You Don’t Know Jack – Review

For anyone that grew up playing games, chances are that you played You Don’t Know Jack at some point. It was the quiz show party game that was completely off the wall and completely insane. At its heart the You Don’t Know Jack series is a trivia game series, however, the presentation makes it so much more. The off the wall humor makes it different than any other trivia game that you have ever played and the fact that you can now play it online against your friends through either Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network makes it even more fun. Fans of the series will be happy to hear that Jellyvision was involved with this latest title and that they were able to bring back everything that made the You Don’t Know Jack series so popular.

Everyone should be happy to hear that Cookie makes his return as the host for You Don’t Know Jack. A lot of times when a series is being brought back after a hiatus the development team tries to update the formula so that the current day gamer will enjoy it. Fortunately, the developers didn’t miss with the winning formula they already had and this game is still as relevant today as it was back when I was growing up. Obviously they updated the questions and the references to reflect what is going on in society today. There was one question about Tiger Wood’s infidelity that made me chuckle a little bit and another one about some current gaming titles.

You Don't Know Jack

The different types of questions have also made their return. There is the “Dis or Dat” where you have to categorize a list of seven clues. This is where they give you clues and you have to select whether it is “Dis” or “Dat”. An example of this would be the one I was recently given with the Pope and Britney Spears. With both of those clues a phrase would appear on the screen and I had to select whether it was the name of a Pope or the name of a Britney Spears song. Within the “Dis or Dat” question you get a chance to answer seven different questions and you will get scored not only on accuracy but speed as well. The next specialty question is “Who’s The Dummy?”. This is a question that is read by Billy O’ Brien who is the host’s ventriloquist dummy. The catch here is that Billy has a hard time pronouncing the letters “B,” “M,” and “P.” Because of this you have to listen really carefully when he is speaking. He might be asking a question about Guam but on the screen it will be shown as “Guan.” “Funky Trash” is the next question type that you might get thrown at you and with this one the host rummages through some trash and you have to figure out whose garbage it is. Next is the “Order Question” where you have to put things in the correct order. For example, you might be given three items and then you have to put them in the correct chronological order in terms of when they were released/invented. There are also other question types such as “Cookie’s Fortune Cookie Fortunes” and the “Nocturnal Admissions” but I’ll leave some surprises for you to discover.

You Don’t Know Jack does feature a single player campaign and there are 73 episodes on the disc. While no details have been announced, downloadable content is on the way for the game as a “Downloadable Content” option is available in the main menu and even some of the achievements hint at future trivia packs. The 73 episodes should take you a while to complete and depending on how many downloadable packs are released, this game could keep you busy for quite a while. There is also the multiplayer portion as I alluded to earlier. You can play against three other friends locally or over Xbox Live. One big difference that the multiplayer has over the single player is the chance to “screw” your competition. At the beginning of each game you are given one screw. If a question comes up that you don’t think your opponent knows then you can “screw” him and force him to answer the question within five seconds. If he happens to get the question wrong then he’ll lose a bunch of money. If used properly this could be a great way to help even the odds if you are falling behind. Additionally, the amount of time you take answering a question will determine the amount of points you get. If you and your opponent each get the question correct but your opponent answered two seconds before you, then he will get more points than you. During my time online with the game it ran really smoothly and I didn’t have any lag at all. It adds another layer of fun to the experience if you have your headsets plugged in and you can talk trash with your friends while you are trying to answer the questions as quick as possible. Each game will also feature an episode sponsor and the “Wrong Answer of the Game.” If you manage to find the “Wrong Answer of the Game” then you will win double the value of that question. If it is still Round One then you will win $4000 and if it happens to be Round Two you will win $8000. That is a definite game changer and helped me stage a comeback more than once. Finally you have the Jack Attack. This is the last round of every game and where you can either make up some serious ground if you are behind or further extend your lead. This mode is a series of association questions. You need to find two words that go together. So, for example, if you see “New York City” and “Big Apple” you would hit the button because those two phrases go together. You also have to pay attention to the clue that they give you in the beginning because that will help determine what phrases go together and it might not always be what you think. If you are correct you will win $4000, however, if you are wrong, you will lose $4000. You Don’t Know Jack also features leaderboards and that type of thing and some of the achievements also deal with your rating.

When I initially learned that You Don’t Know Jack was returning I was excited. I have fond memories of playing this game with friends growing up as we huddled around the computer monitor. Fortunately, the game has withstood the test of time and it is just as much fun today as it was back then. If you are not familiar with this series then you are in for a treat. It is a game that you can play solo if you want to unlock those ever important achievements, however, the game is the most fun when you are playing with a group of people. The game is also competitively priced which should have veterans jumping on the title quickly as well as curious newcomers picking it up as an impulse buy. Regardless, be sure to give this title a try and prove whether or not you know Jack.

Score 9/10

Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s