If you’ve read my review of “Jackbox Party Pack 3“, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of this style of party game. Jackbox Games has done it again with their fourth bundle called (you guessed it) “Jackbox Party Pack 4”. This pack includes five games, four of which are completely new to the formula. While a couple of the games require a larger crowd to really get the full experience, it still stand firmly as a solid collection.
The magic of the Jackbox Games are in their simplicity. No one needs to hold a controller; everything is played directly on your SmartPhone, tablet, or computer. Even those who don’t consider themselves “gamers” will have a blast. I’ve introduced countless people to these games at parties, and almost everyone walks away with a huge smile on their face.
Here’s a rundown of the games that you can find in “Jackbox Party Pack 4”:
Fibbage has become the bread and butter of the Jackbox Games, and the third entry in the series keeps on delivering. The concept is pretty simple, and it offers an incredible amount of hilarity for any party. Cookie Masterson, the game’s long-running host displays a random question on the television screen. This is an open-ended, short answer question that each player must attempt to answer on their respective devices. Once all the answers are entered, the game displays everyone’s answer along with the correct answer on the screen. Now each player must choose what they believe to be the correct answer from the available list. Points are awarded for correct guesses as well for the number of times your wrong answer was guessed by another player. The strategy comes in attempting to come up with plausible responses that will fool your opponents into choosing them.
As an additional bonus, “Fibbage 3” includes a bonus mode called “Enough About You”. In this mode, you tell an interesting fact about yourself and a bold-faced lie. Your opponents guess which statement is true and which is a falsehood. Much like the original game, points are awarded for correct answers and for fooling the other players. This provides some seriously funny scenarios, since you might learn a thing or two about your friends.
Survive the Internet
Of all the games I introduced to my group of personal friends, this was by far the favorite of the bunch. Much like Fibbage, you’re selecting your favorite or most random answers from your opponents. But this time around, it’s all about combinations. Each player is given a selected picture or phrase and instructed to attach a hashtag, caption, or title to the picture. In a way, everyone is designing their own meme. All of the works are displayed on the TV, and everyone votes on which ones they find to be the best. Players with the most votes win over the others.
The random nature is what makes this game a ton of fun. In my group, those who made topical posts or ones that related specifically to our group almost always won out. At the end of the day, everyone laughed a great deal at this concept.
Monster Seeking Monster
This game is definitely the most ambitious of the bunch. It feels like a tabletop game turned digital to make keeping track of stats much easier. Players are assigned a starting number of “hearts”, which act as victory points. The goal is to obviously have the most victory points at the end of the game, which lasts seven rounds. Each player chooses a random monster as their avatar, each providing a different “power” to mix up the game. As the first round starts, each player is given the chance to “text” the other players for a specified number of times. The idea is to convince other players in the room to “date” you. At the end of the round, everyone chooses who they would like to be matched up with. Points are awarded to both players who chose each other as a mate. This ends up being a game of building alliances and backstabbing your opponents in order to get ahead.
While I appreciated the tone this game was going for, I feel like my group was the wrong demographic to really enjoy this game. This felt like something that would be more fitting for a group of single people instead of multiple married couples. Still, it’s such a clever concept it makes it worth a playthrough or two. It was far from my favorite of the new titles in this collection, however.
Fans of March Madness might be intrigued by this interesting take on tournament brackets. Instead of selecting a college basketball team, however, you’re choosing between two player’s answers to a random question generated by the game. Everyone in the room votes on which answer they like better, and the answer with the most votes moves on to the next round. This goes on until an overall winner is chosen. Much like in a traditional March Madness bracket, more points are awarded for winning matches closer to the final matchup. The twist here is that players can change their answer between the two choices at will until the timer runs out. This makes each matchup a bit exciting to watch the results go back and forth.
This game, above all the others, requires a larger group. In fact, this game can be played with up to 16 players. Even with my small group of six people, it felt like it would be far more interesting with more people joining the group. This is a fun take on the “choose one or the other” mechanic we’ve seen in previous games from this developer like “Quiplash”.
The last game in this collection gives player an opportunity to draw on their devices, similarly to how they did in “Drawful” on a previous party pack. The difference here is that the final drawing ends up being a joint project from each player who won individual matchups.
Let me back up. Two random players are given a random object to draw. Both players draw that object on their phone, and both pictures show up on the TV in real time for the other players to witness. After a short period of time, the players spectating vote on which drawing they think is better. After a winner prevails, two different players build upon the drawing that won the previous round. The process is repeated until the final round, and the “winning” picture is proudly displayed as artwork in the game’s fictitious city. Much like the other games, players earn points for their creation being selected over their opponent.
Anytime you have a drawing game with a group of adults, it tends to lean towards pictures of a certain risque persuasion. This was evident at my party this weekend when we tried out this game. Regardless of the lack of maturity of myself and my friends, there’s a lot of fun to be had with this game. It doesn’t have as much lasting appeal as games like Fibbage and Quiplash, but it’s a nice change of pace to those familiar games.
“Jackbox Party Pack 4” Final Verdict
All of these Jackbox Party Packs are easy recommends for anyone with a good amount of friends able to come over to your house. There’s no online mode available, however you could easily stream your game and play with anyone watching. All they have to do is sign into your game using their device. The only problem is you might have a bit of lag, since most streams have a good delay of at least five seconds. While this isn’t my favorite of the four packs offered thus far, it’s a great addition to the collection. You can’t go wrong starting with this one, but don’t let this be the only collection you pick up.
This review was based on an Xbox One review copy of “Jackbox Party Pack 4”, which was provided by Jackbox Games. The collection is available on the following platforms for $24.99:
October 18th: 4th Generation Apple TV’s
October 19th: Nintendo Switch™, Windows PC and Mac via Steam, the Humble Store and Bundle Stars, as well as the Mac App Store, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Nvidia Shield
October 20th: Xbox One