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!"
Jeopardy DownloadsJeopardy 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Manufacturer: GAMETEK
Test your trivia skills against the computer in this faithful reproduction of the famous TV show. Look out for the daily double!
Transfix yourself with a spear! It'd be more fun than this screamingly bad American gameshow that nobody in Britain watches.
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.
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.
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.