The Ride is the fourth mainline game in the You Don’t Know Jack trivia video game series, and the first departure from the format of the original You Don’t Know Jack. The game has a much darker and even more subversive tone than the other games, which earned it praise from some outlets and criticism from others.
For the first time in the series, each game (or “episode”, as the game is presented as a TV gameshow) is themed, and all 13 questions will relate to that theme. The game begins with a Moral Dilemma which will determine the theme of the game. The relation between the dilemma, the chosen answer, and the theme chosen for the game is not always straightforward – for instance, if in answer to the Moral Dilemma “Coke or Pepsi?” the player chooses “Coke”, the game states that the player likes red and, therefore, must be a Communist, kicking off the Communism-themed game.
Instead of selecting a question from three “category” choices as in previous games, the player in control selects a random question value, getting berated for low dollar values and praised for high ones. The questions are mostly multiple-choice, although there are some returning question types from previous games, as well as some new ones. As always, the final question of the game is the Jack Attack, after which the player with the highest score wins the game.
Multiple Choice: The main type of question in the game. The players are presented with a (typically roundabout) question and four possible answers. The players “buzz in” with their appropriate keys in order to answer – a correct answer adds the question’s value to their total, while an incorrect answer subtracts it. This type of question also has a number of twists to it. For instance, if a player buzzes in before the answers have been displayed, the correct set of answers for the question will be replaced with a fake set, causing the player to get the question incorrect and lose money. The host will then admonish the player for buzzing in too early. Also, if one player is significantly ahead of the rest of the players and allows time to expire without answering the question, the host (and the “audience”) will yell at the leader, “Don’t Be A Wimp!”, forcing him to buzz in and take a chance at the question. Finally, once per game, a player can buzz in and, instead of answering the question, press the “S” key to use the Screw Your Neighbor feature. Like in previous games, this feature forces the opponent of the player’s choosing to answer the question. However, for the first time, the player can press the “S” key repeatedly, filling the question screens with screws, obscuring the question and answers. As in previous games, if the “screwed” player gets the answer correct, not only does that player earn the question’s value, but the question’s value is also deducted from the screwing player.
Dis-or-Dat: A returning question from the previous games, one player is selected to play the Dis-or-Dat round. The player is presented with two categories that might have similar-sounding items, such as “Things Associated with James Bond” and “Things Associated with Maxwell Smart”. The player is then presented with seven items, each of which the player must choose which of the two (or, in some cases, both) categories the item fits into. For each correct answer, the player is awarded the question’s value, but for each incorrect answer or answer ungiven before time expires, the question’s value is taken away from the player’s total.
Gibberish Question: Another returning question format, all of the players are presented with a nonsense phrase that rhymes, word-for-word, with the solution phrase. The players are also presented with a category to hint at the answer. The value for these questions are large, but decrease the longer the question goes unanswered. After the question is given, the players are periodically given clues to the answer phrase.
Roadkill: A question format exclusive to The Ride. The players are given seven sets of two-clue questions, such as “Comes From a Cow” and “Goes On Your Cereal” to which “Milk” would be the correct answer. Buzzing in when “Milk” appears on the screen would earn the player $1,000, buzzing in when anything else was on the screen would lose $1,000 for the player. After all seven questions, the player must then choose, in the same fashion, what all seven of the answers had in common (without being reminded of what the seven answers were). Getting this answer correct earns the player the value of the question, getting it incorrect subtracts the question’s value from the player’s total.
Jack Bingo: A question formate exclusive to the Ride. The players are given a five-letter word that fits with the theme of the episode. For instance, a game about politicians might feature the word “LIARS” in this round. The players are given a clue to a word that begins with one of the letters in the word. The letters of the word are then highlighted one at a time, in random order. The players must buzz in when the first letter of the answer is lit up. This awards the player $1,000, and lights up that letter on the board for that player (an incorrect answer loses the player $1,000). The round is won when one of the players lights up all five letters of the feature word for that round, awarding them the question’s value.
Jack Attack: As in all You Don’t Know Jack games, the final question (the 13in this version) of the game is the Jack Attack. The players are presented with a clue phrase. Then the players are presented with a word or phrase in the center of the screen, with other words and phrases appearing and disappearing around it. When the phrase in the center is linked with the phrase currently appearing around it in the manner indicated by the clue, a player can buzz in to win $2,000. If a player buzzes in at any other time, they lose $2,000. Seven questions are played in this manner, after which the game ends and the scores and winner are announced.