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LONG BLOG

Games that I Love: You Don't Know Jack

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I have an almost embarrassing amount of useless pop culture trivia stored away in my brain. I donít really set out to memorize inane details about movies, music, and television, thatís just what happens to stick. While this has been less than helpful in my work and social life it was made me quite good at trivia games. My friends refuse to play Trivial Pursuit or Scene It with me, when they do I have to traverse the board twice before I can win. They also canít stand to watch The World Series of Pop Culture when Iím in the room because I spend most of the time screaming at the TV when someone gets a question wrong. So my options are limited, I can either go to a trivia night at a bar, which involves leaving the house, or I can play one of my favorite games of all time: You Donít Know Jack.



The premise of the game is that you and up two of your friends are contestants on the new hit game show You Donít Know Jack. You and the other contestants compete for fake cash by answering oddly phrased and humorously worded trivia questions. The topics can vary from basic pop culture knowledge to questions about history, geography, science, literature or any combination there of. You just choose a topic from a list, whose titles are often vague and offer not real clue as to what the question will be about, and hope you have some clue as to what the host is talking about.


I heard that Whistlerís Mother is a total slut after a few drinks.

While most of the questions were multiple choice, there are some exceptions. Gibberish Questions give you a string of nonsense that sound like popular phrases and idioms and you have to decipher the meaning while the prize steadily drops in value. DisOrDat has you sort several subjects into groups. In the Jack Attack you are given various words and phrases and must buzz in when words fly past the screen that are related via the clue given at the beginning of the question. This was the last question and is where most of the points are made and lost.


Do not picture chicken porn, it derails your train of thought.

While you can play alone things really gets fun when playing with other people. You have the option, once a game, to ďscrewĒ one of your opponents. This forces that player to answer a question that they hopefully donít know, this can backfire and if they give the correct answer they not only get the money but you lose some of your own as if you answered wrong yourself. There is one potential downside to multiple players, depending on which version you play things can get a little cramped. While the PlayStation version gives everyone their own controller the PC games force the contestants to share a keyboard, which can make things interesting.


I always thought Alf was his name. You learn something new everyday.

I love this series and have owned several of the editions. I had five volumes of the PC version, both of the PSX ones, the tabletop game, and I was even a fan of the short lived TV game show. Unfortunately, today all I have in my possession is volume 1 and 2 for the PC. The PSX games were gotten rid of back when I thought that trading in used games at GameStop was a great idea. I have no idea what happened to my other PC ones though, I assume they were either thrown out or put in storage when I moved away to go to college. I could easily buy them again but Iím not sure I want to now that I donít have anyone that would dare play with me.

The host will not tolerate verbal abuse (NSFW Audio):


The commercials that played during the credits were great:


If you have some trivia buff friends and have never tried You Donít Know Jack before I suggest you pick at least up one of the editions. All the PC ones run in XP and most do in Vista as well. The PSX ones as far as I can tell are completely backwards compatible with the PS3 and they were just as good as their computer based counterparts. Even if you donít have anyone on hand to play with itís worth checking out again, Iíve re-installed both of my copies since I started writing this feature on Sunday. Iíve got to tell you itís hard to concentrate on writing when you stop every 30 minutes to play a 21 question round. Damn you Nate and Cookie, you delightfully charming bastards, I have other things I need to do. Oh well, one more round couldnít hurt.

If you want a small taste of the You Don't Know Jack experience you can play mini-episodes and daily DisOrDats on the game's official website.

Other games I love:
Alien vs. Predator (Arcade)
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest
Soul Blazer
Rogue Trip

Games that I regret:
Home Improvement
Beatmania
Work Time Fun
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About shiperoone of us since 10:09 AM on 12.18.2006