With “Mario Sports Mix” and “Test Drive Unlimited 2” garnering ho-hum reviews thus far, it’s looking like a light week for new releases. Standouts include the reboot of cleverly written trivia game “You Don’t Know Jack” and “Stacking” the latest offering from Sonoma native Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions.
“Stacking” (rated E10+, $15 download on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, free for PlayStation Plus members): The latest title from Tim Schafer’s Double Fine doesn’t have anything to do with those kids who stack cups competitively. Instead, it’s a puzzle-filled adventure game starring Russian nesting dolls. You’ll play as a tiny doll named Charlie who can jump inside the bigger dolls he finds and gain their special abilities. I’ll have a review of this up in a few days, but expect the usual one-of-a-kind world with a healthy dose of whimsy. This game is the brainchild of Double Fine’s Lee Petty.
“You Don’t Know Jack” (rated T, $30 on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii or DS, $20 on PC): This is a current-gen reboot of a PC trivia franchise that was all the rage in the late ’90s. My review copy showed up last Friday, and I’ve really been digging its irreverent take on asking trivia questions. I love trivia as much as the next guy, but “You Don’t Know Jack” is the only game on the market that asks which product would follow “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” in a “Five Stages of Grief” line of products. (Choices: “I’m Very Angry That It’s Not Butter,” “I’ll Do Anything To Turn It Into Butter,” “I’ve Come To Terms With It Not Being Butter,” or “I’ve Lost All Hope Because It’s Not Butter.”) If you already own the “Scene It” games on the Xbox 360, you’ll be pleased to know that game’s big-button buzzer controllers work with “You Don’t Know Jack.”
Retro shooters on Xbox Live: Last week’s Xbox Live deal of the week for gold members puts a bunch of “shooters” on sale, and they’re using “shooter” in both the old-school and newer-school sense of the word. You shouldn’t pass up colorful arcade shooters “Galaga Legions,” “Space Invaders: Infinity Gene” and “Geometry Wars 2: Retro Evolved” (all rated E) for $5 a pop. Also on sale are “Duke Nukem Manhattan Project” and a couple of “Serious Sam” games, also for $5 a pop. Your mileage may vary on those.