Football Genius is exactly what it says on the (virtual) box. It's a soccer trivia game (football is football, soccer is soccer, okay?). From this point it should be obvious that Football Genius is a niche title designed to appeal to hardcore soccer fans, andâ€¦ well that's all there is to it really. If you have a particular desire to test out your soccer knowledge then this is as good a place as any to do it. If you don't fit that description then move along without hesitation. Go on, shoo. But for the benefit of our soccer-loving friends, let's have a closer look at exactly what you're getting here.
The presentation and music are serviceable but bland. This is a fairly bare bones title that seeks to do nothing else aside from throw the questions at you and tell you if they're right or not. You do get to choose your buzzer sound, which is nice. You can use your Xbox Live Avatar throughout the game and it will perform some actions of joy or disappointment depending on how you're going. You can have up to four players online or offline competing against one another, so if you have a bunch of soccer-loving mates keen to prove that they have a superior knowledge of who scored which goal in the World Cup final of 1986, then you're all set. We were unable to find a single online match, which goes some way to showing exactly how niche a title this is. If you happen to have the Buzz! buzzer controllers then you can use them, which is nice for those that do. The game focuses mainly on international and European football, so those hoping for some questions on the A-League will be disappointed.
The format of the questions themselves vary. You've got your straight up multiple choice, but you've also got a few image based tests. The scoring approach is consistent however: points on for a right answer, points off for a wrong one. The most visually engaging of these has photos of the heads of coaches and players in the panels of a soccer ball. A name is flashed up on the screen and you have to indicate when the ball has rotated onto the picture of the matching player. You've also got the image question where it starts out distorted and gradually becomes more clear, with the aim of answering as soon as possible in order to get more points. There are some rapid fire questions where you have to guess what attribute applies to one of two teams. There are also 'Who am I?' type questions. Overall it's a decent variety of types, and with some 3500-odd questions you won't be hitting repeats too often.
You have the choice of doing a half or full-sized run through of the quiz, the full-length variety taking ten to fifteen minutes, and this is about the extent of customisation the game offers. Football Genius: The Ultimate Quiz is a very long way from ultimate, but it competently attains its goal. It's a soccer trivia game, no more and no less. It's aimed at hardcore soccer fans, but we're pretty sure hardcore soccer fans would rather be playing the likes of FIFA.