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Jeopardy! Xbox One review: A beloved trivia game show comes to consoles

This is Jeopardy!

Gameshows often make fine videogames, allowing players to actively participate in the same shows they already enjoy on TV. Ubisoft just brought Jeopardy! to Xbox One, featuring the classic TV gameplay, online multiplayer, and two new game types.

Presenting Jeopardy!

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

There have been many game adaptations of Jeopardy!, including a solid Xbox 360 version (opens in new tab). This new version seems to be poised as a low-budget downloadable title, excluding some of the bells and whistles you might expect from a Jeopardy! videogame.

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

For instance, a female announcer reads the category names at the start of the game. There's no Alex Trebek, and no reading the questions out loud. Worse, some of the sound effects, like buzzing in and Daily Double, don't match those of the show. Thankfully, you get to hear the iconic Jeopardy! theme before starting a game.

Presentation issues aside, this Jeopardy! has a good metagame to help keep players coming back. Win or lose, you earn experience that contributes towards your overall level. You also gain XP in the individual categories of questions you answered correctly. Level them up high enough, and you'll unlock new categories (which can also be leveled) for future games. The game tracks your stats across every mode.

Classic Jeopardy!

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

Jeopardy! offers four game modes: Classic, Family, Daily Challenge, and Online. Classic and Family both support solo play and local multiplayer for up to three players. Each player must have his or her own controller. When playing with less than three players, the empty slots will be filled with AI players of customizable difficulty.

Classic mode is the traditional Jeopardy! with three rounds, the first two consisting of six categories of five clues each. The final round is called Final Jeopardy and allows players to bet it all on a single question. During normal rounds, the current active player selects a category and dollar value for a clue, and then the first person to buzz in gets a shot at answering the question.

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

To buzz in, you just hit the button on your controller before everybody else – but buzzing in before the timer starts will temporarily disable your buzzer. The one downside to this setup is the question doesn't get read aloud, so everyone just stares at the text for a while before the buzz icon appears and they can start trying to answer.

Instead of spelling out an answer, you simply select from three possible answers. That has a dramatic effect on difficulty compared to real-life Jeopardy, but it's still a good compromise for a videogame. And the questions in Classic are usually quite tough, even with three answers to choose from.

Family mode

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

If you're playing with trivia novices or children, Family mode is the way to go. The questions are markedly easier than Classic mode, to the point where an average adult should know the answer more than half of the time. This might be too easy with a group of smarties, but the younger crowd will certainly enjoy it.

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

Both Family and Classic offer the choice of Quick Mode. When selected, the board only offers four categories and three clues per category, for a total of 18 questions per round instead of 30. This is a great option when you're in a hurry or hunting Achievements.

Daily Challenge

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

This single-player mode will have you stopping by to play every day, at least until you get the Achievement for winning 10 days in a row.

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

Before the game begins, you'll select six categories from a pool of 12. You must then try to answer those six questions as they are presented rapid-fire in a row. Pausing to search the web for the answers won't work, because the timer keeps going while paused!

This is a fun, quick way to enjoy Jeopardy. After the game ends, you have to wait for the next day to give it another shot.

Online multiplayer

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

Jeopardy! offers online multiplayer. It's a great feature, but it's hard to find a game due to some bad design decisions.

First, even when selecting Quick Match, you still have to choose between Classic and Quick modes. That divides up the player base because there's no indication of which category has open games or not.

After searching for a game and failing to find an open one, you have the option of creating your own game. Problem is, you need three players to actually start a game. I sat in a lobby for an hour and never got three players together – the second person always gave up and quit before a third player came along.

Ironically, should someone drop out during an online game, the host has the choice of substituting AI players in the missing spot(s). If you could just start online games with two warm-blooded players and an AI player, it'd be significantly easier to find online games.

Developer Frima Studio (makers of the excellent co-op puzzle platformer Chariot) doesn't seem to have anticipated these matchmaking issues, sadly. You can still start a private game with two friends who own Jeopardy, but that's a lot more trouble than being able to join and play public games in a reasonable time frame.

Overall impression of Jeopardy! for Xbox One

Jeopardy! for Xbox One

Jeopardy! is a decent adaptation of the popular game show. It doesn't have the production values and eye for detail to fully capture the TV experience, but it's still fun as a multiplayer trivia game. Other than online matchmaking issues, the only major problem is value. Jeopardy! sells for $20, but for $5 more you could get any of the Jackbox Party Pack games – and they're all miles better than this one in production value and volume of content. Dedicated fans of the game show will still enjoy Jeopardy! at full price, but casual fans will probably want to wait for a sale.

Pros:

  • Play classic Jeopardy as well as other fun modes.
  • You can play solo or with friends in multiplayer.
  • Leveling system encourages players to come back for more.

Cons:

  • Presentation doesn't look or sound like Jeopardy!
  • Online multiplayer is a ghost town due to design mistakes.
  • Overpriced when compared against other trivia games.

Jeopardy! costs $19.99 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It can also be purchased in a bundle with Wheel of Fortune (see our review) in the America's Greatest Game Shows pack, both digitally and at retail, for $39.99.

Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

9 Comments
  • Would be kinda neat if it had Kinect voice recognition, i.e. true open answer vs what appears to be multiple choice.
  • Oh my!  That would have been great!  But Microsoft vision is really tunnel vision.  There is no thinking outside the box.  No pun intended.  The demise of Kinect is just another example of Microsoft's failure to effectively enhance a vision.
  • Can you load your own set of questions and do multiplayer?
  • This definitely is way better than playing Jeopardy on Amazon's Echo/Alexa/Dot. I love the visuals, even though English is not my first language and I grew up outside the US, this game has become a favorite and a way to learn a lot about pop-culture, and general facts of life, society and everything else.
  • I have no idea what jeopardy is, never heard of it actually lol. I would guessed its more like "you don't know jack" type of questionair game? It's interesting as a family game.
  • Totally a Jeopardy junkie and was hoping for better. Guess I'll save the money. And thank you for the SNL reference.
  • Shame online multipllayer was implemented so poorly 
  • Disappointed to hear that this isn't a full version of Jeopardy that I would have wanted. No Trebek and odd sound effects seem really weird, as is not reading the 'answer'. Worst of all is the multiple choice options. I get that its most logical for consoles, but it's really not a true Jeopardy experience if your answers are multiple choice. I remember the SNES version having typed in answers and I really loved it. Also that online functionality sounds really annoying if you don't have friends to create games with. My wait for a true Jeopardy gaming experience continues.
  • I'm not that familiar with Jeopardy but, its a shame it looks so plain and Ubisoft didn't manage to capture the look and feel of a real game show :/ at least it looks like a fun game for friends and family! Especially with that family friendly option.