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Jeopardy! (NES) artwork

Jeopardy! (NES) review

"This isn't You Don't Know Jack for the NES; it's hang man with trivia questions."

"This game, produced by Rare, was described by HonestGamer user dagoss as 'a painful slow, excruciating adaptation that is an insult to Alex Trebek's mustachioed glory'"

"What is Jeopardy!? "

If you've ever seen an episode of this game's TV namesake then you're probably asking yourself how they managed to turn a free-form answer-question game into something that would be playable with 2 buttons and a D-pad.

They didn't. Jeopardy! probably should have been called Spelling Bee since your orthographic skills will be tested just as much as your knowledge of 1980s pop culture. Questions are answered by typing them out using an on-screen keyboard. (Don't worry, if you're playing against the AI, you get to watch them type out answers too.) The B button does not delete letters as you'd expect, and minor spelling variations are not permitted.

Jeopardy! feels nothing like the fast paced, quick-on-your feet show that it's based on. This isn't just because you need to type answers either. Every question has a 10 second time limit to buzz-in, which resets if someone attempts and gets a question wrong (meaning you could be just staring at the same question for up to 30 seconds). When someone does buzz in, a brief animation and musical jingle plays. Since this song plays every single time someone buzzes-in, it will come to be for you what a helicopter flying overhead is to a Vietnam War vet. You can hear and see this animation 3 times per question, meaning you could theoretically hear it 180 times in a single game.

Too often I know the correct answer but am slightly off in the spelling, which means I not only lose money, I have to sit through nearly a minute of idleness as buzz-in animations go off, the question clock goes back to 10 seconds, and I sit through the whole thing again. If I'm really quick, I could probably make a sandwich while this is happening.

There are 50 groups of questions, so in theory you could play up to 25 rounds before you start seeing repeats. That equates to 4,500 buzz-ins. At an average of 45 seconds per question, that's 202,500 seconds, or 56 hours and 15 minutes. In 56 hours I could beat Final Fantasy 7... twice.

This isn't You Don't Know Jack for the NES; it's hang man with trivia questions. It completely misses all the things that make the TV show such an inter-generational success---hell, it misses the point of trivia. This is the epitome of a brand cash-in game. Instead of playing Jeopardy!, go read a history book or hit the "random article" button on Wikipedia. You'll probably learn more and you won't hear that annoying song every time you turn the page.

dagoss's avatar
Community review by dagoss (August 17, 2012)

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