You Don’t Know Jack is a new game for XBOX, PS3, PC, Wii, and Nintendo DS/DSi. The game came out on February 8, 2011. Created by Jellyvision Games. The title You Don’t Know Jack is based on a 1995 computer game series which grew into a very “short lived” television gameshow in 2001. Basically, it ran for just over a month. Now, consumers are given the ‘new’ video game, also titled, You Don’t Know Jack. I understand that people want to relive happy moments from their youth, so I suppose this was one of “those” games that gave someone a nice fuzzy feeling.
For the past week I’ve watched on twitter as people discussed how great this game was and how much fun it was to play. I’ve played my fair share of trivia games. Including (but not limited to) Jeopardy, Family Feud, Scene It, and 1 vs. 100… each having their own unique questions and customization. I decided to buy You Don’t Know Jack, so I could play with Kira on Valentine’s Day. I figured if so many people, from different regions with different backgrounds thought it was fun, surely it should be. Trivia games can be entertaining, and I really enjoyed playing 1 vs 100 on XBOX arcade. That was free … so, if I was going to pay $30 for You Don’t Know Jack, then it must be good?
The free XBOX arcade game 1 vs. 100 introduced new questions every week, offered “real life” prizes (microsoft points), and implemented community questions into the game. People could join in a huge community of gamers and play at the same time. Your contestant was your XBOX avatar and they could do different actions while waiting for the next round. You could dance, nod, wave your arms in the air, jump up and down, and more. There was a lot of button mashing involved but the game left me feeling like I was actually a part of the game. Connection to any game is a great feature. Sadly, this game is no longer offered. 1 vs. 100 is the most recent gameshow video game that I can use to assess the quality of You Don’t Know Jack.
First let’s cover the Cool Features of You Don’t Know Jack:
The best feature is how incredibly witty the host is! Mr. Cookie Masterson, the host, stays off-screen and makes rather humorous comments regarding the questions and contestants.
The game is similar to the television gameshow so it follows closely to the format. There are 73 different sets of questions. Each set (episode) contains 10 questions, 2 bonus rounds, and 2 extra features. The actual episode takes less than 15 minutes to complete since each question has a timer of 30 seconds.
It’s a trivia game so you have to think. You need to consider the introduction to the question, the question itself, and the possible alternate meaning behind the question. You can be rewarded with money and you can lose money (in the game). Plus, the questions contain current people, places, and things.
There are some unique and entertaining XBOX achievement points to get. For example, you can get “My First Time” (10G) by screwing someone for the first time; and if you play alone 5 times on a Friday or Saturday, you will be awarded with “Social Outcast” for 15G.
The following are the Not so Cool Features of You Don’t Know Jack:
The wit is quickly desensitized in the game. You know how killing the same zombie over and over again can become tiresome. It’s like that. I was listening to see if Cookie Masterson had something funny to say, but by the time a really witty remark was out there, the novelty was gone. Since wit is the best feature (and main selling point), once it was gone… the game seemed rather pointless, boring, and done.
I think the biggest downfall is the lack of connection I felt with the game. When playing a video game, I want to feel like I am a part of it. Either through the character, story choices, or social play. This game offers none of these features.
There is no customization. You have no control over the game other than selecting the name of your character. Seriously, that’s it. Your name.
The online community is non-existent. I tried to join online games at different times throughout the day and I got a pop-up message saying there was no one there! I wasn’t surprised. The only people playing the game are playing local OR they playing with online friends in an “xbox party”. There is no open community of people just randomly playing.
Personally, I believe that You Don’t Know Jack was not worth $30. It should have been an arcade game costing no more than 800 points. If I had paid 800 points for this game then I would be a bit happier with it. But because I spent $30 on it, and if I want to play more after the 10-12 hours of repetitive trivia gameplay provided, then I have to pay for more questions. 10 episodes cost 400 MSP (roughly $6). I’m not overly impressed
Overall Ranking 6.5/10
I recorded a video of Episode 5: Fashion Barrel Barrel Wear. It is the full episode, so if you don’t want to spoil the 10 questions, this is your warning not to watch it. The questions and order of the questions don’t change so if you have a good memory for answers you will ace the game in no time.