All of us, like Gloria Clemente, have dreamed of being a Jeopardy! contestant. While it's doubtful that many of you will utterly dominate like she did, GSN Digital still wants to give Facebook gamers everywhere the chance. The developer has released Jeopardy! for Facebook, and the game has been expertly adapted to the platform with a few social features.
Unfortunately, the game fails to capture the essence of Jeopardy!: three-way cerebral combat. In Jeopardy! for Facebook, it's just your lonely self in the hot seat, answering a series of multiple choice questions while wagering set amounts of cash per trivia question. And this is where the first problem with this game might arise for Jeopardy purists. The original Jeopardy never offers four possible answers. But then again, it's doubtful that this adaptation is geared toward the encyclopedia junkie who applies for a spot on the show incessantly. Better yet for the trivia "casuals," players can choose what to wager from a set of options for each questions. Gaming the system is intentional, allowing contestants to take better advantage of what they know, and mitigate the monetary damage from what they don't.
It's definitely not as challenging as the original Jeopardy, but is that really the point of Facebook games? What truly hinders the game are three things. First, Jeopardy's version of the Energy system, or Episodes, leaves little time for you to actually play the game. Every time you play one of the short trivia sessions, you'll lose on Episode. Sure, players can send one another free Episodes, but that can only be done once every few hours. This leaves potentially large gaps of time in which you cannot play the game outside of paying up in Gold, which can be earned from winning games or buying it outright.
Second, the lack of real time, three-person trivia gameplay simply would have made Jeopardy the ultimate adaptation of a game show to Facebook. As of right now, things get quite lonely in the game, as there is little to no social interaction outside of sending and receiving gifts. Perhaps the change is being worked on as of this writing, because an upgrade like that could launch this game's paltry 128 thousand monthly player base, according to AppData, into the millions.
Speaking of which, there aren't enough social features in the game, generally speaking. Aside from a leader board for your friends and the ability to trade gifts and Boosts with--which allow players to either pass on questions or multiply the payout or penalty for a question--them. Players can ask one another for help for which friends can respond through the home screen. While these options sound like quite a lot, and they are, playing the game still feels terribly lonely. Because, at the end of the day, it's just you staring at the wall of quizzical television screens ... alone.
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