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The A.V. Club
Jellyvision’s developers haven’t just lived up to the legacy of the greatest quiz-show game ever made, they’ve extended it.
You Don’t Know Jack is multiplatform, but if you have the capability it really shines on the 360 and PS3. Online multiplayer is available for those times when nobody else is around, additional content is available, and both local and online multiplayer support four players. The Wii supports four-player local but has no online, and the PC, for no reason I can discern, eschews online play and 4-player local play for an anemic two-player mode. I still have my old You Don’t Know Jack CDs, and it amazes me that the current PC offering doesn’t match them. The 360 version is great, but it stings a little to see the platform where YDKJ started treated this way.
I can't tell you how excited I am for the return of You Don't Know Jack! I have been waiting on this for years. You Don't Know Jack is the ultimate party game and is wonderful to play alone as well. If you think your brain can handle the challenge, I highly recommend that everyone go pick up You Don't Know Jack today. I promise you'll learn to love being insulted by Cookie!
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.
If you're a Jack virgin, you'll likely be surprised at how well the game succeeds even without nostalgia. This is a formula that just works and, with the addition of a modern presentation and some online options (thanks, Jellyvision and THQ!), it's been updated for a new audience. Now, to vets, I can only sum up my recommendation with one word ... UBERNOSTRUM.
Totally Gaming Network
When I initially learned that You Don’t Know Jack was returning I was excited. I have fond memories of playing this game with friends growing up as we huddled around the computer monitor. Fortunately, the game has withstood the test of time and it is just as much fun today as it was back then. If you are not familiar with this series then you are in for a treat. It is a game that you can play solo if you want to unlock those ever important achievements, however, the game is the most fun when you are playing with a group of people. The game is also competitively priced which should have veterans jumping on the title quickly as well as curious newcomers picking it up as an “impulse” buy. Regardless, be sure to give this title a try and prove whether or not you know Jack.
What makes it so easy to sink an entire evening into YDKJ is the strength of its material, regardless of the series' lengthy absence. Contemporary pop-culture trends like Twitter are affably indulged in questions, but not excessively. Being asked to differentiate between tweets from Taylor Swift and the Dalai Lama ("Others have the right to happiness, just like yourself"; "Japan is amazing") is on par with the unpredictable questions present in previous iterations. Instead of coming across as being self-consciously current, or a "You Don't Know Jack for 2011," this instead is clearly a You Don't Know Jack that just so happened to be released in 2011. With 73 episodes to play, YDKJ offers considerable shelf time before you start unintentionally memorizing answers. Fortunately, four extra packs with 10 episodes each will be available via DLC - maybe mention on your next e-vite you'll be passing around a bucket for donations.
This is the trivia game that all the others have been striving to be. It has questions that ooze wit and brains. It has a host that keeps everything lively. It has a scoring system that will challenge you even if you know the answers already. It has ways of balancing the game for people who are not trivia masters that don’t make said masters feel cheated. You Don’t Know Jack came out of retirement and reminded everybody why it's the king, and doesn’t even overcharge you for the privilege.
So since 1995 we’ve been getting to know Jack. Somehow the game has remained fresh and funny, giving us 16 years of solid laughs. This title is no exception with 73 well-polished episodes on the disc. THQ and Jellyvision have already lined up 3 DLC packs to expand the fun. Since the game rings in at a value-priced $29.99, it’s hard to knock roughly 13-14 hours of gameplay. Just do yourself a favor and install it to your hard drive before you get to Know Jack.
The “irreverent trivia party game” is back and hopefully, will stay for a long time. The funny faux-commercials at the end of each episode, the hilarious pop-culture references while you play courtesy of Cookie Masterson...You Don’t Know Jack is a must buy and certainly the best party game on the market. And carrying a $40 price tag, it puts to shame everything else.
YDKJ marries difficult trivia with excellent presentation, biting humor, and an unpredictability that will make you look forward to every episode. All that with a reasonable sticker price and DLC that adds additional episodes means that YDKJ is a party game staple. Go buy it.
Overall, You Don’t Know Jack still somehow manages to make fans of the original feel right at home, while ushering in a new era of quiz junkies. It’s a shame there isn’t a randomly generated option, but in such a competitive market, I can see why they elected to go the DLC route. If you’re sitting bored in your dorm room with three other friends, or you just want to test your knowledge of irrelevant and relevant trivia, I’d suggest picking up You Don’t Know Jack.
You Don't Know Jack is a fun, engaging trivia game. It's got a great sense of humor, clever rounds and enough questions to keep you buy for a while. Plus, it's only $30. The presentation isn't anything to write home about, but the base game is great and worthy of some couch time at your next party.
You Don’t Know Jack brings back memories of the classic series with witty writing and some truly challenging and off-the-wall questions. There is just enough diversity to keep things fresh and rounds move by so quickly that it never feels like it is dragging. Presentation and writing are king here. I recommend all trivia buffs pick up this amazing package, especially at the steal of a price at $30.
Cheat Code Central
Jack won't blow you away with spectacular high-definition graphics or a deep and involving story. But then again, it's not supposed to. The essence of You Don't Know Jack is playing with friends, having fun, and getting a good laugh. The little changes of gameplay in comparison to other entries, especially the ability to allow everyone to answer a question, make for a better experience. There's lots of fun and humor to be found in Jack; I highly recommend that you always select "I Don't Care" for choosing a name on local multiplayer. While I won't be having marathon sessions of You Don't Know Jack anytime soon, I can see myself playing a game or two every day for a long, long time.
Planet Xbox 360
The comical tone shines through in both the graphics and audio, from the ridiculous sponsors (a cactus company called What-A-Prick) to the riotous Cookie being himself to the humorous commercials. It’s just like the Jack of old, and while that doesn’t necessarily take advantage of the Xbox 360 hardware, it’s still a crowd pleaser. Really, to shut down the likes of Jack because it’s not “your type of game” is a pure copout. And as a result, you’ll miss a fun time in the process. You Don’t Know Jack is all about party fun, and it’s the best way to spend time with friends on an Xbox 360 without wielding a gun or any other sort of weapon. Here, you’ll just have to put your mind to good use. Oh, and a screw, occasionally. Cookie wouldn’t have it any other way.
The 73 episodes will take about 15 hours to get through, with DLC episodes already available. Playing by your lonesome isn't that rewarding and on-line play can be frustrating with all those cheap answer grinders out there. You Don't Know Jack is undoubtedly best played in person, with friends, when you can literally screw someone and force them to answer a question in five seconds. If you have the controllers and the couch, you could do a lot worse.
G4 TV: X-Play
Cookie’s delivery and the extreme sexual innuendo make this a fun party game, or a way to fill your brain with trivia if you’re playing alone. With 730 questions, and four bonus content packs coming via DLC later, the game has legs.
I think it’s interesting that there’s some question as to whether YDKJ would’ve been better served as a purely downloadable title, since the series origins lie in the multimedia heyday of the mid-90s, where the CD-ROM storage medium itself was the lynchpin of the entire experience. Either way, I think this game represents a terrific value, not just in terms of sheer volume, but the level of craft that is so often notably absent from trivia video games.
Each episode takes about 12 minutes to complete, and there are 73 episodes on the disc, making for about 15 hours of amusing quiz content. And while other trivia games, like Scene It? Box Office Smash, repeat questions within a few hours of play, You Don't Know Jack keeps the fresh material coming in a steady stream. This combination of quantity and quality makes it a great value, especially at the $30 retail price. Despite the limited gameplay options, the occasional comedic miscues, and the unbalanced Jack Attack, You Don't Know Jack is a great prospect for parties, family face-offs, and solitary self-assessments.
Game Informer Magazine
You Don’t Know Jack is proof that games don’t need to be excessively complex in order to be fun. Really, there’s not much to it aside from pressing the buttons that correspond with then right answers. Dinging the game on its simplicity really misses the point, though. If you have fond memories of the series or are in the market for an uproarious multiplayer game, it’s time for a Jack Attack.
Having played so many earlier versions, I can't say this is my favorite, but it is nice to overall see Jack return to form. The questions are as bizarre as ever, and it reminds me of the good ol' days of trying to wrap my head around questions that all make some sort of twisted sense. This isn't trivia for everyone, but there's definitely something here for the little immature kid in all of us.
All told, this is a game that meets expectations and does absolutely nothing to surpass them. It's the You Don't Know Jack of yore with new questions and a slightly slicker presentation. If you're an old-school Jack fan with a sense of humor that hasn't aged a second since your fourteenth birthday, then that's probably enough for you. If not, there are far better options out there to scratch your trivia itch.