Way back in 1995, PC gaming was still considered the king over console gaming with such games released as Full Throttle, Warcraft II, & Command & Conquer. It also marked the year an irreverent quiz show was released that changed the party game scene for years.
You Don’t Know Jack is making a triumphant return to PC and console thanks to THQ and its original developers, Jellyvision Games. It’s been 16 years since the first You Don’t Know Jack hit store shelves, but does this new version capture everything that we loved about the original series?
You Don’t Know Jack at its core is a trivia game, plain and simple. You play through 10 questions per episode with the majority of the questions being multiple choice, but there will be times where it’ll be a special segment such as “Dis or Dat” or “Who’s the Dummy?” and a final “Jack Attack” segment where you match two words that fit the given clue. With 73 episodes included on the disc, and 10 episodes per downloadable packs, you’ll see that the amount of questions that are available for the game is massive. Each question has a timer counting down to zero. The quicker your response, the more money you can win. On the other hand, if you answer incorrectly, the game will deduct that amount from your total.
As with most trivia games, the real fun is when you compete with your friends. You Don’t Know Jack allows you to play with up to four players either offline or online. One of the new features in multiplayer is the addition of a screw that will allow you to “Screw Your Opponent.” The purpose of this is to challenge your opponents to try to answer the question within 5 seconds, which can be useful if you believe one of your opponents doesn’t know the answer. Another new addition is the “Wrong Answer of the Day,” which gives a cash bonus to anyone who successfully guesses the wrong answer to a question. This is the first time I have heard of a trivia game rewarding players with guessing the right wrong answer, which is only something You Don’t Know Jack could achieve.
The game doesn’t just deliver trivia questions for you to wrack your brain on, it’s also chock full of humor. Cookie Masterson makes his triumphant return as the host of You Don’t Know Jack and he chimes in on a regular basis to not only ask the questions, but to also inject background information, responses to players’ correct or incorrect answers, and plenty of jokes. The humor doesn’t stop with Cookie Masterson as the game’s end credits offers some fake commercials known as “Fauxmercials” that will certainly get your party laughing. Even the main menu has You Don’t Know Jack staff using the intercom system to relay hilarious messages as informing the staff the intercom system is currently not working or for the staff to be on the watch of a possible serial killer roaming the halls.
FINAL THOUGHT: THQ and Jellyvision Games have successfully brought back one of my favorite trivia games to the modern age with its large quantity of interesting and topical questions, while mixing in a ton of humor along the way. If you enjoy trivia games, You Don’t Know Jack is an absolute must have.