Jellyvision’s long-running trivia series You Don’t Know Jack has officially come to Facebook. Word of the game coming to the social network first surfaced last week, when players in the closed beta started sharing their progress and achievements via their public Timelines, but the game is now live officially.
You Don’t Know Jack is a trivia game known for its offbeat, sarcastic humor and head-to-head multiplayer mechanics. The series originally became popular with PC gamers during the second half of the 1990s and eventually arrived on both the past and current console generations, as well as on iOS. The recent console versions of YDKJ were released for Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to favorable reviews, but Jellyvision General Manager Mike Bilder tells us these releases didn’t sell as well as the company would have liked. The original iOS build of the game has since been removed from the App Store, but a new version is coming to Android and iOS in the future and will be cross-platform compatible with the Facebook version. Bilder maintains, though, Facebook could be the perfect platform for the franchise.
The title is styled as a fast-paced gameshow complete with changing question formats, other players to compete against and terrifying fictional sponsors (like animal lingerie stores and cereals packed with antihistamines). Gameplay is broken up into episodes, which consist of five question rounds apiece. Questions award experience points (“booty”) and earning new levels earn free games and new sponsors to view content from. Each episode only lasts a few minutes, but they feature all the video and audio content the series has become notorious for, including the acerbic narration by the game’s host, Cookie (played by Tom Gottlieb). New episodes are purchased with Facebook Credits, as are power-ups that provide score bonuses and reduce the penalties one receives for answering a question incorrectly. At the moment, there are 165 episodes available to play, but Bilder says Jellyvision is working to crank out three new episodes a week.
You Don’t Know Jack has an asynchronous multiplayer system in place designed to make it feel like users are competing with other people in real time. According to Bilder, the game keeps track of other players’ answers and reaction times during the same episodes and then measures them against those of their friends.
At the moment, the game’s too new to appear on our AppData traffic tracking service, but Facebook shows it at 4,000 monthly active users. Bilder tells us that the game would be considered a success if it manages to bring in a few hundred thousand daily active users.
Jellyvision has 18 employees, and the Chicago-based developer is currently hiring.