Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Still Don't Know Jack

My first memory of playing You Don't Know Jack was at a friend's house when I was 10. I couldn't believe how funny and entertaining it was, even for an ADD child like me. I never forgot about it, and it was only when playing the new You Don't Know Jack 15 years later on PS3 did I realize how much I missed it.

I think the worst part about Jack is that you can't really explain the appeal to someone who hasn't played it. It's a quiz game. And a fairly simple one at that. I guess you could tell them it's hilarious. Not just that but a special kind of wry, sarcastic and mocking hilarious. I was afraid that in these dark days where Two and a Half Men is considered the pinnacle of situational comedy, Jack's brand of humor and mid-90's sensibilities might go unappreciated. My fears were soon put to rest.

You can play with up to 3 other people in fairly short 10 question rounds or 'episodes'. At first I was a little worried because the question order for each episode is always the same. It doesn't attempt to mix the questions up. I thought this would suck playing against someone who has played the game before, but with over 70 episodes and the ability to pick which one you start with, repeating questions won't be an issue unless you play this game a fucking LOT.

The questions are a nice mix of pretty much every kind of trivia you can imagine. Luckily they don't tend to get too obscure so everyone can have a good shot at winning. The best part though are the responses. Cookie (The announcer) always has a smart remark to make, especially when you get the question wrong. It's worth getting a few wrong on purpose just to hear what he says.

So Jack is as great as ever. Unfortunately things have changed a bit since the 90s and a few other quiz games have come along. One of the best being Buzz. In terms of variety and pure entertainment value, sadly Jack just can't compete with Buzz as a party game. That's ok though since they both provide such a different experience that you should play both at your next party. For only $30 it's money well spent!

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