Back in 2014, I had no idea that The Jackbox Party Pack would be an annual thing and now that it is, here's the eighth installment.
Drawful Animate 3 to 10 players
First up, we have Drawful Animate. Now, I love Drawful and find that it's one of the best Jackbox games. In fact, it was featured in the very first one which is still surprisingly the best collection even after all these years. For the unfamiliar, you're given a prompt that you have to draw then other players type what they think it is then they guess which of the answers is correct. It's simple stuff and results in some genuinely funny moments. What's different about Drawful Animate is that you draw 2 frames of animation for each prompt which right away made me disappointed as I thought the drawings would automatically animate; not just alternate between 2 frames. Another disappointing aspect is that most prompts can be drawn with 1 simple picture so drawing a second frame feels redundant a lot of the time. Thankfully, there are different prompt categories which helps mix things up although it's still not as fun as the original. v1d30chumz 107-21-85-250
The Wheel of Enormous Proportions 2 to 8 players
Next, The Wheel of Enormous Proportions is this pack's trivia game and the strongest offering here. What I enjoy about it is that the trivia questions present you with loads of options that you toggle and you're awarded points according to how many you get right. Other questions simply have you type answers that fulfill a requirement and once in a while, you'll have to type a guess as to what the host is gradually describing. All of this is very clever stuff. As you play, you'll earn wedges that you can use on the titular wheel then each player spins it in the hopes of getting points and claiming victory. This makes winning feel rather random but it's a solid game nonetheless.
Job Job 3 to 10 players
Every pack needs at least one silly game that provides a good laugh and Job Job does that job job very well. First, players answer prompts with at least 5 words then those words are put into a pool that you answer another prompt with by dragging the words to form an answer. Now, one inherent problem with this is that you don't need to actually answer the initial prompts properly seeing as you know what's going to happen next so you could strategically just write a bunch of random funny words that you know your friends will use which will grant you extra points down the road. That kind of makes round 1 hollow but reading the results in round 2 is still funny.
The Poll Mine 2 to 10 players
Some Jackbox games simply don't come together well and The Poll Mine is a prime example of one. Basically, players are split into teams then each player is given prompts and votes on their order of favourite responses. Then, players take turns guessing the order of which was the most popular. I think there's supposed to be communication involved but discussing what you voted for will help the other team so this aspect is confusing. Meanwhile, simply guessing the third most popular choice of some random prompt isn't all that fun in the first place so this is one game that mostly falls flat and there's no real humour involved either. So, what's the point? Just don't play it.
Weapons Drawn 4 to 8 players
Finally, we have a social deduction game which is similar to Push the Button from The Jackbox Party Pack 6 but this one is much grimmer. Its core mechanics involve disguising a letter from your name by incorporating it in a drawing of your murder weapon then players are awarded points according to how many murders they can commit (how lovely) as well as how many they solve. Needless to say, this formula is very confusing at first and considering you need at least 4 players to play it, the learning curve can be very steep so you essentially need to play it with a group of very attentive and patient friends. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to enjoy it because of that but if you can get the right group together, it can be a rather interesting game that kind of feels like a more sinister Clue.
2021's Jackbox Party Pack makes me hope the company will take a year off in 2022, go back to the drawing board, and return with a stellar collection of games in 2023 that takes players back to why they loved the first Party Pack as much as they did back in 2014.
- + The Wheel of Enormous Proportions offers a clever approach to trivia questions
- + Drawful Animate and Job Job can be funny
- + Weapons Drawn is a nifty deduction game
- - You need a large group of players for most games to actually be fun
- - Games don't really offer anything new
- - The Poll Mine is kind of dumb