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Jeopardy!

Jeopardy!

Quick Look: The popular television quiz show Jeopardy! is now available on the Roku. You'll get the universally-recognized "Think!" theme song, three rounds of play (Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy!, and Final Jeopardy!), each with five questions in each of six categories, and the Daily Double. But I found some things to be lacking in the gaming interface.

You have the option of playing in TV Show Game mode or in Solo Mode. TV Show Game mode pits you against two other players, as in the real Jeopardy! Unfortunately, your opponents are game-generated virtual players. The game's developer, Sony, missed a great opportunity to turn this into a multi-player game that could be enjoyed by two or three human players.

You have the first turn, and you get to select the category and dollar amount. Once you make your selection, a clue is shown on the screen. Sorry, the question isn't read to you by Alex Trebek, or by any other announcer. After reading the clue, you can either respond or skip. If you skip, one of your opponents will have the opportunity to answer, and it's up to the game system to decide which opponent answers and whether they answer correctly or not.

If you elect to answer, you're given three multiple choice answers from which to choose. Choose correctly, and the question's dollar amount is added to your bank. Choose the wrong answer, and you lose that amount of money and one of the virtual players "chooses" the next question.

Those are the basics. Play progresses in a similar manner to the real Jeopardy! and there are detailed help screens available in case you need them. But as I said, something is lacking in the gaming interface. It's partly the fact that the results of each turn are displayed in text in the lower left hand corner of the screen. Your on-screen character will throw his hands up for a wrong answer and clap for a correct answer, but otherwise the graphics are static and there is no audio to go along with game play. You also have to constantly press the OK button to continue through each step of the game.

But I think the biggest drawback to this game is that the "contest" in TV Show Game mode just seems to be contrived. If you skip a question or answer incorrectly, the gaming system decides which virtual contestant answers, decides whether the answer is right or wrong, and picks the next question. Playing against virtual opponents is okay in poker and blackjack where you assume that there is a randomness to the draw of the cards, but that "luck of the draw" is missing here, and the whole contest feels staged.

This could be a fun multi-player game - if the other players were sitting next to you on the couch. With only virtual players available, you'll probably want to drop five bucks on this game only if you love trivia. In that case, I recommend skipping the TV Show Game mode and play in solo mode. But you'll probably have just as much fun working your way through a box of Trivial Pursuit cards.

Developer's Channel Description: This…is… Jeopardy! Featuring over 2700 clues from the Jeopardy! Writers and customizable contestants, now you can play America's Favorite Quiz Show in your own home. PLEASE NOTE: This game is supported on HD displays only.

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CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Games

DEVELOPER: SONY

FEES: $4.99 one-time purchase

RELATED LINKS:
Jeapordy! Website
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