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Buzz! Quiz World review: Buzz! Quiz World

Adding a greater degree of customisation, a bit more visual pizazz and more varied topics mightn't seem like much, but they take the Buzz experience to a new level.

Derek Fung
Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.
Derek Fung
5 min read

Shiny and new

Jason Donovan — the voice of the eponymous Brylcreemed host Buzz — is back for another installment of the PlayStation's trivia game series. In the latest PS3 version — a PSP version is due later in 2009 — Buzz has been given an extra splodge of make up, a new larger, spiffier set, and updated shinier, glitzier graphics. Despite the lengthy start up time, the wait is well worth it as this is easily the most satisfying Buzz in many a moon.


Buzz! Quiz World

The Good

Gameplay options have exploded. Topics more varied and interesting. More glitz, more glam. Buzz addresses you by name.

The Bad

...but your name probably isn't there. Where have all the randoms gone?.

The Bottom Line

Adding a greater degree customisation, a bit more visual pizazz and more varied topics mightn't seem like much, but they take the Buzz experience to a new level.

A set to make Eddie jealous.
(Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment)

For the first time Buzz addresses contestants directly by name but, although there's a method to the available names, many are bound to be disappointed. Dereks, Alberts and Sharons will either have to find nearby approximations or make do with nicknames, like Hotty, Macka or Shiela. Non-Anglo-Saxons are catered for, with the likes of Ibrahim, Hyun Woo and Hriday part of Buzz's lexicon, and those named Anzac and Prawn may be happy for the first time in their lives.

The first time a contestant plays Quiz World they'll have to create a profile, specifying their name, character, costume and gender. This, along with the option at the end of a game to have a rematch, makes setting up subsequent games quicker, easier affairs. With the introduction of player profiles, the game now keeps a running tally of stats for each participant, leading Buzz to humiliate or praise you on, say, the occasion of your 20th incorrect answer or first win. A number of player characters, like the British rocker, Elvis and cat-suit woman, have been retired and replaced.


As before, players compete against each other through a variety of themed rounds, with answers being selected via one of four colour-coded buttons on a proprietary Buzz buzzer. Unlike previous games in the franchise, Quiz World is only available as a standalone game; a set of four wireless buzzers will set you back AU$79.90, although previous game and buzzer packs are still available in stores and may prove to be better value. Quiz World works with both unwired and the older wired buzzers, and if you've got two sets of buzzers available the game will support up to eight players.

Play with up to eight of your nearest and dearest.
(Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment)

Despite the inclusion of a beefed up single player and online modes, the best way to enjoy Buzz is still with a room full of people all primed for merrymaking, brain testing and the execution of the odd vendetta or two. Sony's press bluster boasts, again, of about 5000 questions and, although we weren't able to ascertain the veracity of this claim, it was only after several intense nights of buzzing that we began to see repeat questions.

For most game types either a newbie or the person in last place selects the topic for the upcoming round. With Quiz World topics range from the run-of-the-mill, like 70s music, sitcoms, international football and movie quotes, to the rather more esoteric, such as David Beckham, Going for Gold (gold medals, gold albums and, of course, gold trivia) and A Quiz to Make Your Brain Hurt (brain teasers at 20 paces everyone). Regardless of the chosen topic, it will more than likely be full-to-overflowing with Aussie questions.


Unlike Quiz TV and Brain of Oz before it, Quiz World is brimming with gameplay options. Game types include standard, round select (where last place or a newbie selects the type of round to play), crazy rounds, serious rounds, 15-minute, 45-minute, quiz pack (consisting purely of question sets downloaded from the PlayStation Network) and custom (select rounds to suit). About the only thing missing is the ability to choose a difficulty level.

In all there are 11 round types available and most will be familiar to Buzz aficionados. Back for another spin of the wheel are Point Builder (answer questions in your own sweet time), Fastest Finger and Stop the Clock (the quicker you buzz, the more points you stand to earn), Pie Fight (answer quickest, eliminate an opponent or yourself), Point Stealer (be fastest to knick precious points off others), Pass the Bomb (answer correctly to dispose of the point shattering parcel) and the Final Countdown. About the only carry-over round that needs a bit of tweaking is High Stakes (wager points based on a question topic), which after a little while degenerates into everyone betting the maximum of 500 points.

How highly do your friends rate you, James?
(Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment)

Three new rounds enter the fray with Quiz World. In Boiling Point contestants race to be the first to answer six questions correctly — buzzing speed isn't important unless there's more than one person on five correct. With Over the Edge, players vie to be the first to respond to a question — an incorrect answer will push that player one step closer to being propelled into a pot of slime, while a correct answer will move all the other players closer instead. Our favourite new round, however, is On the Spot, where players are asked how likely it is that a certain contestant will answer a particular question correctly — the less likely a person is judged, the more points they stand to gain or lose and vice versa.

Lonely hearts have a choice of two single player modes — a Stop the Clock round comprising of 30 questions and an Over the Edge round — both of which have an internet leaderboard. Much more satisfying, however, is the online mode that allows for up to eight players to compete over five rounds — up to four players can connect via one PS3. When we began reviewing Quiz World we had no problem finding randoms to play with, however the stream has dried up of late and our online forays are now limited to real-life friends.


Adding a greater degree customisation, a bit more visual pizazz and more varied topics mightn't seem like much, but they take the Buzz experience to a new level.