The thing is, I like to think I do know Jack. I mean, don’t know Jack as well as some, but after all the education I’ve had and all the time I’ve spent paying attention to what’s going on around me, I’ve learned a few things in life.
I also know Jack because I used to play this game back in the mid ’90s when it was just an online game show, and when we thought it was the future of the Internet. Sadly, that future became virtual farms and war crafts, but You Don’t Know Jack has managed to survive, and is now on your iPad and iPhone.
What is it?
You Don’t Know Jack (YDKJ) is an irreverent trivia game show. The questions are meant to swerve you and (with luck) offend you a little bit. Rather than ask you “How many husbands did Elizabeth Taylor have?” for instance, YDKJ will ask, “If Elizabeth Taylor wanted to be buried next to her husbands, how many pieces would she have to be cut up into?”
And yet, it’s not all sophomoric humor. The Dane Cook crowd is going to miss a lot of the humor here, due to some of the subject matter and the fact that YDKJ doesn’t give you a lot of time to get the jokes. This is a very fast game. And we’ll all miss a lot of the questions, because they can be quite hard. There’s science here, after all.
How does it work?
Sadly, You Don’t Know Jack for iPhone and iPad works with only one person. I have to point that out now because game shows are much more fun when you’re actually playing someone. Game Center support means you can compare scores, but that’s not the same as actually testing your trivia skills against another opponent.
Still, the pacing and humor make the game fun for even one person. For the most part, you simply read/listen to the question, then select your answer. The bulk of the game is multiple choice, and the faster you answer the question, the more points you get.
There are, however, also DisOrDats (match the word with the category), Jack Attack (a faster multiple choice), and more. The game changes up enough to always keep you off guard, and the rounds are over before you know it.
Is it contagious?
You Don’t Know Jack is as contagious as an iPad or iPhone game can be. The graphics are simple, but flashy, and the pacing is extraordinary. Fans from way back will be happy to note that Cookie Masterson is still the game’s host, and he’s as sardonic as ever.
Currently, 20 episodes are built into your initial purchase. More are promised, but I’m not sure if they’ll be free upgrades or in-app purchases. Regardless, You Don’t Know Jack is tremendous fun as it stands. You will laugh out loud, even if you can’t share that laughter with another player.