Features Genre Spotlight

Genre Spotlight: Game Show Grab Bag

Game show video games have never really been the most popular genre of video games over the years, but games are and were prevalent on most video game systems over the last 25 years. The Genesis is no exception, and there sure are a plethora of titles based on the favorite programs of the period. In fact, only the NES has more game show titles than the Genesis does. So are any of these games worth playing?


American Gladiators

Being one of the most iconic shows of the 1990s, American Gladiators naturally had a multi-platform release in 1991, and when you give it a chance, it actually isn’t too bad. The game includes virtually every competition the TV show had, including joust, assault, the wall, and my personal favorite, powerball. It also has a somewhat fairly simple eliminator challenge at the end. Most of these games depend on an irritating button mashing combination that will move your player and sometimes have to be exactly correct otherwise your player won’t move correctly, and that can cost you costly points. Not a lot of strategy involved, but it’s some great button-mashing fun for two players.

Family Feud

There are three words that can properly describe this title: This is AWFUL One of the worst Genesis titles ever produced, Family Feud is plagued by its many flaws and irritating game play. The insane difficulty with the low tolerance for misspelling makes this game almost no fun to play. Also, most of the answers you can give are very vague, and sometimes the computer will boggle your mind with how well it knows the answers. Also, if the computer gives two or three correct answers in a row, you already know that they are going to sweep the board. Who has nine friends to play along at one time anyways? Get serious and avoid this title at all costs.

The Jeopardy! Series

Based on America’s favorite quiz show, Jeopardy! was for some reason released in some form on every major system up until the PS2. Frankly, the Genesis version is the most true to the original format. There are only a few down plays for the Jeopardy! games for the Genesis. You can change the categories if you don’t like them and the questions are often too difficult for the whole family to play. Other than that, the lack of a tournament in this game kind of makes it not really worth buying.

The Deluxe Edition is basically the same game as the original except it has way more categories along with the original categories from the first game. Also does not have a tournament mode, though does include facial expressions when winning or losing large amounts of money. If you are a fan of traditional Jeopardy! then this is the perfect Jeopardy! for you.

The Sports Edition is the perfect quiz game for you and your sports buddies. Quite possibly the easiest of the three titles for the Genesis, this one is a great time even if you don’t know very much about sports. The only problem I have with this title is that sometimes the answers (remember, in Jeopardy! its backwards where the questions are the answers) are rather dated and require some backwards in time thinking to get the answers correct. You can use the really lame category change option if you get caught up with categories like “1992 Olympic Champions.”

Wheel of Fortune

America’s favorite game show has made an almost obligatory appearance on our beloved system. Using real photos digitized into the game, this version of WOF was the best version available up until the PC version came out a few years ago. This release and the SNES are exactly identical, so identical in fact, that the “number of players” select option is shaped like the four buttons of a SNES controller. This game uses the best digitized voice samples for any of the game show titles available. The only problem I have with Wheel of Fortune is that the puzzles are way too easy, and the computer opponents will almost let you win on easy and normal difficulties. Moreover, the difficulty spikes dramatically on the hard difficulty, and you cannot make a single mistake and hope to win.


Game Shows That Could Have Been Great Video Games

Two game shows had their games in production to make multi-platform appearances during the video gaming boom of the late 1980s: Super Password and The Price is Right. They would have made at least mediocre titles, and I wonder how much fun it would be to play these games with a group of friends. These games never made it past the production stage and got the axe. I do know that Super Password got the axe because the TV show ended its run before the game was going to hit the market, however I do not know why The Price is Right never came to fruition.

Well, I actually did it. I got my self through ten games on one of gaming history’s bigger travesties. It’s not all horrible, so getting it for at least a few bucks shouldn’t give you buyer’s remorse.

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