You Don't Know Jack (YDKJ) is the remake and re-introduction of the computer trivia game that even spawned a short lived television series with Pee Wee Herman as host. Because it's a game that's based on modern trivia and other little known facts, it's easily updated and made interesting and exciting for any new decade.
The game is presented as two rounds with ten questions total that players have to answer to win cash. Each question is some sort of multiple choice trivia testing the limits of how much the players actually know. You might be asked questions about geography, the table of elements, or about the Simpsons. There are several diversions from the normal multiple choice questions, including a segment called Dis or Dat where the player has thirty seconds to choose whether phrases stated belong to one category or another. For instance, one asks you to state whether a word stated is the name of a Pope or the name of Brittany Spears song. These fast paced segments push your brain to work fast and work right, a combination which is hard to pull off but ever so funny to watch at work. The last segment is called Jack Attack, where you have to match up phrases that go along a certain theme, each correct answer giving you a tidy chunk in cash for your final score and each wrong answer taking a chunk away. The game at release included over 70 'episodes' of these questions, giving you a huge amount of trivia to work with in the beginning with downloadable episodes already promised as well.
Players can tackle the questions by themselves, or with up to four players, allowing for a group of friends to have a hilarious time trying to beat each other out for cash prizes. When playing with friends, some of the rounds require you to hit the correct answer first in order to win the prize, which might be a problem for some players. It mostly comes into play in rounds such as Dis or Dat or Jack Attack, which can help one player come completely from behind to win the game if they were doing horribly before and just happen to be faster than their opponents. This can make it frustrating for some, but isn't the point of party games partly to yell at your friends when they're winning and you're not? And besides, if you lose one episode you've still got plenty more to play and try to win.
Throughout the game, you're guided along by the main commentator, who tells you the rules and gives the question hints. His name is Cookie Masterson and he's one of the best parts of the game. Mr. Masterson is, ahem, observant enough to notice how many people you're playing with and to mock you if you're all on your lonesome. He's also more than ready to make other observations about you, your friends, your lack of knowledge, your bad breath...being the voice you hear the most over the course of the game is a daunting job but he tackles it with zest. The jokes and quips that he makes help YDKJ to be one of the funniest and entertaining games you're likely to listen to for a while. Admittedly, some of them are a little on the risky side and might offend the more weak at heart, but it's all in good fun.
As Masterson guides you along in the game, you'll be surprised at just how much trivia you actually know and how much you can make educated guesses at. Even when you're getting the answers wrong you've got a once in a game chance to get the 'Wrong Answer of the Day', an answer that matches up with a clue given at the beginning of the game. Each episode is sponsored by a fake company like BloodCo, which gives you your hint for the 'right' wrong answer. Picking that answer gives you a hefty cash prize which can help put you ahead in the game.
Being a trivia game, YDKJ pulls its questions from a lot of different sources, meaning that most people who play are going to do awesome at some questions and totally suck at others. This allows for some interesting gameplay and a huge random factor when playing. I mean, come on, not everyone knows everything out there, right? Um...right? Anyone who's managed to earn more than $30,000 in a single game, shut your trap right now, ok?! Ahem. And in any case, if you work your way through all the episodes and then go back and play them again, there's a good chance you've already forgotten the answers you got wrong, so there's no way to remember the right answers to get them right. Right? Did you catch that? I almost didn't. But that's kind of how Jack works. It confuses you, trips you up and then makes you feel stupid for being stupid when you're positive you should've been smarter. It's kinda awesome that way.
And it doesn't need complicated graphics or masterful soundtracks to work. Because the essence of the game itself is so simple, it stands alone without needing anything more complicated to back it up. Although, I've gotta say, the music and little 'dance' sequence you get when Question 3 comes up is super sweet and really catchy. The only thing I wish is that the game had more rounds; some of the earlier versions of the game included three rounds and a Jack Attack instead of just two rounds and a Jack Attack. Regardless though, with this game you've got a fun solo and party game that is more than worth the asking price. I mean, if you're a party pooper then you probably won't enjoy it as much when you're losing. But you're not a party pooper, are you? Good. Then go get Jack and try to show off how smart you really are.
P.S., your sister is totally smarter than you. Your LITTLE sister.