking go from "Airhead" on up to "Dude" and beyond.

In the Challenges mode, your goal is to collect all the stars in each category: Music, Movies, TV, Sports and Wild Card. You get 1 star for 50,000, 100,000, 150,000, 250,000 and 500,000 points. As you level up, the number of questions increases. In Versus mode, it's you against another player, sharing the keyboard. First, you are presented with 3 categories from which to choose your question, ranked Easy, Medium and Hard, with corresponding point allocations. Then comes your questions, once you've chosen a category. Select your answer from 3 choices, just as with the other modes. Then it's your friend's turn.

The meat of The 80's Game with Martha Quinn is the Episodes mode. Here, you'll choose your character and jump right in. There are 16 collections of questions with 5 categories in each for a grand total of 80 (of course!) episodes with over 3000 questions total. The number of questions varies in each episode, but I don't recall ever seeing a category with less than 7 questions, so there's plenty of trivia here for the 80's fan. The episodes must be done in order, such that as you complete one, the next is available for play. The questions are presented the same way they are in the previously mentioned modes. You can, however, select "I Know It" for a much larger point value or "I'll Guess" for a much lower amount. If you choose "I Guess," you have 3 chances to get the right answer. But with "I Know It," if you select the wrong answer, you get zero points. So it's a gamble. From time to time, they will throw in either a timed question, where you get to choose whether you think you can answer it in 2, 5 or 10 seconds. The quicker you do it, the more points you rack up. There are also wager questions, where you can bet a quarter, half, or all of your earnings so far. If you get these right, your score really increases!

You can also earn gear, up to 12 awards in all. These are awarded for either hitting a certain point total or answering a certain number of questions in a particular category, things like that. The gear could be a skateboard badge or a boom box badge, stuff that's totally 80's. Think Achievements for Xbox 360, but just on the PC.


There's no Easy, Medium, or Hard difficulty selection. Depending on the mode you select, there are Easy, Medium and Hard questions and they fall into certain categories, so you'll usually have a choice. In the Episodes mode, to ease up the difficulty, you can do the "I'll Guess" option to make things easier. Otherwise, the difficulty level is nice and healthy throughout the game. Sure, there are some killer questions given, but they always have the Hard symbol next to them, so it won't come as a surprise. To gain the maximum number of points in the game and unlock some of the really serious awards, you'll have to go for broke and play through answering all of the hardest questions. But if you're an 80's freak, you'll probably do just fine.

Game Mechanics:

Control in The 80's game with Martha Quinn is very simple - it's completely mouse-driven. Basically, you'll be clicking on categories and answers. The interface is very clean and easy to read, so you'll never feel like you don't know what to do next. While this isn't the type of game where you are driven by the storyline to know what happens next, there's a certain satisfaction in working your way through the various episodes and seeing all that the game has to offer. As far as reply value goes, I'm not sure how much is there. I had to stop playing at one point after I had completed 4 out of 5 episodes within a collection, and when I returned to the game, I had to restart that collection over. Discouraging, as I assumed my progress would be saved. However, the questions were the same ones that I had answered before. So it is my assumption that the questions are what they are and if you restart the game, you'll get the same group of questions. Now, it may take you a while to beat the game and work through all of the episodes and perhaps by then, you will have forgotten the questions, but just be forewarned that as far as the single player experience goes, this is a one-play-through game, pretty much. That being said, for about $25, you get a whole lot of game here. Literally thousands of trivia questions. For the 80's fan out there, this is a no brainer. If you've got an 80's lover in the family, this is a totally rad gift, dude.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows Vista/XP/2000/ME/98SE, Pentium III 1 Ghz Processor, 256 MB of Ram, DirectX 7.0 or higher, DirectX 7.0 compatible video card, DirectSound compatible sound card, 20 MB free hard drive space

Test System:

Intel P4, 3Ghz, 504 MB Ram

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated