You Can’t Play Jack…

By | January 19, 2011

…or can you?

Doubtless you’ve gathered there’s a new You Don’t Know Jack! coming out in the States on February 8th – for the uninitiated, YDKJ is the mildly amusing outrageous trivia gameshow video game. You get asked a bunch of (in the main) quite clever questions of both high and pop cultures (frequently both at once) and get called a div if you get them wrong. There was a UK version with Paul Kaye (Dennis Pennis) hosting and written by popular studenty-comics at the time. It was nicely done and it was a cult success, although not as much as it was in Germany where they did several, and in the US this will be the seventh main game after a lengthy hiatus. There was even a TV show of it.

Well Alex Buzzerblog has a video of the new game in action which I can’t actually watch properly at the moment because my current computer is without sound, which removes a lot of the point. But what if you did want to play it in the UK? Culturally, you’d still be able to “get” about 70%-75% of the references in my experience (questions about US advertising and US sports may be lost on you), unfortunately it’s probably not going to be released over here.

But never fear, because if you did still want to play you probably still can – will export it over here for about $50 total.

Now, the PC and DS versions are going to be region free, of this I am 99% confident. Most PS3 games are also region free, so you could probably import that without worry. I’ve ordered the XBox 360 version as a large number (but not all) of XBox games are region free and I’ve got an XBox – fingers crossed, I will let you know when it arrives (the fact that Amazon will export it to our territory is probably a good sign). The Wii version almost certainly won’t be region free so import with caution.

This is only advice don’t take it as gospel although as ever I’m putting my money where my mouth is so if you can hold on wait for my copy to come through before committing yourselves.

21 thoughts on “You Can’t Play Jack…

        1. Brig Bother Post author

          Mmm, will give this a full review soon. Quite good fun, but it’s a bit stop starty when you just want to get on with it – half an hour completing just a five stop race was pushing my patience a bit. Minigames are of decent if unspectacular standard in originality. It’s got Phil in it.

  1. David B

    The thing with US versions of YDKJ is that I couldn’t stand their question readers (except possibly the guy on the first or second one). Half of them were completely unintelligible to my ear, and on all the others I’d be thinking “The comic timing on our version was so much better.”

    Which brings me to a question… how would you do a game show to appeal to, say, the BBC Three audience? i.e. what would you ask about so that it was still intelligent without going down the pub quiz route?

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      It’s interesting because I quite liked Cookie and Schmitty Schmitgenstein.

      There is form here – Channel 4’s Deadly Knowledge Show was You Don’t Know Jack in all but name, comedy talent and clever question writing.

      I think to appeal to the BBC3 crowd the importance is not so much what is being asked but how. I thought the YDKJ TV show was going in the right direction, and had some funny jokes in at least.

  2. Joe

    BREAKING NEWS: Million Dollar Money Drop ratings continue to rise, with yesterday’s episode tieing with the premiere audience (5.3m, 1.9 demo). It was FOX’s most POPULAR TV show yesterday and MDMD BEAT expensive drama V which was airing on ABC at the same time. 😀

    1. art begotti

      When you say it was the most popular thing on Fox, is it bad that my first instinct is to check if Glee was a rerun? (It was.)

      Also, it appears to have only beaten V for half of the time slot. Might as well go back to saying that according to the statistics, 10.5 million people watched the show last night (4.8m + 5.7m).

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        It is increasing week on week though (amongst the sarcasm we have to be basically fair or there’s no point being anything).

        The head of Fox was suggesting that lots of the current stuff performs to a certain extent but they’re looking for proper breakout hits. MDMD probably falls into the former which suggests if it has a future it needs to continue rising.

    2. Des Elmes

      Did it beat the telenovela on Univision, though? 😆

      Remember, two-thirds of the population of Miami speak Spanish as their first language – and there are quite a few Spanish speakers in San Antonio too…

  3. Brig Bother Post author

    I’m going to be writing up the Poll results tomorrow, by the way. I’m writing this here so I can’t wriggle out of it. As you were.

    1. Dave M

      Thanks for these. I remember watching this in reruns in the early 90’s – still think it’s a clever little show.

  4. Dan Peake


    If we can get enough teams to get more shows in the bag, Accumulate! will return for a new series in early February.

    Having said that, for some reason finding teams is proving to be an Utter Sod this year.

    Fear Ye Not, we shall prevail. I’ll see you Accumulater.

    1. JC

      That’s accumugreat! (Hmm, that one doesn’t quite work as well, does it?)

  5. Daniel

    We’ve talked about it a couple of times, so I thought it might be worth noting: Tokyo Friend Park has been axed, after 18 years. Final episode will air in March.
    If only they’d invented new games more often, instead of using the same ones for nearly two decades (Wall Crash, Body & Brain and Hyper Hockey, I’m looking at you).


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