Review by zyxomma100

Reviewed: 01/02/07

And the final answer... This is the wrong game.

Jeopardy is the Genesis incarnation of the long running TV trivia game show of the same name, which has been there hosted by Alex Trebek for as long as anyone alive can remember. (No offense to the man.) For the most part, this home version stays true to the TV show, with only a few minor changes. (For example, the person who gets the last question right in the first round starts Double Jeopardy; in the show it's the person with the lowest score. Also, and I do not list this as a fault, this game obviously does not reflect the doubling of money values imposed on the show in the past year or so.)

For those who don't know how the game works, it consists of 2 rounds of 30 questions each. These questions are given predetermined dollar values based on their difficulty. The players then are given the questions and must ring in and supply the correct answer (technically you supply the correct question, but for simplicity...). Correct answers net the dollar amount; incorrect answers deduct. A final question is given after all this in which players may wager any or all of their money on. THe one who ends up with the most money wins.

On TV, Jeopardy has been an afternoon mainstay for years, and so the game has a fairly high bar set for it. Unfortunately, there are several gameplay programs that plague it from the start. One problem that is not apparent at first is the game's general lack of questions. Players may be fine for a game or three, but after that, questions start appearing that you've seen before. After showing the players the categories, they are given the option to reshuffle and choose new categories. If the players know they've had some of the categories, they can make the game pick some others randomly, but after a few more games, it becomes impossible to avoid repetition. The difficulty of the questions is a bit shaky, also. Difficulty is relative, especially for trivia shows, but overall I noticed that the questions in the game were much easier than questions on the TV show.

The presentation of the game could have used some work, also. The game does an admirable job of bringing in Alex Trebek. Although now he does look a bit grainy, and his voice is a bit low quality, I suppose they are pretty good for a Genesis title. There is also a respectable rendition of the Jeopardy theme song, but other than that, there is no other sound other than the buzzer when a player rings in or when time runs out. This really hurts the game, as the mood is destroyed by the lack of sound.

The graphics are nothing to look at either. Other than a shot of the three players at their podiums, the game is nothing but watching the blue screens show the questions. Players are only given 5-6 choices as to what their player can look like, and the name they put on their podium can only be up to 6 letters long. The lack of any sort of customization makes looking at this game very tedious and annoying, as it's the same thing over and over again.

Another big problem that plagues the game is how the player must answer the questions. The manual states that common misspellings are still allowed, but I've yet to see this happen (I don't misspell much anyway.) However, many of the clues still require some luck, as you might not know how to answer. A Swedish term for "shoot" that is now a sport? My answer "skeet" was rejected; the computer's "skeet shooting" counted. A canine term for a geology nut? My answer "hound" was rejected; the computer's "rock hound" accepted.

Finally, the AI in this game is very bad. As far as I can tell, they have about a 60-75% chance of getting any question right. If they get a question wrong, they don't actually give a wrong answer. Instead, their chances seem to be rolled beforehand, and if they get a bad roll they put down "xxx" for their wrong answer. I guess it would have been too hard for the designers to make a pool of wrong answers for each question, but it's kooky nonetheless. But by far the most annoying thing about the AI is... They are obliged to attempt every single question. Literally. If you as a player do not get the answer correct, it is a given that the other AI players will all try to answer it. This gets very annoying, as the computer often waits until the end of the 10 second timer to ring in.

So there is no question about it: This game is horrible. I suppose it can be fun for a game or two, but after that the cartridge might as well gather dust. This game is not worth seeking out at all; I suggest you stay away.

Rating: 2

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