Are you looking for a solid party game for family gatherings or for hanging out with friends? Well, look no further because The Jackbox Party Pack is here. It's a compilation of five party games that a ton of people can play together without the need of additional controllers. If you think that you won't have fun with this game, then... You Don't Know Jack!
Players can join in easily by going to a URL on their phone, tablet, laptop, or any device with a decent web browser and entering a four character code and their name. It's that simple. Even your grandparents can join (if they have the appropriate technology). Keep in mind that you are not limited to playing with people in the same room. You can stream your game via a service such as Twitch and have people from all over the world join. They don't even need a copy of the game. It's incredibly easy to set up and is a fresh approach to multiplayer gaming that allows for endless possibilities of fun. But, before you rush away and buy it, let's look at the individual games that are included in this nifty little package.
You Don't Know Jack 2015 (1 to 4 players)
This incarnation of You Don't Know Jack contains 50 trivia game show episodes hosted by the familiar Cookie Masterson whose cheeky one-liners will either have you laughing or shaking your head. Each episode contains 10 multiple choice questions and a couple of bonus rounds. A few mechanics help to make the game a bit more interesting. Players have screws that they can use to screw over one of their opponents which forces them to answer correctly and if they don't, then the player who used the screw will score. There is also the "Wrong answer of the game" that pertains to the episode's fictitious (and sometimes hilarious) sponsor which shows up once per episode and will grant players bonus points if they pick it. "Dis or dat" is a bonus round that allows the player in last place to catch up by guessing whether each thing in a series belongs to one of two choices. Every episode ends with a "Jack attack" round that will show a series of answers and once the correct one appears, players must be the first to push the button in order to score.
These episodes never become boring since there's a lot of diversity within them. Transitions announcing each question number are a joy to watch and certain questions will have silly themes such as when Cookie plays ventriloquist. The only problem with the game is that you can't use controllers when playing in multiplayer mode. Why limit players to only be able to use a browser when all you do is tap images that represent the controller's buttons anyway? It doesn't seem to make much sense. Also, after you finish all of the episodes then you're pretty much done with the game as you'll know all the answers. This is okay since it will take a while to make it through all 50 episodes. Overall, this is a great game that can be quite entertaining for up to four players.
Fibbage XL (2 to 8 players)
Fibbage is played by contestants filling in blanks when a question is presented in order to fool their opponents into choosing their answer as the correct one. Players get points for both answering questions correctly and fooling their opponents to pick their answers. It's very simple and perfectly paced. Cookie Masterson hosts this game as well and he is just as irreverent as in his other role. This game is less structured than You Don't Know Jack since there are no episodes and players choose the theme of the next question. This helps the replayability as each game feels fresh. Fibbage also isn't as flashy but it doesn't have to be since it relies on the players to create their own fun.
Drawful (3 to 8 players)
Drawful is basically the same game as Fibbage except with the added element of drawing. This game is the most light-hearted one in the collection with goofy sound effects, cute graphics, and a less obscene host. Each player draws something based on a unique word or phrase. One of the drawings is presented and the players who didn't create the drawing will try to fool their opponents by typing a convincing word or phrase that the drawing represents. Next, these players try to pick the correct answer. After the round completes, the next drawing is shown. Considering the added drawing component, more than two players are required to play. It can be enjoyable for people who like to draw, but it's too similar to Fibbage which is a much more instantly gratifying experience. However, if you're playing with an artsy crowd then this game will probably be preferred over Fibbage.
Lie Swatter (1 to 100 players)
Lie Swatter is an incredibly simple game where players are presented a series of facts that are either the truth or a lie. Each player must simply select "truth" or "lie" and the fastest correct answer will get extra points. The main appeal of this game is the fact that it can be played by up to 100 players. If you can be a part of a large enough group, then this quick and simple game can be a good time. However, it can get boring quickly with only a few players as there are much better games suited for smaller groups in this collection.
Word Spud (2 to 8 players)
Word Spud is the biggest disappointment here. Basically, a player types a word to go with a given word. Next, the other players vote on that word which rewards points. Then, the next player enters another word to go with the previous word. The player with the most points wins. I personally don't understand how this is a game since it has almost no structure whatsoever. Maybe it can be amusing if you're at a party with certain substances involved, but if you're not then you'll probably end up thinking, "How is this a game?"
So, there you have it; a brand new You Don't Know Jack that almost everyone will enjoy, a couple of great lying games that players will probably only stick to their favourite, a simple game that 100 people can play together, and... Word Spud. If you want a multiplayer experience that's a lot of fun and easy to pick up and play then you can't go wrong with downloading The Jackbox Party Pack.
- + Incredibly easy to set up
- + Can be a ton of fun for plenty of simultaneous players
- + Great sense of humour
- - Most players will only enjoy a few of the games
- - Word Spud is lacking in the fun department
- - Unable to play You Don't Know Jack with multiple controllers