(Wii U)

Jeopardy! (Wii U)

Game Review

Jeopardy! Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

I’ll play your game, you rogue

As the tagline on the game’s case suggests, the ever popular Jeopardy! very well might be “America’s favorite quiz show”. Countless incarnations of the television program have swept across game consoles from the NES to the current generation of platforms, finally landing squarely on Wii U. After years and years of trying to perfect the formula and accurately recapture the feel of the TV mainstay, THQ may finally have gotten it right.

For those unfamiliar with how Jeopardy! is played, the quiz show features three contestants who are given clues in an assortment of categories with different monetary values attributed to them by enigmatic host Alex Trebek. The contestants must identify what the clues are referring to, buzz in before anybody else and deliver their answer in the form of a question. The contestant with the most money by the end of the game wins. It’s phenomenally straightforward, so it's no wonder that the show has had such universal and lasting appeal. It’s also simple enough that creating an interactive version for the Wii U could be done and done well.

Whether you’re playing against local friends or AI opponents, player one always uses the Wii U GamePad to answer questions. Pressing the A button allows you to buzz in, and you can then select your answer using with the GamePad’s touch screen or buttons. Second or third players can point at the television with Wii Remotes to follow similar commands, except their selectable answers are displayed up on the big screen. Playing through a game of Jeopardy! solo is a great way to unwind and exercise your mind, but playing with a room full of friends is definitely the more exciting way to enjoy it.

One aspect of gameplay exclusive to multiplayer bouts is the inclusion of mini-games. Between each round of the main game, Trebek will cut to a commercial break. If you’re playing by yourself then the game will seamlessly flow into the second round, but with multiplayer games you will instead be challenged to a mini-game. Don’t worry, there aren’t any actual product endorsements built into the game during the aforementioned commercial breaks. Though they may be called “mini-games,” the activities that you take part in are actually just additional quiz questions, but with a bit of variety added in. One will have you placing historical events in chronological order, while another has you selecting an image as your answer rather than a traditional verbal response. It is true that these mini-games lend a break to the somewhat monotonous answering of quiz questions, but what they really come down to is just more questions that don’t contribute to your final score.

Unsurprisingly, this game shares and almost identical aesthetic design with Wheel of Fortune, THQ’s other recent game show turned Wii U outing. The setting reflects the actual game show’s set accurately, but portrays everything with a slightly cartoony wash over it. The in-game music is also taken directly from the show’s iconic theme song, and Alex Trebek even lends his own voice to his character. There is an odd occurrence in which the theme song actually ends before the credits finish rolling, leaving the last few names displayed in stark silence, but all in all the game looks and sounds great.

The character models are similarly cartoonish, with human features exaggerated to look akin to the style of Miis. You do have the option of customising your character, and you can unlock new articles of clothing by winning games to further alter your appearance, but you can’t actually import your own Mii character to use in the game. This really feels like a missed opportunity, but the customisable elements provided do allow for a bit of diversity as well.

It’s difficult to say how much enjoyment or how many hours any player will invest into a game like this, but anyone who is a fan of the TV program is absolutely going to have a blast with this Wii U version. Jeopardy! is not the most exciting game in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but it can be thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. This home version boasts over 3000 clues to be solved, unlockable clothes for your character, and unlockable concept art, so anyone invested enough to play repeat games will surely be busy for quite some time.

Conclusion

Jeopardy! for Wii U is a faithful adaptation of the incredibly popular TV quiz show, but that’s about as far as it goes. There's nothing too new or exciting is present to entice strangers to the game, but it is still a thoroughly enjoyable and family-friendly game. While this may not appeal to all gamers out there, anyone who is a fan of the show and wants to try their hand at answering a few questions themselves will definitely get a kick out of this version.

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User Comments (28)

Ras

#9

Ras said:

It's from a Jeopardy skit on SNL.

So, this is multiple choice? Ehh. That changes the whole dynamic. Typing would be tedious, but like PC versions I've played and closer to the actual show.

theblackdragonAdmin

#10

theblackdragon said:

@baba_944: It plays off the old SNL 'Jeopardy' skits with Trebek vs. Connery. You can probably find them on YouTube by now, they're pretty hilarious :3

@Ras: I remember playing the old Jeopardy game for NES... even that one you had to type.

Gidkilla

#15

Gidkilla said:

Another quality Wii U release... How about this for a thought. Nintendo just releases first/ third party games, forgets about other publisher support and then creates and supports its download service so it has exclusively the cream of the indie development crop?

cdude

#18

cdude said:

Im not by any means the target consumer for a game like this, but i don't see what's so offensive about it being on my console of choice. It's a nice, unbroken gameshow game, for people that like gameshows. My wife will probably like it as much as wheel of fortune and nintendoland, which she really enjoys.

I'm sorry having options like this is so upsetting and offputting to some of you.

Gaming should really be expressly reserved for the hardcore loners who rock comment sections on websites. They know whats up.

CaPPa

#19

CaPPa said:

@Luigifan141, Gidkilla

You guys make it sound like only Nintendo has games like this, but this game isn't a Wii U exclusive, it is on all platforms (360, PS3 etc).

Lalivero

#21

Lalivero said:

@Knux I guess they figured enough time to type in your answer would allow someone to cheat and multiple choice would be pretty dumb because you can just click something? Haha...

I personally think they could have pulled it off to make it fair and fun. It might've been an insta-buy to me then. :)

antster1983

#22

antster1983 said:

Would get it but with THQ's closure, it looks like it's not coming to Europe.

I could have played it with a Sean Connery Mii... ;)

Wilford111

#23

Wilford111 said:

@cdude You make a good point, but everyone would love to see more core cames for the system, so I think it's easy to see our frustrations.

@antster1983 Unfortunately, no Mii support :(

Gilius

#24

Gilius said:

This really looks like a game that couldn't make it to Wii so they had their advantage on throwing it on Wii U with Wii graphics. Though, not much to this game and probably not a lot of different answers per game play. As well, it wouldn't be interesting without online and competing with other intelligence. I can honestly see this game being Mediocre .

jlenoconel

#26

jlenoconel said:

Games like this are the reason people stopped buying the Wii towards the end and why no one right now is buying a Wii U.

diavu

#27

diavu said:

It begins.

the unslaught of party games and family friendly games, that will overrun the game market with casual games leaving no space for good games, just like what happened with the wii.

Plutonian

#28

Plutonian said:

Yes, this this seemingly benign quiz show game is actually a harbinger of terrible things to come, wicked things that will ensure the Wii U's destruction.

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