Jeopardy! PlayShow is a new app that was just released for all Amazon Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Edition televisions. With it you watch a real episode of Jeopardy! and play along by using your phone to buzz in and your phone’s microphone to speak your answer. The result is a seamless experience that pits you up against real Jeopardy! contestants, as well as your family and friends.
When you launch the app, you’re asked to select which episode of Jeopardy! you’d like to watch and play. These are real episodes that play all the way through. Currently, there are two episodes available to play for free. You also have the option to purchase a 5 episode starter pack for $4.99 or a 20 episode Editor’s Choice pack for $14.99. Episodes are played without any commercials.
The game is in Beta right now, so these prices and formats may change. I do not know if new free episodes are added daily, like with the Alexa Jeopardy! game, or if the two free episodes are all you ever get for free. The app description says you can choose from 15,000 episodes, however, the game currently just says more episodes coming soon when you scroll past the two aforementioned episode packs.
To play the game, you must install the game’s companion app on your phone. It’s currently only available in the Google Play Store, but I expect that it’ll also be available for iOS devices eventually. The mobile app simply displays a large red button that becomes available to press after Alex Trebek finishes reading an answer. Once you buzz in with your response, you speak your answer, in the form of a question, into your phone’s microphone and it gets transcribed and submitted to the Fire TV app.
The experience is very slick and seamless. Once you buzz in and speak your answer, it immediately appears on the TV in nearly real-time. You can use your phone to pause the Jeopardy! episode if you need to step away and you’re also given prompts on the phone to skip things in the episode, like contestant interviews, if you just want to play the game.
You can play on your own or up to three home players can connect to the same Fire TV game and play simultaneously in party mode. Once an answer is revealed, the Jeopardy! episode automatically pauses to give home players a chance to respond with the appropriate question. A countdown timer begins and, just like the real game, the first person to buzz in on their mobile phone gets first dibs at the available points.
I’ve never been much of a Jeopardy! fan, but this is a really fun and interactive way to watch an episode. I ran into one tiny glitch that forced me to restart the app, but overall it’s a very stable experience considering it’s currently in beta. I can’t see myself paying $0.75 – $0.99 per episode more than just a few times, as it’s currently priced, but if they offer an occasional new free episode or ad-supported episodes, I’d definitely keep playing. This is one of the few Fire TV games that creatively uses the device’s capabilities to introduce an all-new experience around traditional television content.