Relatively few computer games that are released truly stand up to the test of time. It's rare when one comes along that is as completely playable today as it was the day it hit the shelves. You Don't Know Jack is one such game from Berkeley Systems, Inc. One of the things that makes it so relative today as when it was released in 1995 (3 years ago as of this review), is the fact that it IS a trivia game. Let's face it -- trivia never really goes away, it just gets older with time. Of course, some trivia answers are eventually overtaken by others simply because time marches on -- for example, if someone had asked the trivia question in 1954, "Who hit more homers in a season than any other major league baseball player?", the obvious response is the great Babe Ruth...who was to know that by 1962 that answer would no longer be true? But usually trivia is unique unto itself and most trivia remains, well, trivia. One of the terrific properties of You Don't Know Jack is the way in which trivia is presented. The game is reminiscent of the old television game shows (Jeopardy comes to mind, maybe even $25,000 Pyramid) but differs in a huge, entertaining and better way. The host is irreverent and savvy. His amazing repartee is glib, funny, biting, sarcastic -- and the best thing about it is that it nearly always fits the situation. If you do poorly in scoring, he'll let you know by some not so subtle insult. If you do well, bask in the praise. You can play against yourself or take on one or two human opponents. You Don't Know Jack is really better when played against someone but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it by yourself. The pace is very fast and the questions are extremely witty -- you'll have to stay on your toes to keep up. One of the absolutely outstanding features of this game is the quality of the writing. It's slick, smart and innovative to the max. Whether it's true brain testers that stem from all major fields of knowledge or current cultural awareness, you'll find yourself knuckling your forehead when the quick response eludes you. It's not your average game show. There are a great number of questions that don't seem to repeat for a very long time. In fact, Berkeley Systems has released an add-on game pack of an additional 400 questions for this title. Don't look for glitzy graphics here but the voice, music and presentation is superb -- you won't notice the lack of graphics because you'll be too busy enjoying the game. It's text based. Hey, it's a trivia game, what do you expect? Oh, and don't feel bad when you discover that You Don't Know Jack when you're hit by the Jack Attack™ phase.
Graphics: There just aren't very many to be rated. What Berkeley Systems has put together to package the structure of the game show is adequate. But fortunately they concentrated more on content than on appearance.
Sound: From the emcee to the background singers who introduce the questions, the sound package is beyond reproach. The voices, the music, the jingles -- all these components keep the game moving, lively and interesting.
Enjoyment: If you like trivia games, you won't need to look any further than this one.
Replay Value: It takes a very long time before the questions start to repeat. There is a great deal of game play available and even more when you play against different opponents as the element of competition adds more depth.
You Don't Know Jack is a humorous trivia game for up to three players. The players take part in a quiz game, which partly parodies television shows such as Jeopardy. The players do need to answer serious questions, and knowledge of various topics (ranging from classical literature to modern pop culture) is required; however, the show's host is distinguished by his sense of sarcasm, sometimes offering humorous wordings for questions, and sardonically addressing the participants.
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