JEOPARDY!

a game by Electronic Arts, THQ, High Score Productions, Park Place Productions, and Gametek

Platforms: PSXSega GenesisGenesisNESNESNintendo 64Nintendo 64GameGear

Genres: Puzzles & Words, Strategy/War, Simulation

See also: Jeopardy Games

JEOPARDY!

Jeopardy on TV is a legend. Jeopardy for the Game Gear is not. Inconsistencies in the rules and dull game play put the future of Cametek's new video game in...uh, jeopardy.

The Answer Is...

Is anyone not familiar with Jeopardy's premise? If you're just in from Mars, here it is in a nutshell: Trivia questions. Cash prizes. Double Jeopardy-cash doubles. Final Jeopardy-bet in advance, answer one question. The player who has the most cash at the end of the game wins. Key concept: The questions are really answers, you provide the questions. 'The answer is-Geppetto's cat in Pinocchio." "Who is Figaro?" Sound familiar?

Slow Video Games for $100, Alex

The problem is obvious. You have to spell out the answers, a tiresome task. Maybe you know who successfully organized the 1984 Summer Olympics, but can you spell it? (Peter Ueberroth). The TV show contestants don't have to, but you do, making this more like a spelling test. It's a test of patience, too, because it takes forever to punch in long answers.

The computer allows some minor spelling inconsistencies, but it's unclear what's acceptable. "Betty Daviss" is OK instead of "Bette Davis," but "19" is wrong when the computer wants "19th." You'll also find inconsistencies when spelling names-some answers require both first and last names, while others require only the last name to be correct.

Good Things for $200, Alex

Fans of the show will like the variety of categories. There are over 300 topics, everything from "Authors" to "Begins With a Z," including some charming categories like "Potpourri" and The Pits."

Alex Trebek fans will enjoy the sounds-the digitized voice of their digitized hero saying "You are right!" hundreds of times. And, of course, there's that famous Final Jeopardy song.

As for graphics, basically all you do is read questions and answers. Cametek tries to liven things up with contestants who cheer and cringe, but it gets old fast.

Ding Ding Ding, the Dally Double!

You'll need the knowledge of a Ph.D to sweep the board consistently, but you'll need the patience of a saint to play more than a few times. 'The answer is: Jeopardy." "What is a slow game?" 'You are right!"

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JEOPARDY! Downloads

JEOPARDY! download

Gather round, game show couch potatoes. You've been braggin' for years that you could beat the pants off the clowns that appear on Jeopardy.

Well, geniuses, here's your chance to put your ego on the line. Up to three players can compete In the privacy of their own living rooms in one of America's all-time favorite game shows. Cool digitized graphics and sounds, plus more than 3,500 questions in over 7,000 different categories, make this an above average video game show fare. It may not be the real Alex Trebek, but it's the next best thing.

The category is Game Shows. The answer is: Jeopardy. The question is: What is one of America's favorite game shows? The Genesis version of Jeopardy is heading for a living room near you.

The Answer Is...

The first thing you're gonna notice when you slip Jeopardy into your Genesis are the oh-so-familiar strains of the TV game show's theme song, suitably rendered here with a tinny sound that sets the right mood.

The action begins when a digitized image of the real Jeopardy TV studio appears on the screen. Other realistic pics include the category screen, the contestants (you choose from a variety of digitized "real" people), and the infamous Alex Trebek. In fact, Alex's digitized voice tells you when you've answered a question correctly -- or when you've blown it. Although more music and crowd sounds (how about a little applause) would add to the mood, the pics and tunes set the scene.

By pressing different buttons on both controllers, up to three players can compete. However, the action can get a little awkward for players two and three, since they have to share one controller. Each human player gets to choose a contestant persona and a name. If there are only one or two players, the CPU fills in as the other contestant(s). The rules are exactly like the rules on the Jeopardy game show, including the first rounds, Daily Doubles, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy. There are more than 700 categories and 3,500 questions.

ProTips:

  • Don't hit the buzzer automatically. Once your buzz, you've got to give a question for the answer that Alex reads. If you're wrong, you're gonna lose money.
  • If you accidently throw an extra letter in after the correct spelling, don't worry. Make sure the body of your response is spelled correctly, though, or the CPU will think you've answered incorrectly.

Contestants answer questions through a somewhat awkward interface, where they have to spell out their answer before the time runs out. Although it's annoying, the alternative, multiple choice, would have made the game too easy.

Double Jeopardy

Against the CPU, Jeopardy is fun for a game or two. However, the CPU is easy to beat and the pace can't match the excitement of the real thing. Jeopardy plays best in two- or three-player mode. It's much more fun to pit your brain cells against your buddies'.

Jazzier sounds could have pumped up the game a bit, but it's still a kick for fans and a good party game. The answer is: Jeopardy.

reggie posted a review

If you had licence to produce games for what is arguably the most powerful console on the planet at the moment, what kind of games do you think you'd make? Go on, have a think...

Okay, now own up, which of you said 'gameshows'? I have to admit that it's not the first format I'd have thought of. On the plus side though, you're not exactly taxing the limits of the hardware, so that probably means it'll cost less to develop. And of course, many gameshows have a massive following. So all you have to do is either find some way of making the television show audience buy video game consoles or design the game in such a way that it appeals to the normal 'non-gameshow-addicted' gaming populace.

Gametek, it seems, have decided to go for the former option. There is nothing about Jeopardy! which stands out and makes you think 'wow, what an inspiration! There's nothing in fact which distinguishes it from a video quiz game on any other games format. Anyone who read the review of Gametek's Wheel Of Fortune in issue ten may remember remarks to the effect that it could just as easily have

None Controller Pak: None. The FMV 'animation' consists of brief blurry sequences in a, small sub-window been produced on an old Commodore 64. The same could be said of the graphics in jeopardy! - if anything, this one is even more simplistic! You don't even get the partially animated contestants from Wheel Of Fortune; instead, the characters are all just static and the FMV 'animation' consists of brief blurry sequences in a small subwindow on screen.

I'll Take Naff Games For $100

For those of you not familiar with the televisual entertainment of our American cousins, Jeopardy is a popular quiz show with a standard three-contestant format and a slight twist. The difference is that the quizmaster gives the answers and the contestants then have to respond with the questions, starting with some variation of the phrase "What is...?" For example, the quizmaster might say "A bird which has a bill instead of a beak, webbed feet and spends most of its time swimming around on lakes." To which the contestant would respond, "What is a duck?" leopardy! is played over three rounds - Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy. In the first two rounds contestants make selections from one of six randomly chosen categories. Each category contains five questions - or rather, five answers - and the difficulty level of each is represented by cash values. The more money the difficult the answer, the more money it's worth.

Rather than each contestant answering specific answers, every selection is open to all - with the exception of Daily Double questions which we'll come to in a minute. In fact, no-one has to try to answer the questions at all. The reason for this becomes clear when you see that whereas a correct answer earns cash, an incorrect answer results in that amount being deducted from your total.

As mentioned earlier, Jeopardy! comprises three rounds. Within the first two rounds there is also a bonus feature, the Daily Double. This feature crops up once in the first round and twice in the second. When a contestant happens upon a square which hides a Daily Double then the format changes a little. Before seeing the answer, the person making the selection gets to wager a percentage of the money they've earned so far. If they get the question right, they double their money, if they get it wrong, they lose that amount. Other players cannot jump in on the Daily Double questions.

The second round is Double Jeopardy. However, all this means is that the cash values are doubled, as are the number of hidden Daily Double squares. The Final Jeopardy! round is one answer just like in the Daily Double sections, except that all the contestants who have cash are able to gamble.

Questions in Jeopardy! are entered via an on-screen keyboard interface. You can choose from three options: loose spelling, correct spelling (both of which are fairly self-explanatory) and the slightly more unusual computer-aided spelling. With computer-aided spelling, the computer will monitor your letter entries, and suggest possible words from the vocabulary in its database. For instance, type in 'Ca' and the computer might produce 'Car'. Add an 'R' and an 'A', and the computer might suggest 'Caravan'. In this way you can also tell whether your answer has a chance of being right from whether or not it actually appears in the vocabulary.

Bring Back Wheel Of Fortune!

Which brings us to the questions - one of the biggest failings of this game, at least as far as a European audience is concerned. Jeopardy! is an American game, and this is reflected in the questions. Categories range from American History through Famous American People to such well-known and popular British pastimes as Baseball, American Literature and US Demographics. See the pattern yet? Although categories like Biology and Nature are included, even they tend to have an American slant, and it's not uncommon to select say Biology and get an answer like 'An American who categorised every species of dung beetle in 1856'.

There are categories which aren't specifically American, but they cover such popular subjects as Opera (that's the singing, not the chat show) and Artistic Quotations. This means that you won't necessarily like this just because you're a fan of Trivial Pursuit.

Gameplay in Jeopardy! is reasonably good fun if you play with a couple of friends and you're all fairly up on intellectual American trivia. Otherwise forget it. If Take 2 are going to convert Jeopardy! to PAL, then they'll need to sort out the question categories. At the moment though, if you're a parent reading this review, don't under any circumstances buy your children this game - they'll never forgive you. Buy 'em Goldeneye instead!

Jeopardy! was supplied by New Generation.

reggie posted a review
  • Manufacturer: GAMETEK

Test your trivia skills against the computer in this faithful reproduction of the famous TV show. Look out for the daily double!

reggie posted a review

Transfix yourself with a spear! It'd be more fun than this screamingly bad American gameshow that nobody in Britain watches.

reggie posted a review

Vastly incompetent game show 'game'. Pioneered the use of FMV on a console designed specifucally so that we didn't have to see any of that crap any more. Like rabies, thankfully unvailable in the UK.

reggie posted a review

The answer is: Jeopardy! So the question must be: Where is knowledge exploited to win quick cash? In the fine Sega CD version of this popular game show, you crunch your cranium attempting to answer host Alex Trebek's questions -- but don't expect any real greenbacks if you win.

Trebek Trek

Wager your wits by answering trivia questions in the Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy rounds of play. Just like in the show, there are Daily Doubles hidden under the monitors in one of the six categories of questions.

ProTip: If you feel you know the category well, buzz in as soon as the question appears. The entry timer gives you a minute, so you have time to read the question.

Jeopardy CD's graphics blow away the game versions, with full-motion video of the real TV studio and footage of Alex Trebek. But the overacting contestants and Alex's scripted appearances remind you that you're not experiencing the show.

With the show's music, background sounds, and Alex's clear voice, the sound rates high. Unfortunately, Alex doesn't read the questions or announce each category as he does on the show.

Controls for $200

The controls can get tiresome. You must spell out your answers using a cursor, which slows the gameplay. Also, unless you own a multiplayer adapter and have an extra controller, two players must share a controller in a three-player game.

With categories like French Literature and Archaeology, the questions are guaranteed to be as tough and as varied as the show's. Brainy whiz kids looking for the true Jeopardy challenge will enjoy this one.

  • If you're not knowledgeable about a category, start with the easiest questions (these are worth the lowest dollar amounts).
  • The CPU opponents are tough, so make things easier with a dummy human opponent.
reggie posted a review

Overview

The answer is ... The popular, thought-provoking game show that keeps you coming back for more. The question? What is [[JEOPARDY! ]] If you’re an avid Jeopardy fan and find yourself wishing the TV version was a little longer or had fewer commercial interruptions, then Hasbro has the game for you! The Sony Playstation version of JEOPARDY! is now on the market, bringing to your home over 3,500 challenging answers which were created by the actual writers of the long-time hit show, without all the chit-chat and annoying ads that break up the television version. Sure, there is no real replacement for Jeopardy, but there are certain advantages to having your own version you can play at home. Hasbro has re-created the format and gameplay of the show quite well, and it is enjoyable to play alone or with up to two other players (with the use of a multi-tap adapter). And of course, you could not have a true Jeopardy game without the presence of Alex Trebek and announcer Johnny Gilbert, who are both present in the game.

Gameplay

Jeopardy’s gameplay is just like the real show, including both Double and Final Jeopardy rounds. The players are presented with topical "answers." They must be the first to ring in for an opportunity to respond in the form of a question. If they respond with the correct question, they are awarded the amount of money specified at the beginning of each answer. If they give an incorrect question, they are deducted that same amount from their current score. Play continues through two rounds and ends with "Final Jeopardy," where the player can wager all or nothing on a single clue. The player with the most money at the end of Final Jeopardy is the winner. You have the option of playing a normal game against human or computer opponents, or you can play a "Speed Game" where you play alone on a single "Double Jeopardy" board. When playing alone, I prefer playing the speed game since I don’t have to sit and watch the computer opponents answering questions. You can get through a lot more questions that way and also save time.

The game is adaptable, allowing you to control the amount of time before you must respond to each answer. It also allows you to adjust the spelling tolerance between loose and strict, with five different levels. The skill levels can also be adjusted between easy and hard, which has the effect of making the computer opponents more or less aggressive at ringing in, and also determines how often their responses will be correct.

If you get one of the video daily doubles, part of the clue will include a video picture, just as in the TV version. The basic format of the show is intact, including Alex Trebek’s sympathetic responses to your answers, which are put into actual video clips as you play. The game runs smoothly and is fairly quick at loading, except for the initial loading of categories before each round. It still isn’t bad, though. Part of the delay can probably be attributed to the Playstation’s double-speed CD-ROM, which is starting to become inadequate. Hasbro has done a good job of making the most of the system, though, and this game is well-done.

One of the main differences between this game and the real one is that you do have a little more time to think out your answer. If you think you know the answer but it’s still on the tip of your tongue, you can buzz in, and then you still have a fair amount of time to both think through your response and type it into the keypad. The format to type in your answer is very user friendly, with all letters and numbers quickly available for selection from a moving circular menu. I also really like their "answer completion" function that is programmed into the game. As you begin to type in your answer, you’ll notice that words begin to appear based upon the letters of your currently spelled word. The words can change as you add more letters, but will really help you save a lot of time if you’re typing in the correct answer. It will not answer the question for you, but will wait until it is most likely that you know the correct response. When it recognizes that you actually know the answer, the correct response will appear. All you need to do from there is select that word and either add more to it, or submit your final response. It can also have the effect of giving you the wrong word if you don’t really know the correct response. Typing in your responses is still going to make the home version a bit longer than if you could verbally respond, and it’s nice that they went to the extra trouble to put together the answer completion function.

To play the game effectively without repeating questions, I recommend the use of a memory card. This allows the computer to store your progress in the game and prevents you from getting the same "answers" over and over again. This is a very nice feature. I’ve played computer versions of game shows on other video game systems and most did not have this capability. With over 3,500 questions, this game will keep you challenged for quite some time. My guess is that they’ll probably put out newer versions as time goes by, to keep both the topics and game fresh. I felt that the designers did a really good job of putting this game together, with only a few very minor complaints.

Alex Trebek's voice seems to vary in quality. Most of his dialogue has a full, rich sound, except for when he is announcing the categories before each round. It sounds as though they digitized his voice for these sequences, and the result sounds as though he is speaking through a microphone that cuts out the lower bass frequencies of his voice. It just sounds kind of "tinny." Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t sound horrible or anything, but just seems a little odd. It’s the only thing that I found wrong with the game and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

Graphics

The graphics in the game are pretty decent. They really aren’t all that important in a "game show" type of game, but the graphics here are almost similar enough to the real game to make you feel like you’re really on the set. The screens are the same blue with white lettering for each question and they are selected from the board the same way as the real McCoy. They even have a video clip at the beginning of the game showing the Sony Pictures Studios that is virtually identical to the TV show, where Johnny Gilbert announces, "From the Sony Pictures Studios, This is Jeopardy!, with your host Alex Trebek ... " It doesn’t have quite the resolution of the TV show, but it isn’t bad either. The only complaint I could make about the graphics is that the categories can be a bit difficult to read, since they’re back in the distance. They did, however, put a larger screen showing the category selected, which makes it easy to read what category you’re currently on. When answering a question, you can zoom in on it making it much easier to read. The only other nit-picking I think I can do on the graphics is that it would have been nicer to have Alex’s video clip responses show up on the full screen. They have reduced the video clips to little video screens that are less than a quarter of the screen’s size. Again, not really a big deal, but I would imagine it would probably take more time for the Playstation to load and play the images if they were to make it full screen. Again, another disadvantage to having only a double-speed CD-ROM in the system. Overall, the graphics are just fine and should not deter anyone from buying this game.

Bottom Line

If you’ve made it this far in the review, you’re obviously a Jeopardy fan and can probably tell that I like this game. They’ve really done a great job of bringing the game home to everyone and if you like the television version I would highly recommend that you buy the Playstation version. You will not be disappointed. With a huge volume of questions, it will probably take you quite a long time to get through them all, unless you’re a hard-core Jeopardy junkie. And I doubt you’ll be able to remember them all, even if you do make it through the entire volume. It’s just as challenging or easy as you want to make it and is really fun to play. It’s fun to invite your friends over and challenge them to a game. So what are you waiting for? Log off your Internet browser, shut off your computer, drive to your nearest video game retailer and pick up your Playstation version of Jeopardy today!

reggie posted a review
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