In last week’s Under the Radar, I touched a bit on how browser based games have a negative stigma attached to them, and then highlighted a couple of games that I feel break that stigma with ease. I was partly inspired by the announcement of the Game of Thrones themed Facebook title that was revealed earlier that week and the reservations I’ve learned to have about FB games due to my less-than-stellar experiences with them. While I still hold to those reservations, You Don’t Know Jack in its social site form is certainly loosening the grip.
If you’re not familiar with YDKJ, it can be best summed up as a trivia game that uses pop-culture to frame questions about a broad range of topics which include classic literature, cinema, science, and history. The odd juxtaposition is ripe for humor, and the writing team at developer Jellyvision takes full advantage of that with some excellent wordsmithery. The material is also expertly delivered by the host- Cookie Masterson- and manages to have great comedic timing considering how quickly paced the game is.
Being a Facebook game, it ends up having to concede to some of the more unpleasant conventions of that platform. There are some micro-transactions that help increase your scores, and you have to buy game-plays- though they give you a free one everyday- but if one really wanted to a YDKJ experience without all these small barriers, last year’s release on major platforms would be what you’re looking for. As such, the Facebook game manages to be pretty great for what it is.
You can check out the game here.