Which product is Lady Macbeth most in need of?

Which species of bird would be most likely to attack a pig, a la Angry Birds?

If Elizabeth Taylor wanted to be buried next to her husbands, how many pieces would she have to be cut into?

You Don’t Know Jack is a quiz game with attitude.

YDKJ has had numerous incarnations on different platforms since it was first released on PC by Jellyvision in 1995. The game imitates a fictional TV game show – and in art imitating life eventually spawned a real show in 2010.

You Don’t Know Jack was released for iPhone and iPad this week.


Expect to cop plenty from quizmaster Cookie Masterton – you need to be very fast and very smart in this game where  ‘High Culture and Pop Culture collide’. As Jellyvision say on their website

“… one at Jellyvision at the time actually liked trivia games, we tried to figure out how to make trivia questions fun and engaging to us. When we realized that it was possible to ask about both Shakespeare and Scooby Doo in the same question, YOU DON’T KNOW JACK was born.”

Some of the questions in the current edition are too American for us, but it is still possible to have a shot at most. It’s a lot of fun.

There is a lite version available for iPhone or iPad if you want to try before you buy. The full version on iPhone is $3.99 and on iPad is $5.99

See if you can beat my top score of $22,606 – otherwise, I’m afraid to say that you don’t know jack!


What I Learnt On 17th April in other years

17th April 2012 Caine is my new heroCaine is my new hero
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I suspect I may have spent a little too much time in pool halls and pinball parlours when I was young.


One of my first memories is having to wash the blue powder from my mouth when I mistook a block of billiard chalk for a piece of Scanlan’s Metro Gum in the parlour under the Florida Hotel in Terrigal, aged about four. By six I was familiar with every pinball machine there.


Many years later, I remember watching someone play the first Space Invaders machine in George St, Sydney, and being amazed as he achieved replay after replay. I soon learnt the special tricks – including that you needed to hit the mystery UFO on your 23rd shot of the game, and every 10 after that, to score the maximum 500. I studied ‘How to WIn at Video Games’ so that I knew by heart the optimal path for the first 10 levels of Pacman.


Mark ‘Zap’ Deller and I would walk to Manly on weekends to visit the video games ‘lounge’ upstairs above the Corso. Mark was an expert on the most complicated video game ever put to market – Defender.


In 1983 I was the Sydney University Medical Society Donkey Kong champion. The Grandstand Bar also had Ten Yard Fight, 1942, and Pengo.


All up, that’s a big investment in 20 cent pieces.


This explains why I am excited about ‘what I learnt today’. 


Atari has made available its Greatest Hits App for iPad, with their top 100 video games of all time.

Atari’s Greatest Hits – Atari


The App is free – but that just lets you play Pong. You can ‘in app’ purchase the right to unlimited play on other machines one-by-one, or for $17.99 you can get all 100 as a job lot. (Note – only 18 are Arcade games, the rest are Atari console games – which you would have to be very nostalgic to want to play)


Asteroids, Battlezone, Missile Command, Centipede, Gravitar, Red Baron, Space Duel, and Tempest are among those represented.


Meanwhile, Capcom have released a similar arcade pack for iPhone. It contains Commando, 1942, Ghosts and Ghouls, Street Fighter II, and others.


Other classic video games available for the iPhone and iPad include

Dragon’s Lair


Space Invaders




To top it all off, the team at ThinkGeek will soon release their iCade cabinet. Last year they announced this as an April Fool’s joke – the response was so enormous that they’ve partnered with Atari to develop it ‘for real’. The iCade is a video games cabinet, with push buttons and a joystick, into which you place your iPad. The iCade controls the iPad through a bluetooth connection. It will retail for $99.


I can’t wait.


What I Learnt On 8th April in other years

8th April 2013 Changing Priorities
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Today I finally defeated the God King – freeing mankind from our struggle against repression, and securing the Infinity Blade for the forces of good!

The game Infinity Blade was released for iPhone and iPad on December 9th, 2010. It became the fasted grossing app on the App Store,  selling 271,424 copies in four days. 

It is a role playing game based around sword play. You swing your sword by swiping your finger across the screen. You also dodge, block and parry. You come up against successively stronger opponents, building up experience, gold and stronger weapons as you proceed, until you confront the God King himself. If (when) defeated by him, your son follows in the quest to avenge you.

My eleventh bloodline defeated the God King, after 102 other victories against all manner of opponents. At Level 25, I am only the 26,667th highest rated player! (iSutan, at level 45, has 4,622 victories!)

As the video above demonstrates, the backgrounds, animations, and characters in Infinity Blade are superbly realised. It is an excellent demonstration of the potential of the iOS system. It is one of the first big budget studio produced games specifically for the iPhone – the list of credits is longer than that of most movies. Just as well then that it sold so well – at US$5.99 a pop, the first four days worth of sales alone give a gross of US$1,625,829.76. (In Australia the games sells for $7.99)

For the record, our families favourite games on the iPhone are:
  • Millie – Snail Mail
  • Alex – Tris
  • Will – Doodle Jump
  • Oliver – Flight Control
  • Cathy – Oz Weather (!)

What I Learnt On 9th January in other years

9th January 2012 TUAW Best of 2011 AwardsTUAW Best of 2011 Awards
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