YOU DON'T KNOW JACK

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Amazon.com You Don't Know Jack, a popular and irreverent trivia game previously available only on the Internet and computers, has come to the PlayStation. At seven or 21 questions in length, this game is fast, furious, and difficult. Every subject imaginable from pop culture to math is covered through five types of questions: multiple choice, impossible (some very random facts), ThreeWay, DisOrDat, and Jack Attack. ThreeWay questions require you to buzz in when the correct answer is highlighted among three onscreen choices, while DisOrDat asks you to correctly group words into two or more categories while the clock ticks away. The game gets particularly heated during Jack Attack mode, which challenges gamers to buzz in when they see a word or phrase that matches a specific clue. Reading fast and buzzing in quickly are beneficial skills. Although the designers didn't add much in the way of graphics or extras for this version, there are two discs full of questions to avoid repetition. Some phrasings and topics aren't suitable for the pre-teen and younger players because they consist of bodily functions, profanity, or sex. Up to three contestants can play, but you'll need a Multi Tap (sold separately). --Carrie Bell Pros: Hit PC game comes to the PlayStation Up to 3 players and 2 CDs worth of questions Challenges knowledge on a variety of subjects without being boring Cons: No improvements over the PC version Review While You Don't Know Jack is based on a PC trivia game that was originally released more than five years ago, the game is still just as much fun today, for PlayStation owners playing it for the first time, as it was when it first came out. The game takes the game show approach but gives it a very Dennis Miller-style sense of humor, almost like Jeopardy for smartasses. Throughout the game you'll be choosing categories that are filled with various questions. Categories include "Hey, Where'd That Gerbil Go?" and "A Nun in a Blender." After selecting a category, the announcer drops a subtle hint concerning how the question he's about to ask will relate to the chosen category, effectively segueing into the question. The questions are mostly multiple choice, giving you four different answers to choose from. Correct answers earn you dollars; wrong ones subtract money from your score. To break up the monotony of the multiple-choice questions, three special types of questions occasionally come into play. The Dis or Dat question is for only one contestant to play, and as the name implies, it asks you to identify something as either "this or that." The three-way question challenges the players to match up one word or a phrase with one of three phrases. The Jack Attack is the final question type and is set up much like the three-way except it's faster and there's only one phrase to match up with the cycling list of answers. While the game's mechanics are straightforward and pretty self-explanatory, the style of the questions is an entirely different story. It takes a couple of games before you get used to the roundabout way in which the questions are asked. Instead of asking a straightforward question, like "Which of the following countries was not part of the allied forces in WWII?" the game will ask "Which Hogan's Heroes character would not be part of the effort to defeat Hitler?" At first it's a bit frustrating, but you'll eventually warm up to the game's "pop culture crossed with actual history" stylings. In the end, You Don't Know Jack is a wonderful experience that is superfun for anyone who enjoys competing and laughing and who knows a bit about Star Wars, Greek mythology, or, well, just about anything. There are enough questions in the game to keep you going for hours without seeing repeat questions. It's definitely a great multiplayer party-style game.--Ryan Mac Donald--Copyright © 1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review