The Jackbox Party Pack 5

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8.5

Great

I squealed when I saw that this was going to be released. It was a little embarrassing because I was in a room full of people minding their own business. Needless to say, I am a big fan of the games. However, if you’re a Jackbox virgin, let me just quickly lay out what’s in store:

1) Learning stuff about your friends you never knew before
2) In-game commentary that’s so good you’ll shush your friends just to listen to it.
3) Saying, “What the heck” (or some equivalent) a lot
4) Laughing (I mean, laughing so hard you’re in danger of peeing your pants)
5) Forgetting what time it is because you’re doing “just one more round”

So what’re you waiting for, right? But, if you’re a Jackbox aficionado, there’s probably one thing you want to know before eagerly throwing your money at the game. How does this stack up to all the other Party Packs?

Well, I’m encouraged to see that the Jackbox folks aren’t just resting on the laurels of their previous successes. There’s some real creative thought behind Party Pack 5. Let me take you through the line-up:

You Don’t Know Jack
Uh, yeah. Okay, so they remixed this one. It’s been so long since I played a You Don’t Know Jack game that I can’t compare it to the original. But it follows a fairly traditional trivia game format: get asked a question, choose one multiple choice answer, win (or lose) virtual money. Where the game deviates is that the questions are asked in twisty ways that make you think in a convoluted manner. Also, players who are on the losing end are given pretty interesting methods of sabotaging other players. I’m a bigger fan of Trivia Murder Party (The Jackbox Party Pack 4) but I’ll still happily play this one. 3 out of 5 stars.

Split the Room
Here’s where the creativity begins. You’re given opportunities to create divisive scenarios and players have to vote on whether they’d go one way or another. You get more points the longer they deliberate and also if the resulting vote is one that splits the room. The results are often hilarious, with a good dose of people pointing accusatory fingers and going, “You would do what?!” (only in a fun way, of course).The matches feel like they could be longer but hey, I guess you could just hit the “Play with Same Players” button. 4½ out of 5 stars.

Mad Verse City
If you’ve ever played Mad Libs, this is the version you’ve always wanted. Players are given prompts such as noun, adverb, Person etc. and from that, they engage an opponent in a four-liner rap battle. Don’t worry, you don’t have to rap yourself – the game generates a voice that translates your text into speech! The results aren’t perfect and the raps often don’t have the same rhythm that you had in your head, but it’s still pretty impressive and entertaining. 4 out of 5 stars.

Zeeple Dome
For me, this one feels like a doozy. I can appreciate that it tries to be more gamer-oriented, but if you’re looking for that kind of thing, there are just so many better options out there. Summarised, you’re using your phone to ricochet your character around a platformer-type arena to kill targets. It’s a little like Angry Birds meets Space Invaders -both great games- but to be honest, the resulting hybrid is mostly confusing and not as satisfying as the others in the pack. 1 out of 5 stars. Fortunately, there’s…

Patently Stupid
Let me just tell you right off the bat that this gets a full freakin’ 5 stars from me. I’d buy this Party Pack if this was the only thing in the pack. Which, I guess, would make it a game..not a pack. Moving on. Set up like a marketing seminar, players think of problems and then invent solutions to these problems which they quickly sketch on a virtual cocktail napkin. The game culminates in a “presentation” of the idea which players can choose to present themselves or have the game present it for them. As you can imagine, the inventions are so often absurd, making the presentations even more ridiculous, thus reducing the room to a bunch of cry-laughers.

So on the whole, Party Pack 5 is another success story. It’s such a great diversion from the usual single-mindedness of other game. And thanks to the option of streaming it via Discord, I can usually grab a quick game of Jackbox with whoever’s online almost anytime. How much is that worth? Priceless, my friend. Absolutely priceless.

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8.5

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