Oh my God! They killed Jeopardy!

Mar 1, 2000 at 12:00 am

The lovably offensive characters from "South Park" might have worn out their TV welcome, but, with Chef’s Luv Shack, the four prepubescent grade-schoolers prove themselves worth our attention once again. Similar to Merv Griffin’s Jeopardy! franchise, this wild and unexpectedly fun cartridge provides hours of gameplay (and it’s a great time-killer when waiting for "Must See TV" to begin).

Only about one-fourth of the questions asked are "South Park"-oriented, but nearly all of the trivia is phrased with a hint of the show’s humor. Example: "Which term, mmm’kay, describes a disorder where, mmm’kay, you might develop repetitive tics and, mmm’kay, speech patterns, mmm’kay?" Realistic answers are given as choices, but obviously the kids’ twisted school counselor had some impact on the writers of this game.

But if two to eight rounds of humorous (and even educational) quiz bowl doesn’t sound entertaining, the minigames should add some excitement. There are dozens of Mario Party-esque stages, allowing the mind to relax and actually challenging button-pressing abilities. Among the overflowing handful of minigames are "South Park" adaptations of arcade classics like Galaga, Pong! and Go Karts, as well as a few interesting originals cooked up by the insane employees of Acclaim. Among the bunch that might be considered grotesque by more than just Sherwood Anderson are Spank the Monkey, in which you must follow the keypad order in which Mr. Mackey touches the four-assed mammal, among other creatively nasty games.

So next time a cocktail party seems a bit mundane, just remember that Chef’s Luv Shack is always looking for new contestants.