The I Love Lucy Game: Episode 1 Review

By Marc Saltzman |

It was one of the most-watched television show in its day – I Love Lucy, which ran from 1951 to 1957, starred Lucille Ball as lovable naive housewife Lucy Ricardo and Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo, her charming husband and bandleader.

Not only is this influential show still in syndication around the world more than 50 years later, and translated to multiple languages, but now casual gamers can relive (or perhaps discover for the first time) Lucy’s hilarious antics in The I Love Lucy Game: Episode 1, a collection of puzzle games based around a memorable episode, Lucy Does a TV Commercial, where our hapless heroine continues her eternal quest for TV stardom.

While we like the idea of transforming a timeless black-and-white television show into an interactive game, this Big Fish Games exclusive suggests there might be limits to a game based on video clips and still images, which results in short and shallow play, and with limited replayability.

The game lets you select from one of four game modes in any order you choose. Here’s a quick synopsis of what you do in each of these game types:

  • Trivia Clips: Players are presented with a short video clip from the TV show and will then be asked a trivia question based on what you just saw. For example, was Lucy crossing her arms or what did Ricky say when he answered the phone? While they slightly increase in difficulty, selecting the correct answer from the multiple choice options is painfully easy.
  • Photo Recall: Similar to the video trivia, you’ll see a still photo from the show for a few seconds and then must answer a question based on your memory, such as "Was Lucy wearing earrings?" They will get a bit tougher as you move up the prize money value, such as "What is Ricky’s role on this TV commercial?," rather than referring to something in the scene.
  • Picture Puzzle: This is a sliding tile-style puzzle with a video clip from the show. Players use the mouse to swap two squares out of the 9 (and then you must play with 16 squares and then 20) until the entire image looks like it should. There is no time limit, so eventually you’ll figure out the trickier puzzles.
  • Build a Clip: As the name suggests, here you must build a scene by selecting the proper video sequence to be played in chronological order. You’ll start with three clips, and as your prize value goes up, move up to four and then five clips you must place on the timeline in the correct order.

    Aside from this game being very easy, one of the first issues I had while playing The I Love Lucy Game: Episode 1 was that I felt like I wasn’t working towards anything. That is, you’re making money by solving puzzles, but there isn’t anything you could buy with the virtual cash, such as the ability to watch the entire episode from start to finish or secret interview clips with Lucille Ball. or any reward. That said, you can unlock a small bonus game, but we won’t give anything away how to do it or what you get.

    A bigger problem, perhaps, is you won’t likely want to play the game a second time around. This is because you’ll see the exact same trivia questions and puzzles. Therefore, after a few short hours you will see all there is to see, and then you’re done.

    In other words, The I Love Lucy Game: Episode 1 is a good idea, but falls short in its execution. Serious fans of the television show, however, might enjoy these puzzles and the game’s attractive presentation.

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