You Don't Know Jack
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Game Reviewed: You Don't Know Jack
Publisher: THQ Inc.
Developer: Jellyvision Inc. Games
Platform: Xbox 360 (also on PS3, Wii, DS & Windows PC)
ESRB Rating: T
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You Don’t Know Jack is a trivia game that presents itself as a television game show. As the game loads, the player hears the sounds of background singers and commercials playing, as if he or she is walking into a TV studio. At the intro screen, the player is allowed to enter their name and then begin the trivia game where the host presents various categories for trivia questions. Bonus money is awarded to players who select the correct answer quickly, but money is taken away for incorrect answers.
Rather than giving players a random selection of questions, the game is split into episodes, for which the questions are the same every time an episode is played. This is done to allow for certain “Wrong Answers of the Game”, which are responses that are incorrect for a particular question, but fit into a theme given at the beginning of the episode. This structure reduces the replayability of the game, but with the inclusion of 70+ episodes and with more episodes provided as downloadable content, the game can provide dozens of hours of trivia delight.
The main draw of the game, besides its pop culture trivia, is its comedic flair. The host of the show provides constant color commentary that is often blunt and crude, but for the most part, hilarious. The host will jeer contestants for either their high scores or lack thereof, and many of the question categories are titled for some type of humor that plays off the pop culture trivia it is referring to.
What Parents Need to Know
The only violence in You Don’t Know Jack is when a player uses their “screw”. A screw is a gameplay element where a player can choose to “screw” another player into answering a question in only 5 seconds. If the player does not answer the question correctly, they lose money and their number is stabbed by the screw hovering above them. The graphic is shadowed, but liquid comes out of the player’s number. If the player does answer correctly, the screw returns to the player who activated it and then proceeds to stab their number.
Also, though not violent per say, there is an instance where the player can win a prize of a bucket of blood for selecting a hidden wrong answer in the game.
The language in You Don’t Know Jack is its most concerning portion. The humor is designed to be blunt and crude, which leads to instances of sexual references, drug references, and profanity.
Examples of sexual comments in the game include, but are not limited to quotes like:
- “...99 dimensions of orgasmic compatibility...”
- “...just release a sex tape or something...”
- “...personally, I prefer Brokeback Mountian 2, the Remount.”
Examples of drug references in the game include, but are not limited to quotes like:
- “...Afghanistan is the largest opium producer...”
- “...Why do you think the Lollipop Guild enjoyed suckers so much? One word. Ecstasy!”
Finally, instances of a--, b---h, and d--m can be heard from the host and from background voices in the game.
Besides the sexual references highlighted in the language section, there is one other major reference. At certain times, there will be a question that falls into a category where the host recalls a dream from the night before. These questions are referred to as “Nocturnal Admissions”, which clearly plays off the phrase “nocturnal emissions.”
I encountered no overt spiritual content while playing You Don’t Know Jack.
Since I used to play You Don’t Know Jack in the mid to early 90’s, I was very excited for this new edition. Sadly, though I enjoyed the game, I was disappointed with the game’s set up. The lack of random question selection completely kills replayability when all episodes have been completed. You Don’t Know Jack is an engaging trivia game, with clever pop culture references, and a brand of comedy that most games do not hit as well as it does. But to create these laughs, the comedy relies almost solely on crude humor. In addition, with new episodes that are supposed to eventually become available for download, it is hard to say what kind of new crude humor will be added to the game. As such, the above concerns should be considered when deciding if this game fits into your family’s entertainment guidelines.