America’s Greatest Game Shows: Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy! review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: Xbox One, PS4
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Medium: Digital/Cartridge
Players: 1-3
Online: Yes

Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! should be slam dunks as far as video game ports go. Their real-world equivalents are the kind of game shows you can play along with at home, and if I?m being honest, I probably sank more time into the PS3 versions of both games than anything else last generation.

This generation of games, however, has made me question just how easy it is. After all, Jeopardy! on PS4 was a soulless, boring waste of time, and Wheel of Fortune was only marginally better. As much as I?d like report that the games got better with their move to the Switch…well, that would be a lie.

In fact, in Jeopardy!?s case, the game is arguably worse, especially if you don?t have Nintendo?s online service. The PS4 version featured both your standard Jeopardy! game and daily challenges. On the Switch, you only get access to the daily challenges if you have an online subscription; if you don?t, that means you?re stuck with Jeopardy!, which is more like a basic trivia game with Jeopardy! branding than the game you know and love. True, there?s still Daily Doubles and categories and whatnot, but there?s no Trebek. In fact, there?s no onscreen characters at all, which was part of what made the PS3 version of the game so much fun.

(In the interest of fairness, I should note that I have PlayStation Plus, so it?s entirely possible that the daily challenges were linked to paid online and I just didn?t think about it. If that?s the case, then the division here is slightly more explicable, but it doesn?t make the lack of content any better.)

Wheel of Fortune, at least, fares a little better. You don?t have the weird-looking Pat Sajak and Vanna White who populated the previous game, but otherwise, it?s more or less what you?d expect from a Wheel of Fortune game. You get to create an onscreen avatar (though your options in terms of clothing are severely limited, particularly at the beginning of the game), you get to spin the wheel, you get to see the characters react to good and bad luck — in other words, you have a real, if Sajak-less, Wheel experience.

Even then, though, there?s not a lot going on here. Again, I?ll point the previous gen versions as doing something right: you not only had something that approximated a real Wheel of Fortune game, you also had mini-games that allowed you to hone your skills between rounds. It may not sound like much, but it added to the overall experience.

And that?s why this double-pack of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune is such a letdown: because the overall experience is just not there. If you want to guess words or answer trivia questions, it?s fine — but it never aspires to be more than simply ?fine.? Given how easy it should be to make these games fun, just being fine doesn?t do the trick.

Ubisoft provided us with a America’s Greatest Game Shows: Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy! Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C-