Every few years I like to check back in on the video game versions of America’s classic TV shows. Game shows have always been a guilty pleasure of mine on consoles. They are relaxing and great to play with friends and family. The latest package includes two icons in Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. This pack can be purchased separately or as one bundle and let’s be frank, these shows have always lived together.
Let’s start with Wheel of Fortune. The representation here is fairly close to the show itself. The wheel looks great and there are a decent number of puzzles to be solved. The iconic hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White are sadly absent. In their place are two generic hosts that get the job done, but it feels weird without the standard hosts.
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4
Price I’d Pay: $29.99
It feels like Ubisoft felt the need to reward players with some sort of progression. Players can customize their avatar as well as the hosts’ outfits. There are even set designs to unlock along the way. The presentation is nice and has the look and feel of the show. There are a variety of modes to play and there is even online play.
Playing with friends and family is the best way to experience the game. However, there is one bump in the road: online mode. While it is a nice inclusion it comes with some baggage. Searching for online games is setup so that players have to have the necessary three people to start. The downside is that the game only matches when people are all searching at the same time. If not they throw players into a lobby which then resets the process. I found only one game in my review period, most of my time was spent searching and not succeeding.
Jeopardy feels almost like a different experience entirely. Alex Trebek has been replaced with a female voiceover, no 3D models here. She also has minimal input in the game, the questions are not even read out loud. As expected the game offers up categories and each question has multiple answers.
Where Jeopardy shines though is its progression. That is a weird thing to say, but every action in the game awards XP. Earn enough and players level up. Levelling up then unlocks new categories to choose from. It is a neat system that kept me playing far longer than I had intended.
This version also includes Family mode, which opts for easier questions so even the kids can join in. There are classic modes as well, and even a daily challenge question which is nice. Online fares better here than Wheel of Fortune. Matches are more readily available and players can substitute AI players if someone leaves. Still local is king here and a great deal of fun.
This package is solid but has some glaring drawbacks. The retail price is a bit steep, but I saw plenty of sales over the holidays that make it much more appealing. Still for those craving that classic game show experience it is now available on the new consoles. Let’s just get Trebek back for the next iteration. Jeopardy is not Jeopardy without his snarky responses.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.