The You Don't Know Jack series has seen many forms and iterations over the years from 1995 through the last months of the millennium. It is a trivia game with simple tactics and goals: out-smart your friends and laugh loudly at a barrage of lewd, senseless and wacky questions, geared toward certain topics. The game gets a lot of its edge by insulting you, being rude or pushing the envelope. But, even when the host says "You don't know jack," you find you're having too much fun to care about the insult.
You Don't Know Jack: Louder! Faster! Funnier!, the latest installment of the game (c.2000), sports some touch-ups in several areas but, for the most part, showcases the same basic game you saw in 1995. However, this doesn't mean the game is bad or lacking replay value, quite the contrary.
You begin your adventure in "irreverent trivia" watching a dial-up screen and are then sent to a preparation area where you select how many people will be playing. This version, as with the original, allows up to three people to participate. Allowing four to play seems more accommodating (for example, two couples could play) but cramming four people around one keyboard could prove challenging. You then pick a category that suits your mood. The categories are called "episodes" within the game, which is somewhat appropriate since gameplay resembles a television game show. The wacky categories range from nude to marriage, toys to government and sports to sex.
Most questions are in a simple buzz-in-and-answer format but some require filling in blanks, deciphering gibberish or a buzz-in at a certain moment. This is a good way of styling the game because it prevents it from getting stale or old too quickly. The questions are each worth different amounts of money as well, so you have to get serious if you're low on cash near the end of the game. The final question is known as The Jack Attack due to it's rapid and fast-paced nature. In this case, you must match up two words that fit logically together as fast as you can.
I quite liked the variation of the categories and questions. Since there are over 1,000 questions in total, I suppose that means about 100 categories. Now that's replay value! Many of the questions, especially the way they're read by the host, are quite funny and make you laugh. An example is when I was asked to tell whether certain words were flowers or sexual positions from the Kama Sutra. Another quirky little feature that helps you beat your opponents during gameplay is the "screw." It enables you to force a response out of one of your opponents -- a tactic that can be useful if they're becoming too successful.
Visuals definitely aren't what this game is about but, even so, it does a very slick job in representing a game show. It has plenty of animations and cute little numbers and letters dancing around on the screen and the color variations for the on-screen content is great. I especially liked the little animations for the number of each question. For instance, two butterflies fly together producing the number three or the number seven would slip and slide its way onto the screen.
Much of the music and sound effects in the game greatly add to the atmosphere. From the little tunes on the question introductions to the hard rock that plays during your thinking time, you'll be tapping your toes along with many of the catchy, ten-second beats. The goofy splatter, burping and beeping sound effects also lend the game a comical nature and help keep you laughing. The best aspect in this area (one of the strongest in the game) is definitely the host's voice-overs as he always shows enthusiasm with every question he reads and, in fact, any word that comes out of his mouth. While he isn't always hysterical, you will laugh at his ravings and jabbering.
Overall, You Don't Know Jack: Louder! Faster! Funnier! is a very strong game. It stays true to the features that made the first game such a success and the series a hit. There are minor improvements but mainly come in the form of new questions and animations. My only gripes with the game concern its three-player limit and slight lack of more in-depth animations for the questions. Those notwithstanding, the game really fires on all cylinders.
Graphics: Although the presentation won't showcase the true power of any computer, the game has a lot of fun playing around with numbers, words, colors and animations.
Sound: Some great little music beats that accompany your questions, goofy sound effects and a host that really brings the game to life and makes things funny -- but not all the time.
Enjoyment: I absolutely loved this game and had fun playing it by myself and with friends. The questions, the categories, the laughs and the wackiness all mesh to provide hours of enjoyment at each sitting.
Replay Value: Enough questions and categories to keep you going for months, even years! Plus, the varying question types and the ability for three people to play helps out a great deal.
People who downloaded You Don't Know Jack: Louder! Faster! Funnier! have also downloaded:
You Don't Know Jack: Offline, You Don't Know Jack: Volume 6 - "The Lost Gold", You Don't Know Jack: Volume 2, You Don't Know Jack 5th Dementia, You Don't Know Jack 4: The Ride, You Don't Know Jack XL (X-Tra Large), You Don't Know Jack: Television, You Don't Know Jack
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