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Jackbox Games are back once more with their third pack of party fun. For those unaware, the Jackbox Party Pack releases consist of simple party-style games that can be controlled using a smart phone or anything with a web browser. Logging in is a breeze and right off the bat eliminates the biggest barrier to entry most multiplayer games have – not having enough controllers. These games are usually competitive, silly and always hilarious.
This release is a little different to a normal title though as technically it contains five games in one. So I figured what better way to review this than to take a look at each game individually. I played these games with eleven other people so have given each a rating out of twelve thumbs up. If a person enjoyed the game and would play it again then it got a thumbs up. Simple. So let’s get started, just hit the tab to go to the game’s breakdown.
Quiplash is the only game to see the sequel treatment this time around and as you’d expect the new version is still great fun. Sure the game never strays far from what made the original so good, but that’s definitely no bad thing. Instead Jackbox Games have added a couple of neat extra features that help extend its lifespan and also improve the overall experience.
First of all for those that have never played Quiplash, the game throws players two random prompts to their devices. Now this could be something as simple as “A sure fire way to ruin Christmas” or “Jesus’s real last words”. It’s then up to you to write anything you like, bearing in mind that your answer will go head to head with another player who had the same prompts with the other players casting their votes on the favourite. More often than not this comes down to who can be funnier, but others it could be a matter of what answer was smartest – it all depends on your audience.
Quiplash 2 has a large pool of its own prompts but this time around you’re able to create your own and the way this is done is actually very smart. Before a game begins, players have the option to collectively create up to 64 prompts and save either for future use or to use there and then. It’s a neat way of doing things as it means that not one single person is pressured to produce imaginative ideas.
Furthermore the final round (or Final Lash) as it’s called in the game has been revamped so the points can actually make a difference to the final tally at the end.
All in all, Quiplash 2 is a safe sequel that delivers more of what you love and to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Thumbs Up Rating – 12/12
Perhaps the least creative of the bunch, Guesspionage delivers a pretty safe by the numbers experience when compared with the rest. One player steps into the spotlight to guess the public’s response to a random question – whether it’s what percentage of girl’s can burp on command, have thrown up on a roller coaster or would volunteer when called on. The remaining players then vote whether they think their guess is actually higher or lower. Points are then awarded and we then move onto the next player and the process repeats itself till everyone has had a go in the hot seat.
The final round mixes things up slightly by having everyone fish out the top three most popular answers to a question from a group but beyond that it’s a fairly standard affair.
While the game isn’t bad by any means, it perhaps stands out as the lame duck of the bunch especially when it lacks the freedom of Quiplash and Faking It or the character of Trivia Murder Party.
Thumbs Up Rating – 6/12
A difficult one to initially get your head around but totally worth it when you do. Faking It is the only game in the pack that really requires players to be in the same room as opposed to online streaming.
Up to six players can participate in this one with every round essentially coming down to the group trying to figure out which of them is termed “The Faker”. In order to do this everyone is sent a prompt on their device, everyone that is except “The Faker”. Now this could be anything from raise your hand if you’ve ever seen Citizen Kane or even point at the person you think would make the best James Bond. Of course “The Faker” is not privy to this information so when it comes time to actually raise their hand or point or pull a silly face they are going on their gut instinct. From this point on discussions take place that tries to decipher who could be “The Faker” and why. Did someone raise their hand later than everyone else? Surely you know your friend well enough to know they don’t have three nipples. Of course “The Faker” tries to stay undetected while all this going on whether that’s by keeping quiet or lying through their teeth and for every round they do (in which the entire group votes and tries to come to a consensus) they gain points. If they’re caught however the points go to the accusers.
This one is definitely the most social of the bunch and while it took a few attempts for the entire group to get their head around what was going on, the end result was a truly memorable one.
Thumbs Up Rating – 10/12
Part Drawful and part Quiplash, Tee-KO has players drawing a whole assortment of t-shirt designs and then coming up with random slogans. All are then mixed up and distributed to each player where they try to match the best slogan with a design. What follows is then a winner stays on clash where everyone votes on their favourite t-shirt.
As you can probably predict this game very much rests on the imagination of your group as well as their taste. Our group for example saw a lot (and I mean a lot) of penis and butt shaped images with slogans that may or may have uttered a few profanities in the process. Of course we loved the sheer stupidity of it all and would often find plenty of shirts featuring great innuendos or unexpected matches. Perhaps strangest and kind of coolest of all is the fact that any design created can be ordered as a real t-shirt.
Thumbs Up Rating – 9/12
Hands down the surprise hit of the package, Trivia Murder Party is Jackbox Games firing on all cylinders. Everything from the general concept to the presentation is fantastic and proof that the company still has plenty of exciting new ideas left in the bank.
The game itself is a mixture of trivia and… Mario Party, if Mario Party was hosted by a psychopathic murderer and the losers of its mini-games were killed off. Every round starts off with a multiple-choice question. Answer correctly and you win $1000 for your troubles whilst remaining safe until the next round. Choose the wrong answer though and you and all the other failures go through to “The Killing Floor”, where you will literally compete to stay alive.
It’s at this stage where the mini-games come into play. One moment you could be searching for the longest word within a grid of letters, the next trying to draw an MRI machine where the worst attempt is voted off. Perhaps the best however involves a pile of cash where players can either take the cash or leave it – the rules are however if no one takes the money then everyone lives, if at least one person takes the cash then those who didn’t die, however if everyone takes it then everyone dies. It’s such a simple idea but has already produced so many great moments of deception and surprise within our group. With a good mixture of luck based games and skill based ones, “The Killing Floor” despite its name delivers the laughs and thrills in spades. Best of all, even if you’re eliminated you can still play and potentially win later in the game.
When the field has been slashed to one lone survivor, the final round then begins where said survivor attempts to escape before any of the previously deceased players can catch them up. To do this he or she must correctly answer a series of questions – which of these are actual Game of Thrones houses or appear in Mortal Kombat for example? Points move your avatar a few extra spaces closer to freedom but when the chasing ghosts have a potential three spaces up for grabs while you only have two the tension is definitely high!
What could have easily been just another trivia game has been given an extra injection of fun thanks to its dark style and fantastic mix of engaging mini-games. To sum it all up, this is the next Fibbage or Quiplash and will see many many more replays with friends and family.
Thumbs Up Rating – 12/12