If you're into computer trivia games, you're probably already familiar with Berkeley Systems' amazingly popular You Don't Know Jack title. With its irreverent humor, entertaining questions that tested players' knowledge of both random trivia and pop culture, and simple party-style play controls, You Don't Know Jack achieved not only critical success, but also a great deal of commercial success as well. Enter the sequel. You Don't Know Jack Volume 2 brings back everything that was exciting and fun about the original, and throws in a host of new questions, along with plenty more jokes and music, without ever threatening the title's fantastic balance or playability.
If you're not familiar with the original, You Don't Know Jack Volume 2 will be a welcome treat. Basically the game is set up like a television game show with the players gathered around the computer acting as contestants. Using an assigned key as a "buzzer," each player tries to be the first to answer each of the trivia tidbits that pops up on the screen (a game can consist of seven or 21 question rounds). The questions, while always somewhat bizarre in their presentation, are both intellectually challenging and entertaining, and run the range of pop culture silliness, drawing parallels between the Brady Bunch and Shakespeare or Charles Manson and television theme songs. Throughout all of this, the host provides quick-witted and surprisingly humorous off-color commentary. Although this smart-ass commentary may turn off more conservative players, most normal folks will find the constant patter to be amusing and realistic enough to never get irritating.
New features have been included - there's new question categories like: DisOrDat, in which players separate words at high speed into two or more classifications; Celebrity Collect Calls that summon up weird stars (Dennis Miller and Phyllis Diller have been included, so relax ) to deliver bizarre questions; and Picture Questions (the only new category that Berkeley was unable to trademark) that add a visual twist to the typically sound-oriented game. New songs have also been added to introduce each question number, but continue in the original's tradition of poking fun at nearly every category of past or present music.
If there's any real fault in You Don't Know Jack Volume 2, it's that there's not that much difference between it and its predecessor. Yes, there are a bunch of new questions, and yes, all of the patter has been replaced, and granted the new counting songs are really funny, but in the end, those changes are all superficial. Even so, as the old adage goes, "If it ain't broke don't fix it," and for once it looks like somebody had the sense to leave a winner of an idea alone. A must buy for fans of the genre.