Pages: 1 2
Review by: Brian Pipa
Published: November 30, 1997
You Don’t Know Jack — Television (hereafter referred to as YDKJTV to prevent writer’s cramp) is another title in the award winning YDKJ series. The first three YDKJs dealt with general trivia. Then came YDKJ — Sports and YDKJ — Movies. Now the series delves into that staple of American life — television.
For those unfamiliar with YDKJ, let me give you a brief run-down. One to three people (or lots more if playing on teams) compete in a gameshow-type trivia game, answering questions that are presented in an offbeat manner by the game’s unseen (but always heard) host. Games are either 7 or 21 questions and each question varies from $1,000 to $5,000 in value. The team (or person) with the most cash at the end of the game wins.
Each team is assigned a letter on the keyboard (Q,B, or P) to use as their buzzer. Most questions are multiple-choice. In these cases, you buzz in when you know the answer, then press the number of the correct answer. Get it right and you score cash. Get it wrong and you lose cash. There are other questions besides multiple choice, too. Picture Questions ask a multiple-choice question about a picture shown on-screen. FIll-in-the-blanks require you to…well, fill in the blank by typing the correct answer — don’t worry, the game is fairly lenient when it comes to spelling. The Whatshisname questions are a variation on fill in the blank. Clues are slowly given to a name or phrase and players must buzz in then type the name or phrase to score.
Gibberish questions take a phrase, quote, saying, or lyric and rhyme a phrase with it. Try to guess the original from the gibberish. DisOrDat questions require the lucky player to categorize a list of seven clues. For example, one DisOrDat named seven TV shows and asked, “Bochco or Not Bochco?” I had to choose which ones were Stephen Bochco shows and which weren’t. Easy. Seven out of seven. The next one I saw was UPN or WB? Seven TV shows and I had to pick which were on UPN and which were on the WB. Ouch! Aren’t they the same network? I think I got two right.
The final question in all games is a Jack Attack. The Jack Attack is an association question. You’re given a clue, then you have to find the link between seven pairs of words or phrases and each is associated by the clue. One part of the association will stay in the middle of the screen while a bunch of potential matches fly by. Buzz in when the correct match is on-screen. You can easily win the game in the Jack Attack (each association is worth $2,000) or lose your shirt.
During each round teams are given one “screw” that can be used on any multiple choice question. If the question is really hard or you know your opponent won’t be able to answer it, buzz in and hit the S key. Then you can pick which of your opponents must answer the question. If he/she gets it wrong, they’ll lose the value of the question, but you still have a chance to answer it correctly.
Trivia games are a dime a dozen, but what really makes YDKJ playable and loads of fun is the announcer. He’ll comment on how well you’re doing and he’s even quicker to point out how poorly you’re doing. I played one game by myself and the announcer said something like, “Wow! Great game. I couldn’t have done better myself. Of course, that’s because I would never play this by myself. Jeez! Don’t you have any friends?” The humor throughout the game is definitely adult humor with references to quite a few adult topics. The box recommends a teen audience and I would have to agree.
I can see this as being a great party game or even a great game to have in a dorm room with a bunch of (drunk) college students. It’s still a lot of fun by yourself or even with just a few friends. Definitely worth a look. If you haven’t tried YDKJ yet, give one of the demos a try or even try out the online version. All versions are a blast to play.
Pages: 1 2