App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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Does a television quiz show like Jeopardy seem far too cordial these days? In a age where a computer can demolish the greatest minds to ever play the game in a heartbeat, it seems like it would be about time to get a fresh new take on the trivia genre. Granted, You Don't Know Jack was originally birthed back in the mid 1990's, but that still makes it about a hundred years younger than Jeopardy's geriatric host, Alex Trebek. The fact that this traditionally PC centric brand has laid dormant for eight years is enough to make the game feel like a rebirth of the genre regardless, but is this enough to drag players away from their televised mainstays?
The core idea behind You Don't Know Jack is to take everything that a player believes they know about quiz games, and then turn them on their ear. An integral part of this experience is the game's announcer, Cookie Masterson, who is actually a completely fictional character voiced by Tom Gottlieb. Is it really necessary for a voice actor to use a pseudonym in a video game? Under normal circumstances this would be an immediate "hell no." That said, Cookie can be on mean son of a gun when a question is answered incorrectly, so one could really never be too safe.
Consisting of multiple choice, this or that, and pairing puzzles, each episode of the game is made up of ten questions and a final bonus round. Players have the option to select from twenty different episodes that are included in the initial base game, or they can choose to wait for more episodes to come via DLC at some point in the future. It has yet to be determined as to whether this additional content will be free or micro-transaction based, but you have to imagine that Jellyvision plans on being handsomely reimbursed for this additional development time.
If you were to choose to focus on the pure quiz mechanics of You Don't Know Jack, the game proves itself to be completely competent. However, most of the fun comes from being verbally abused by the announcer for selecting an incorrect answer. You will be hard pressed to complete a round without some form of at least a smirk sneaking across your face.
Simply put, You Don't Know Jack is the kind of experience that not only stretches the mind with challenge, but inversely massages it with humor to ease the blow of defeat. Buy it for that know-it-all in your life, because sometimes it is just too much fun to see a person put in their place. Rest assured that it will be fun for all parties involved.