iPhone/iPad review of the day: You Dont Know Jack – the prodigal sarcastic trivia game returns

On iPhone
You Don’t Know Jack
Price: $2.99 / £1.79
Size: 63.8 MB
Get it now on iTunes:US (opens in new tab)/UK (opens in new tab)

On iPad
You Don’t Know Jack HD
Price: $4.99 / £2.99
Size: 67.9 MB
Get it now on iTunes:US (opens in new tab)/UK (opens in new tab)

You Don’t Know Jack was a smart ass trivia game back in the ’90s whose popularity peaked with a TV spinoff hosted by Paul Reubens in 2001. The TV show only lasted six episodes, but the game itself is still solid a decade later. After being away for many years, the smarmy rebirth of the series, which trades equally on high-brow and low-brow knowledge, returned to consoles back in February. Now it’s on the iPhone and iPad, which means players can now be snarkily informed of their own stupidity while on the go.

Like its console counterparts on the PS3 and 360, this version of YDKJ is much leaner. Games now only last 11 questions, but the brevity doesn’t mean there’s less to love here. The writing is still top-notch and sure to wrench loose a couple of chuckles from players. The updated version gleefully mocks Elizabeth Taylor’s death and ironically recommends an indie musical artist named Rebecca Black. These aren’t clumsy attempts to seem current, but rather just a reflection of the times – much like the original YDKJ was back in the mid- to late-’90s.

Unlike its console counterparts, though, this version of YDKJ is strictly single-player. Two-player face-offs will be allowed with upcoming updates, presumably along with more episodes, since the 20 here can be burned through quite quickly. That’s a big addition, as a huge part of the game’s appeal was screwing over your buddy (and seasoned players know we mean that literally).

Until then, you’ll be playing alone, with about 20 seconds to pick the correct answer to cheeky questions like what sanitary products Lady Macbeth should stock up on or whether certain titles belong to classic novels or obscure Jimmy Buffett songs. Even though you can’t play it against other people just yet, it’s still a lot of fun. And who knows? You might just learn something too.

May 16, 2011

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