Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 5 Episode 6

The Game

Aired Unknown Oct 28, 1991 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
226 votes
  • Time to Play the Game

    This Wesley episode, inspired by "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," pairs Wil Wheaton with Ashley Judd and has a lot of fun building up the paranoia as the story speeds towards its conclusion. The idea of Wesley visiting the ship, only to find everyone "out to get him" is even more effective than having a new character in the same position (such as Danar in third season's "The Hunted") and practically let's the episode almost write itself. (Although it helps that Wheaton and the writers have a firm idea of how to handle the Wesley character at this point.) I would be remiss if I didn't point out that the "graphics" of the game were hopelessly outdated by 1995 and today would cause a child to literally roll around on the floor laughing out loud.
  • Wil Wheaton finally gets his due with a great action episode.

    Unlike Denise Crosby, who got multiple 2nd chances on TNG and each time convinced us that canning her character was a good idea, Wil Wheaton was a victim of poor writing. Cast as an annoying teenager who ended up saving the day far too often, he simply didn't get the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful manner. (Compare that to the character of Jake Sisko, who was used more sparingly but in a more satisfying manner.)

    Once Wheaton became an occasional guest star, the writers suddenly focused on writing good stories for him. (I think the departure of Gene Roddenberry, who was a well-meaning but harmful influence on the character's development, made a difference.)

    This isn't a "heavy" episode - there are no big themes (aside from a nod to drug abuse), no heavy character development. Nothing more than a tight, well-written action episode. There's also some great humor here - particularly Wesley's interaction with Data near the beginning. But the episode, clearly echoing "Invasion of the Body Snatches", builds and builds to a fever pitch. Even after you've seen it once, the chase sequence near the end keeps you on the edge of your seat. And Ashley Judd... enough said.

    This episode is clearly topped by "The First Duty", but is highly recommended.
  • This is a decent episode, but I found the premise difficult to believe.

    In the episode, everyone plays a game that is addictive and exhibits some sort of mind control. Although the episode was interesting, I found the premise hard to believe. In my opinion, it simply did not fit with Picard's or Worf's character to be talked into playing a frivolous game. It also makes no sense that La Forge would be able to play the game, given the fact that it requires an optical interface. Character problems aside, the ending was full of action and very interested. For an episode with that annoying boy Wesley in it, it wasn't all that bad.
  • A Very Special Episode

    I loved "The Game" i especially liked how the crew slowly became strange. It was pretty fun to see Wes;ey get chased around by everyone. I also wished they would've did more with data in this episode like if they reprogrammed him or something. I wonder why Wesley never tried to escape on a shuttle. Or he could have tried to keep up the ruse that he was one of them by wearing the fake device he had made. I wonder how the girl he was with got caught? But all around this was a excellent episode. The ending left more to the imagination though.
  • Wesley comes back to save the day.

    This was a really great idea, but did it have to be Wesley saving the crew? And how is it that he and Robin were the only ones who noticed anything strange about the game? When 75% of the crew is playing it, you'd think some of the other 25% would start to get a little creeped out. Still, all in all I think this episode was good in spite of the gaping plot holes, and it was very well acted by everyone... it would have been nice to see Wesley once in a non-savior role before having him come back and save the ship. Also, his goodbye to Robin was not so smooth. If a guy told me nothing can keep "good friends" apart and then kissed me on the cheek, I'd feel rejected.
  • Wesley Crusher visits the Enterprise but soon finds the crew acting strangely.

    This is a good episode with Wesley and Robin (his girlfriend) becoming concerned with the addictive effects of a new game on the crew. The story builds slowly but surely with Riker, then Deanna, then Beverly becoming addicted. Data is deactivated in a shocking scene and soon after, Geordi and the Captain and the rest of the crew become addicted and begin following the directions of an alien intending to infect all of Starfleet! Its gripping to watch Wesley and Robin (who make a good couple) trying to evade the crew forcing the game onto them - and the final scenes where Robin is finally addicted and Wesley is running for his life are great. The scene where Wesley is forced by Riker, Worf and his mother to try the game is genuinely tense. An entertaining episode with Wil Wheaton acting well in his return as Wes.
  • Riker brings back a game from Risa that gets people who play it addicted and easy to control.

    This episode is a good one, but it has always grossed me out the way the crew reacts when the win the game. The gasp they make and their facial expressions are as if they have done the dirty, and since the game stimulates the pleasure center of the brain, no telling what they feel. It's all symbolism for drug addiction, but I can't help but feel a sexual undertone in the episode as well. Overall, this is a really good episode, but it may take you a while to get past the sounds they make. I may have a perverted mind, but it gets to me every time.
  • Ashley Judd is in it. Need I say more?

    Ashley Judd is in it. Need I say more?

    Ok so it wasn't the best episode, and the story line could have been developed more, and there were a few bugs here and there but when we forget about that and we let ourselves be charmed like Wes was but the sublime beauty and charm of young Ashley Judd we realize that this was a great episode.

    In fact, it's a real shame they never got her to come back and elaborate on this 1st romance fro Wes. It was so much more inspiring than anything that ever happened between Riker and Troi
  • Riker while on shore leave on Risa, discovers a new game. Riker is so excited about the game. He wants everyone to try it. He manages to get Troi to try it. She then shows the game to the doctor. Before long several crew members are playing it.

    Riker while on shore leave on Risa, discovers a new game. Riker is so excited about the game. He wants everyone to try it. He manages to get Troi to try it. She then shows the game to the doctor. Before long several crew members are playing it. Wesley Crusher who is taking a break from Starfleet Academy discovers people who play the game begin acting to strangely. Where is Data when you need him? Data is unconscious for some reason. Wesley goes to Picard and warns him of the addictive game. It may be to late.
  • Oh yes, the game is on.

    I just received Season 5 of The Next Generation, which included one of my favourite episodes - "The Game". When I first saw this episode (when it first aired), I wanted to be Wesley Crusher so incredibly bad. He was everything I wanted to be at the time. He excelled as a student, was slick with the fairer sex, and had the skill to get away from Riker and Worf. Oh yeah! The idea of the game was so interesting, and I really enjoyed that Wesley and Robin decyphered that it posed a problem almost immediately to the crew. And Ashley Judd is definitely not hard to look at. Data taking care of business at the end was classic. Finally, I was so envious when Wesley said goodbye so suave-like to Robin at the end of the episode. A great ending to a spectacular episode.
  • An underappreciated episode in my opinion! SPOILER ALERT

    I liked this episode from the beginning, right at the first time i saw it. I'll admit i prefer the stories where a single character ALONE has to deal with a threat, because imo in that case you amplify the thrilling, and the action! An attempt to take control of the Enterprise by the introduction on board of an hypnotic and addicting game is the perfect way to set the entire crew against a single character (precisely Weasley Crusher). The only flaw, if i can find it in an episode with such an involving story, is, other than lack of scientific matters, not giving an evil role to Data (disabled for the occasion)...but that would have been to much to handle for anyone!