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YOU DON'T KNOW JACK

YDKJ Review 2011

 

  It's been a long time coming but at last Jellyvision has done it again with the release of YOU DON"T KNOW JACK. What is that you say, you have never heard of YDKJ? Let me explain.

 

  YDKJ is a series of computer and now console games, that began development back in the early 1990's. The basic premise for the series was a comedic adult quiz show where high culture and pop culture collided together. The quiz show is run by a sarcastic host who would put the super hero known as Sarcastro to shame with the barbs he tosses at you.

 

Sarcastro

You thought Sarcastro had a razor wit, wait until you become the foil of host Cookie Masterson.

 

  What really works for YDKJ is the atmosphere that it sets up and it does so with audio cues. You really feel like you are a contestant behind the scenes of a quiz show about to go on the air. Visuals are kept to a minimum and in fact you will never see the host of the show. The animation mostly takes place between questions giving you a small vignette focused on what number question you are currently on. This only works because of the great voice acting and comedic writing put into the game, something that a lot of games seem to forget about.

 

  Who knew that a trivia game could be full of so much comedic gold? YDKJ mixes in pop cultural references so that you get questions like "Since Tiger Woods got married in 2004, in which year is Tiger Woods' wood anniversary?" or "Which NFL football team is Not represented by a mammal?" The wording they choose is specifically made to mess with your head, so take a moment before you buzz in to answer a question.

 

  All of the questions outside of the mini games and the final round are multiple choice, gone are the days were you need to fill in the blank, so you will really only need access to the keys you use to buzz in for the answer. This is kind of nice especially when you're playing the PC version and sharing a keyboard.

 

Lady Gaga/ Lady Godiva

Quit horsing around you know the answer

 

  The game consists of three rounds, two of which have five questions each, with the points earned doubling in the second round. The third and final round is the Jack Attack, it's kind of a lightning round that can really get a losing player back into the game if their quick, smart, or just plain lucky enough.

 

Jack Attack

 

  The Jack Attack is made up of seven items that you have to match against words flying across the screen, but they have to match the clue. For instance if the clue is remember your K's and you see the word "cereal" pop up you have to match it up with a K, so Special K would be the correct answer to buzz in on, while Cheerios would be inncorrect because it does not match the clue. Every correct buzz in earns you points but remember every incorrect buzz in costs you points so don't go all Kamikaze trying to catch up, or you will just be giving Cookie more fuel to roast you with.

 

Dis or Dat

 

  There are also several mini games that pop up to mix up the episodes a bit. One of these mini games is the Dis or Dat question. The player with the lowest score gets to decide if an item belongs to category A, category B, or sometimes both categories. The other players have a chance to steal points in the mini game by answering correctly first but they only get the steal if the other player answers incorrectly. An example of a Dis or Dat question would be "Is the following the name of a Bond girl or a Muppet on Sesame Street." .

 

  Another great mini game is one that floats throughout the episode, it's called the "Wrong answer of the game."

 

Wrong answer of the game

 

  You get a clue based on the current fake sponsor and have to keep an eye out for an answer to a question that is wrong but matches the fake sponsor. If you answer that question wrong on purpose you get a huge reward in points and a silly in game achievement trophy.

 

Fabulous Prizes

Fabulous prizes like these can be yours for answering the correct question wrong... Wait a minute what?!

 

  YDKJ is a great game for people who are competitive and the faster you buzz in the more points you earn on a question, but don't worry if someone beats you to the punch because you can also buzz in with your choice for points.

 

  Have the feeling that person next to you has no clue what the answer to the question might be? Well screw them, literally. At the beginning of the game Cookie gives you a little screw that you can use to force the other player to answer a question. So save them for a moment when you are feeling extremely evil.

 

Screw Attack

 

  The best part of screwing over your fellow player is that if they get it wrong, not only do they lose the points but you now also have a chance to answer the question yourself with a narrower field of choices.

 

String Theory

Who knew quantum physics could help you with your love life.

 

  But wait just because the games over after the Jack Attack does not mean that it's all over. Wait what? Like I said before YDKJ is all about atmosphere and comedy. Stick around after the game is over and listen to the fake commercials that they play from their fake sponsors.

 

  At only ten questions plus the Jack Attack the game feels really short compared to the original YDKJ that I played in the early 90's, but it's still a great and funny game that is even better when you have someone else to compete against.

 

  The down side of the PC version is that you are limited to only two players who must play locally on the same machine. This means sharing the same keyboard to buzz in on to answer questions, which can lead to cramped quarters. The older games had the option of three players, also no online mode for the PC.

 

  Why no online play for the PC version? I don't know it baffled me too. If you have the option available to you, pick up the console version of this game. The console version is going to give you more players at one time, online play, and the ability to purchase DLC down the road.

 

Final verdict for YOU DON"T KNOW JACK 2011 edition 6/10 if you're playing the PC version and an 8/10 for the console version.

 

  For a game that started out life on the PC, it's sad that the PC players got short changed with this release. Hopefully down the road they will make an update to the game that fixes this situation for PC gamers.

 

  ~Professor

 

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