Review: You Don’t Know Jack

Jellyvision Games and THQ revive the popular trivia series You Don’t Know Jack with a new title for 2011.

This guy's forehead ALWAYS freaked me out.

YDKJ has players competing against each other for virtual dollars in a fictional trivia show.  Players must correctly answer ten preset questions to win the game, correct answers gain the player money where incorrect ones lose the player money.  Most games also include a “Dis or Dat” question, where the game asks the player to decide if a certain phrase belongs in column A or column B.  Each round also includes a “Wrong Answer of the Day” which gives the choosing player money instead of taking some away. Each of these answers is hinted at in the beginning of the game by a fake company that has “sponsored” the answer.  The end of each game has the players competing in a “Jack Attack,” where the game gives players a brief clue as to the relationship they must guess between two phrases or works.

The writing and humor is what makes the YDKJ franchise stand out among the other trivia games.  The host will often mock players who guessed incorrectly, and sometimes even those players who guessed correctly.  Past incarnations of the series have even had options where should a player attempt to answer a question before the host is finished asking it get penalized.  Another part of the fun of the game is how quickly each round can turn.  A player can be in first place on one question only to end up in last after the next one.  Players also have the opportunity to “screw” other players, making the “screwed” player answer the question in less time than normal.  Should the player get the question wrong, the “screwer” gains extra money, but if the “screwed” player gets it right he or she gains that money.

Some of the only downfalls of the game occur on the Nintendo DS and PC versions of the game.  Both versions only have the option for two players, other versions have do up to four, which is surprising considering the game originated on the PC.  Even more strange is the fact that the PC and DS versions have no online play, again the other ones do, but the option to download new questions is not there either.

Video games AND Nostradamus in one question?! Lusipurr's wet dream!

Overall, YDKJ is a really fun trivia game.  It is fast enough to sit down and play for a few minutes, but engaging enough that the player may end up playing for hours on end.  The humor and writing is just what fans of the series remember from the older games, and still funny enough to introduce new fans to the series.  While the PC and DS versions seem a little stripped down, which is again surprising for the PC version, the other versions are exactly what trivia fans need.  For anyone looking for a fun trivia game, this is a great choice.

0 comments on “Review: You Don’t Know Jack”

  1. I LOVE the game! This will be my second Platinum (sorry Sly 2, you’ll have to wait) (and will be Nancy’s first!), and the game where I regain my lead on Johnny Pipes.

    YOU HEAR THAT, EthoStar?!