Review by Remus22
A solid, quiet, and well-aged trivia game. What is JEOPARDY!?
Do we really need an introduction here? For those of you who have lived under a rock for the past 50 years, JEOPARDY! is a long-running American game show, focused around contestants answering trivia. This game is one of the earlier video game adaptations of the show, and one of the better, in my opinion. In short, you take control of a contestant and play JEOPARDY! against either one computer opponent, one friend on the same Game Boy, or one friend connected with the game in a separate Game Boy by Link Cable. This offers a lot of ways to enjoy the game, so let's get into it.
The gameplay of JEOPARDY! is very simple, but that's as should be expected from a 90's quiz game. At the beginning of a round, the players are shown a board with six categories, each with five questions marked by dollar amounts from $100-$500. The questions increase in difficulty as the amounts increase. Answer correctly, and you get the money- get it wrong, and the amount comes out of your total. The categories are significantly diverse for a 1991 Game Boy game, I've been playing this occasionally since 1993 and I still see questions I don't remember ever seeing. To give an idea, I pulled up a round to get an example round of categories. Presidents, American Literature, Movie Trivia, Cats & Dogs, State Names, Sports Trivia. It really could go anywhere. Each game consists of two of these rounds, and in the second, all of the dollar amounts are doubled. The final round is a single question; both players are given the category and must wager based on their confidence. Whoever has more money after the last question wins, so it's possible to get the final question wrong and still be the winner. One final wild card is that within the first two rounds, there are a total of three (one in the first round, two in the second) "Daily Doubles" hidden in the questions on the board. When a player chooses one, they can wager any amount of their money, or none, on the question, providing potential for huge leads.
As for answering the questions, this isn't an average multiple choice quiz game. No sir, in this one, you're gonna have to actually know your stuff to beat the computer. When the player in controls chooses a category and question, the questions pops up. In classic JEOPARDY! style, the clue will pop up on the screen. You have ten seconds, and whoever hits "A" first gets to answer. (In two-player mode on one Game Boy, one player uses "A/B" and the other uses the d-pad.) Unfortunately, the computer tends to cheat and buzz in before it's reasonably possible to have read the clue, but on the bright side, the computer also tends to glitch itself and give incorrect answers such as "zwzxy", so it really does even out. If you do buzz in, you're given a keyboard with the alphabet, 0-9, and "&". You have to type in the answer exactly, with absolutely no typos. With names, you needs to worry about the last name unless it's very common such as Smith, then you must give the full name. You have one minute to answer. All in all, not too complicated, and a fun game if you have some spare time and maybe a laptop to help you cheat, some of this stuff is hard.
There's really not much to say about this game as far as graphics OR sounds go; honestly you'll probably want to turn the sound off. The only really music in the game is the classic JEOPARDY! theme song at the beginning, but it's over as soon as you get your name entered. Then there's a short loop while you choose a character, then all you get are short, 2-3 second clips when you answer a question right or wrong. This is really the weak point of the game. The sound effect you hear the most is the sound of the clock running while you enter an answer, and this is a sound that gets very irritating very quickly. Take my advice, play your own music in the background. The graphics are also very unremarkable. The character designs aren't too bad, but they aren't too important. 90% of the game consists of just text, so graphics don't matter much on the whole.
This is where the game really shines. Although the info in it has become significantly dated, it's still a good game to sit down and play when you have a spare hour or two. Most of the time it takes me around an hour and a half to play a full game, and that's with multiple distractions. The replayability of the game is unbelievable, though. Like I said earlier, I've been playing this game on and off since 1993 and I still haven't just memorized everything. You won't get bored unless it's the only game you ever play. And that would just be silly.
I definitely recommend picking this game up if you see it somewhere for cheap. It's not hard to find for under $5, and I see it in my local flea market all the time. If you have the spare cash and you enjoy expanding your useless knowledge, you won't regret it.
Today, on the Remus22-ometer, JEOPARDY! for the Game Boy has earned a 7/10
Questions? Comments? Wanna discuss a game with me? Email me and make your subject line clear so I don't write it off as spam.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to next time.
Product Release: Jeopardy! (US, 03/31/91)
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