There is no better way than playing Jackbox Party Pack games at a party. That might sound like I’m trying to sell you this game, but I have spent countless hours with my friends playing these Party Packs. This one does not disappoint either. Many of the games are new with fresh takes on formulas from previous packs. They will bring a lot of laughs to you during many parties to come even if a few games feel a little long in the tooth.
Let’s begin with the game that previous Jackbox players should be familiar with, Fibbage 3. For those who do not know, Fibbage 3 is a trivia game, in which there is one true answer and then other options that are lies from players. This is not your average trivia game though. The prompts that Jackbox asks you to fill in are ridiculous things or factoids that you have to take a guess at, most of the time. Unless you’re a connoisseur of strange news stories, you’ll have to take a wild guess. This is where the strategy lies. Your lie has to be in-between something that is realistic but also nutty. The answers that this game gives you will surprise you. Players get points for every time they trick someone or pick the truth. Fibbage 3 doesn’t really change up the formula, except for a new 70’s-esque style that pops on screen and a set of new prompts, but if something isn’t broken, why try to reiterate it?
Well, they did reiterate Fibbage in this game actually. They added a new twist to the game with Fibbage Enough About You. This brings a truth and lying element to the game. You tell facts and lies about yourself, and it’s a fun twist on the formula.
Next, Brackeetering. This game can be either an incredibly funny romp or a dreadfully dull 20 or so minutes. In Brackeetering, players answer a prompt like “What’s the best candy bar?” Voters then pick their favorite among the answers in a sports-like tournament bracket and predict which answers win to get the most points. However, with further rounds, the prompt can change in the second heat with a Blind Bracket, and then in the last section, the Triple Blind Bracket, the prompt is changed every heat. Hilarity can ensue. For example, the prompt, “Name a video game character” came up. And then it changed to: “What’s the best role for Tom Hanks to play?” Knack was the winner and Lara Croft was the runner up. However, the game doesn’t always end up in the most entertaining way. The prompts that Jackbox has written can be incredibly dull. You really can’t get many laughs out of “Name a candy bar” and then ask, “What’s the best to ground up and sniff?” Answers can be very similar as well and there isn’t a system to reduce incidents like this. Brackeetering is a hit or miss, but when the prompts are funny, it’s a riot.
The most complex game in the pack is Monster Seeking Monster. In this game, you are trying to pick up dates after messaging each other, but each player has their own mechanic from the hidden monster side of you. The person with the most hearts by the end of the game is the winner and all these mechanics added switch up the formula drastically. Is it a good idea to date the person from how they are acting or messaging you? In a party setting, this game is overly complex, especially if alcohol is involved. It took time for me to wrap my head around the mechanics. I found that this game is far better when you hide your names from each other. It can be funny to have people try to flirt with you, but if you show your names, it gets incredibly awkward. I found this to be the most fun while playing with both friends and those who are watching your stream. You’re actually messaging strangers, but you’re laughing at the responses with your friends as it shows the message log. What if you don’t have that many people to join though? Well, this game adds an interesting mechanic with the robot. If you ignore the robot and he is placed in the last place with the least amount of hearts, everyone loses and the world is destroyed. You have to find a way to keep the robot happy but also keep up with the players. Monster Seeking Monster became more fun to play the more times I played it. With my stream, the people playing along liked this game the most.
My personal favorite from this Jackbox Party Pack is Survive the Internet. It is the perfect game for trolls and insulting your friends, which I take great pleasure in every time I play as I maniacally laugh when I post my answer. Survive the Internet has you making titles or comments to things you find on the internet, such as YouTube videos, social media posts, crowdfunding websites, and pictures. Each player gives a response to a question that Jackbox provides, and then that response is given to another person. Your job is to twist that response and make it sound ridiculous. This is the funniest game in the set, but the last round is usually a downer as the material that Jackbox gives you doesn’t give the player much to work with. The last round is to make a ridiculous caption on a picture but more often than not, these stock photos are really generic. Survive the Internet is the game that had the most laughs from my group of friends, and it was fun to think of something witty to the comments you receive. The best thing about this game is that it will not get old as the players in your group are the ones creating the prompts.
Lastly, is Civic Doodle, a game in which you draw public murals for a town mayor and planning society. In each round, you start with a small outline and then players have to expand on it. There are then 3 sets in each round, in which players vote for which drawing is best, and then that drawing is expanded on in the next set. Players get points for the sets they win, and at the end of the round, you have to name the mural you have all created with points allocated for the one that the majority votes for. In the last round, you have to create a portrait for the town hall and you are directed to which body part on the face to draw.
Jackbox Party Pack 4 can inevitably get ridiculous, whether or not you’re a good artist. The results typically end with hilarity as each mural looks ridiculous. The music of Civic Doodle really adds to the silliness of the game, as well. Drawing games in Jackbox aren’t usually my forte, but this is a very accessible game for those who cannot. This game feels a bit drawn out sometimes, and the drawing gameplay feels long in the tooth by the end of the game. If it was shortened, this would have been excellent.
Jackbox Party Pack 4 is one of the best in the series so far. Bracketeering can miss the mark half of the time with lame prompts, but the other games succeed at providing creative and hilarious banter between your friends. Jackbox has pretty much become the masters of the cell-phone/console format they have created.
A PS4 code was provided by Jackbox Games for this review.
The Jackbox Party Pack 424.99
- Survive the Internet is a hilarious way to get your inner troll out
- Monster Seeking Monster is difficult at first but can get interesting, especially while streaming.
- The soundtrack is on point with every game.
- Some games take too long to finish
- Half of Bracketeering prompts can be really lame.
- Monster Seeking Monster can be awkward to play with friends in the same room.