GSN’s Jeopardy is one of the best video game versions of the classic show to date, though it’s less social than it should be
Countless developers have adapted Jeopardy into a video game across countless formats since the inception of the medium. Few of these adaptations have captured the true appeal of the TV show, instead suffering from hateful AI issues and an all-too-limited pool of trivia answers that players must use to ask the correct question. It may seem improbable, but GSN’s Jeopardy for Facebook is probably one of the best Jeopardy-based video games ever made. The game doesn’t repeat questions, accurately emulates the show’s format, and can offer some serious challenge to a trivia fan.
Just like the TV version, Jeopardy breaks gameplay into three rounds. At the beginning of the first round, the game announces six trivia categories with five possible clues a player can try to decipher. Each clue in each category has a monetary value attached to it. A player must answer a question in each category, but can effectively choose the difficulty of the question by selecting the dollar value they wish to pursue. One of the categories will trigger a Daily Double, where players must wager at least $5 on their answer to the question. A smart player tries to pursue low-value clues in difficult subject areas and high-value clues in familiar ones, with the Daily Double acting as a wild card. Incorrect questions cause players to lose the monetary value of the clue.
After the first round, players proceed into Double Jeopardy, where monetary values are doubled. Otherwise, play will proceed as it did in the first round. The third round brings players into Final Jeopardy, where they are presented with a category and asked to wager some portion of their winnings in the first two rounds. At the end of the game, you win however much money you earned through correct answers. The only substantial change of format introduced for the Facebook version is offering multiple choice answers for questions, which surprisingly doesn’t water down Jeopardy‘s infamously high difficulty level.
Like a lot of host-driven formats, Jeopardy loses a little in the transition to a single-player Facebook game. There’s no Alex Trebek to build the tension of Final Jeopardy by slowly reading the question aloud. Without other contestants to compete against, you’re really just trying to make sure you don’t lose all your money to incorrect answers or too-high wagers. If you do lose a ton of money on Final Jeopardy, you can ask friends playing the game to help you get it back. There’s no other major social mechanic available in the Facebook version of Jeopardy, which is a bit disappointing.
The pluses far outweigh the minuses when it comes to Jeopardy on Facebook, though. The game uses an episodic format, which means that questions are bundled into groups. You probably won’t see all of the questions created for a given episode and questions from one episode don’t reappear in others due to Jeopardy‘s category system. Variety is the lifeblood of trivia games and Jeopardy has captured that aspect of the series perfectly, making it into a very enjoyable Facebook diversion for trivia buffs.