Monday, 31 March 2014

A Book Quiz For Your Quiz Book

An eagle-eyed reader has brought yet another quiz to my attention: A Quiz Night for the Friends of the Coquitlum Public Library! It all goes down on Friday, April 11th at 7:30PM. Teams of up to 7 people, with a $25.00 entrance fee, all going to a good cause, by the sounds of it. Located at the Coquitlam Public Library, City Centre branch at 1169 Pinetree Way. Do you live in the suburbs and bemoan your relatively lack of pub quizzes? Here's a great chance to knock minds to raise money for the community, and on a Friday night, no less!

Unfortunately for me, I've got a previous engagement at the North Shore Writer's Festival, so if anyone can attend and let me know how this was, I'd love to hear it.

Also, I've disabled comments on the Master List & Calendar. Not for any reason as dramatic as you might think, but rather I don't find them aesthetically pleasing now that we've had more than 2. Comments will work the same on all other posts, of course. If you want to contact us, send an email to, and we'll get back as soon as we can.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

There Is No Easy Mode @ EXP Restaurant + Bar

Where: EXP Restaurant + Bar, 309 W Pender Street

When: 7pm, one Wednesday a Month. I'm not entirely certain which Wednesday, but it usually appears to be the third or fourth. It usually is a full house, so getting here before 7 is a wise choice. 

Web Presence: West Coast Geeks Vs Nerds, the shadowy Wizard-figures behind this quiz, create Facebook events for each week's quiz

Team Info: 5 per team.

Format: There are two 20 question rounds - "Normal Mode" and "Hard Mode". You thought it was just a cute name? Each round is scored separately, with attendant prizes. The scoring operates on a unique combo system - a correct answer is worth 100 points. If you answer the next question correct, that is worth 200 points. The next question, if answered correctly, would then be worth 300 points for your team. It maxes out there, with 4th, 5th and so on being worth 300 points1. There are bonus questions worth 50 points attached to some questions, and a Bonus Round at the end of each mode, which can be worth up to 600 points.

Prizes: They are legion, and awarded to the top 3 teams in each mode. They range from swag, to videogames, to XP (loyalty points at the restaurant). I'd tell you more, but I've never won one here.

Food and drink: Most of EXP's notoriety comes from the fact it is themed around videogames, not from its food. It is fairly average bar food, but with delightful themed names. The beers are standard downtown beer prices, with specials on such rare and exotic libations such as "Corona." While $3.75 is not a bad price for a bottle, it wasn't quite enough to entice me, and I stuck with a 6 dollar IPA. There is also an extensive mixed drink list, mostly neon concoctions with cute names

Two common gripes I have with pub quizzes in general are that the questions aren't difficult enough2 and they rarely ask questions about video games. Aggravatingly enough, There Is No Easy Mode at EXP Restaurant + Bar solved both these problems at the same time. Hosted by an affable gentleman whose name I did not catch, There Is No Easy Mode is a slick presentation, making good use of the impressive multimedia system at EXP, all the while being the harbinger of doom as far as my video game knowledge ego is concerned.

The questions are great - very few gimmes, and almost no "soft" questions. Rounds are themed ("Zero to Hero", for example), and the questions pull from nearly the entire spectrum of electronic gaming - from Apple II and Jaguar to mobile games and the XBox One, they're all here. Also, they don't fool around. Normal Mode is some questions that a casual gamer may know a few, but Hard Mode is as advertised. You don't know the name of the Frog from Super Mario RPG? Or the theme song to Altered Beast? Well, you may not be extending your combos for very long. The competition is sharp. If you finish in the top 3, you deserve it, as there are some Omega-level teams out there - which I suppose you can expect from a quiz with such a relatively narrow scope.

Any complaints? They don't tend to ask much about sports games, which are totally also games too, right? And maybe they could add a third round, just because we're all having so much fun with the first two. But in general, I think they handle their content with skill and a keen knowledge of their audience. If you like video games, you should come out and enjoy the show, and try and win some swag. If you're reading this, wizened overlords who run WCGvN, keep up the good work. this night's a gem. But ask more questions about MVP Baseball 05, which is a masterpiece.

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A: If you love video games, you should come to one of these. And then you should realise you like pub quizzes and use your brains at other ones. If you like pub quiz but not video games, then I think this could be a rough night for you.


1 Although I will respectfully point out that most fighting games actually DECREASE the damage you do as the combo goes on, but I'm sure they know that, based on my performances at this quiz.
2 OK, let's see if I can avoid opening a can of worms that will make me sound narcissistic: I'm not saying I know all the answers or even most of them, but I would absolutely love it if more places asked tough questions, instead of (pardon the impending french) stupid shit like what a group of kittens (adorable) or narwhals (pointy) or crows (annoying) is called, or what X-phobia is or whether or not some completely absurd thing is true or false (if it sounds implausible, it is probably true). Surely there is a market for a quiz that will bust us down a notch, right? Okay, I'm done.

A Noble Quiz Embiggens The Smallest Man

It would appear that this month's trial run of Woo Hoo Classic Simpson's Trivia was a success, and they'll be running another in April. This is great news, for a number of reasons:

1) It is "Classic" Simpsons trivia  - covering the nearly unimpeachable first 9 seasons.
2) I wasn't paying attention and missed it, so now I have a chance to go.
3) Maybe it'll stick around even longer. There has been a Toronto edition of this quiz and it sounds like great fun. 

The quiz will be on Monday, April 21st, at Simply Delicious, AKA SD Galleria Sushi Lounge, which you can find at 4316 Main Street, starting at 7 PM. I've added it to my calendar, you should at it to yours!

Check out more info at the official Facebook Page.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

New Quiz Announcement(s)

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It is always fun to be able to report on a new pub quiz coming out, and today I get to do it twice.

First off, the second annual North Shore Writers Festival literary trivia quiz is coming up next month on Friday, April 11 from 8:30-10 pm at the North Vancouver City Library (14th and Lonsdale). As someone who likes to look at words on pages, I'm quite excited. I hope to see you there. As an added bonus, it is hosted by none other than CBC's own Grant Lawrence.

Next up, is even better news - a new weekly pub quiz is springing up at Mr Brownstone Bar and Grill on Main Street. The first edition will run Tuesday, April 14th at 7pm, and I'm going to guess that it'll run onTuesdays after that. Good news, since the Mount Pleasant has been without a weekly quiz for a while, and better news, since Vancouver Pub Quiz's own Mike will be running the show! I promise I won't let him write the review for this one. He knows his stuff, and I expect it to be a fun time - I plan to be there.

The only possible downside, is that this new quiz only adds to the embarrassment of quizzes on Tuesday nights - baby makes 9. Hopefully the next few to pop up decide that Monday is also a perfectly good night for a quiz. We've only got 3, making our most quiz-deprived night of the week.

And if you've read this far, you may as well keep reading - the QuizUp app for Android was released a few days ago, and if you like trivia and haven't tried it yet, it's a lot of fun. If you want to play a game, hit me up - my user name is Vancouverpubquiz, appropriately enough. It is an excellent <strike>time waster</strike> study tool.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Falconetti's Smarty Pints Trivia


Where: Falconetti's East Side Grill, 1812 Commercial Drive

When: 8pm every Tuesday

Web Presence:  The Falconetti's facebook page posts reminders about the quiz, albeit somewhat irregularly

Team Info: However many you can fit at your table

Format: About 40 questions plus a name that tune, multiple choice, current events, and a picture round. At halftime all scores are wiped out, so you get a first half winner and a second half winner, but no overall winner

Prizes: Choice of shots or pitcher for top three teams in first and second half, as well as for particularly funny joke answers.

Food and drink: Falconetti's is famed for their tantalizing menu of gourmet sausages; meanwhile, the veg-heads will enjoy the creative poutines on offer.

Falconetti's pub quiz takes place every Tuesday at 8pm, downstairs. Specificity is important in this case because if you go upstairs at the same time, there's stand-up comedy, and if you go on the wrong day, you may find yourself, variously, at either a karaoke night, a Walking Dead screening party, a DJ set, a live rock-country performance, or even a burlesque show.

Appropriately, Falconetti's quiz is the venue in microcosm: a quirky mashup of sundry cultural elements with the common thread throughout being a simple dedication to fun, in all its various forms. And in this regard, Falconetti's is a success.

Tandem emcees Greg and Ryan run the show here and share the hosting and question-writing duties between them. The hosting is good: the two work a kind of deadpan, affectedly-listless Brian-Posehn-slash-mumblecore-cinema angle which may not play to all tastes, but I found entertaining.

The question writing is better: the two have a knack for writing questions that are, as mentioned above, a lot of fun. My team had a great time trying to puzzle out what year Alex Trebek shaved his trademark mustache or what Ontario city was recently anointed Canada's serial killer capital (who'd've thought it was sleepy little college town London? It's always the quiet ones you have to watch out for.) The name that tune round, an eclectic mix of shameless dance-in-your-seat jams ripped from Napoleon Dynamite's iPod, was equally enjoyable, in spite of a minor ID3 snafu which misidentified the artists -- and artists they are -- behind "Whoomp! There It Is."

Between questions, Falconetti's brawny sound system blasts yet more music at you, again, hewing closely to the establishment's holy gospel of party ye all the time. Fun, yes, but so loud as to make intra-team discussion somewhat difficult. Let's by no means lose the music -- that would be nothing less than apostasy -- instead, just ratchet it down from 11 to 10.

(On that note, stick around after the quiz for an outstanding '80s hair metal set by DJ Thunderjunk, a man who it must be said is no less than a connoisseur of the genre, as attested by him playing a Ratt song that wasn't "Round and Round.")

Bottom line, Falconetti's is a lot of fun. Definitely worth a check out.