Beat The Geek

Interactive Quiz - by Andrew Ellard

21 April, 2006

So - the Red Dwarf Interactive Quiz DVD. Snappy title, don't you think?

Neither did we. But we'll come back to that. Welcome to GNP's recent thought process...

A quiz DVD is, by nature, a very different beast from the Series I-VIII discs. Our first step into something new. So we started with research. What's available, what's popular, what works? No way do we let this be some cheap Christmas novelty - the Dwarf quiz had to stand on its own as worthwhile of your time and money - so what has repeat play value?

Beat The Geek

A lot of quiz playing later - proving once and for all that Helen Norman knows everything, whereas I have the IQ of an unambitious amoeba - and we thought we had it. Then Doug Naylor came in and proved that we were on the right road, but he had the map and compass.

The result was Red Dwarf: Beat the Geek.

For the record, we love the term 'geek'. We're not going for the derogatory use, here. Geek is chic these days. The current top-rated TV franchise on the globe is CSI, a cop series not about car chases and shootouts, but about painstaking examination of microscopic evidence. Doesn't matter how cool they look, how slick the soundtrack - these, my friends, are the geeks of the cop world.

Those of us who are given the name should be proud to wear it. Everybody these days is a geek. Just among Red Dwarf's main cast we have a car collector, two music fanatics, a comedy aficionado and a bloke obsessed with the future of technology. Beautiful, wonderful geeks all.

Beat The Geek

The biggest problem with any quiz, we realised, was subject matter. Weakest Link and Millionaire have crossover appeal because the questions cover every general knowledge topic. But as soon as your quiz is about a single subject - football, say, or music - the number of people who will happily sit and play with you diminishes.

And Red Dwarf ain't exactly football.

I've never bought the James Bond DVD board game for this exact reason. It's not that I don't want it - I do - but when none of your mates are into the same franchise as you...well, you start to wonder if you'll ever take the thing out of its box.

What was needed was a game that rewarded the hardcore fan for his encyclopaedic knowledge, rewarded the regular viewer with an entertaining experience... and still left room for Auntie Jane, who's never really seen the show but thinks that floating head bloke is funny.

Beat the Geek, then, will allow you to play as one of three types of contestant: Viewer, Geek, or General Knowledge.

Sure, with a one-player game, chances are the player is a Red Dwarf fan. Or, at least, a viewer. But when it comes to multi-player - either one-on-one, or playing in teams - the chances are at least one person in the room will be less than au fait with just how many irradiated haggis there are in the ship's inventory.

Beat The Geek

Hence the new, competitive edge. Players can choose to be any of the three types. It's more inclusive, and it allows the game to adjust to suit whoever's involved. Will the players be able to beat the geek? Or will all that time with the Series I-VIII DVDs have paid off?

So - that's the name. But there are a few more elements that we think will really have you dancing for joy.

What are they? Ah, well, you'll have to wait for the next update. Don't worry, you'll cope.

More DVD Details will follow soon...

Red Dwarf: Beat the Geek will be released on DVD in the Autumn/Winter of 2006.

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