You’re at a party, actually you’re at a fairly large party, too many people to sit down to a game of risk, a game of Betrayal at House on the Hill or for a good old fashion bout of Mario Kart. People will always segment off into smaller groups, find something to do but then there’s always that one other person that goes and feels left out. In a stroke of brilliance, JackBox games created a “game” that everyone can play as in this day and age, even if you don’t have data on your cell phone or tablet, someone’s got a wifi running. Now up to Number 5, Jackbox Games is back for more party craziness that just makes you wonder how sane some of your friends really are.
Like the other Party Packs, the more the merrier. I mean, I’ve sat down to some of these on a Sunday night with my Mom and Marc just to kill a bit of time before watching a movie but when there are only three of your? It’s not the same as a room full of people or even more if you decide to take it online and stream it through Twitch! In that regards, the Party Pack is as robust as ever with easy controls that are pushed out to your devices while the main content is on screen. What I’ve always appreciated on this is that regardless of the party pack, you simply need to go to JackBox.TV, put in the room code, a “witty” username, I totally go with PY, and unleash sarcasm or epicness upon your foes! Erm… friends.
Like some of the older packs, there are some revamped classics and some entirely new elements to spice up any party. Starting off with the return of You Don’t Know Jack, I clearly didn’t. Pop Culture is definitely not my thing but in a room with others that don’t? You may just stand a chance. What was great on this revamp was the style of how the questions were asked. Other than the typical, which do you think was right, there was now a timed “quick draw” which presents players with six items in which they have to choose whether or not it fits into the above stated category.
Shown two at a time, you need to think quickly if, for example the category was Captain, if Capt America actually works or not. Was it written Captain? No? Then the answer was wrong and in not clicking it you don’t lose any points. Click it? Whelp, you just lost a fair amount of points AND probably let someone else take the lead. This new addition in the mix of the others was awesome because it acts different even within its own “game” keeping things moving and interesting because if you space out? You’ll miss out and quite possibly lose.
Coming in new are the following party games that bring in some new life to the series. Now while I personally wasn’t a fan of all of all of them, that’s something to be understood as each Party pack comes with several entries that will hopefully apply to everyone, but let’s be honest for a moment in that not everyone will always agree. That said, each one was well designed.
First up after You Don’t Know Jack is Split the Room. Split the Room is a test of would you rather A or B. Simple enough until you start thinking of who you’re playing against and who’s most likely to take the most amount of points. If several people agree that they would rather my epic voice narrating their life story versus having to pee themselves every time that they say the word “I” instead of talking in the third person, then I would get a measly amount of points. If it comes down to a 50/50? Jackpot! So this was fun because you really have to play the room more than aim for what you may truly want.
After splitting the room there was Mad Verse which confirmed what I already knew. Even with giant robots I can neither rhyme nor can I rap. I suck. Badly. But conceptually you go head to head against other players in which after putting in a subject and given a line in return, you have to write a second verse before doing it again for the third and fourth lines. It’s freaking hilarious if you’re good and considering that the raps are all done with a Microsoft Sam like voice? It’s well worth going through a few rounds regardless of your skills.
Patently Stupid was perhaps by far my favorite of the bunch. Everyone writes an idea. Ideas are all sorted out to the players, and then you have to come up with a name, slogan and a drawing off of a dinner napkin for your solution to the problem. Do you have what it takes to be the brains behind the idea? Do you have the nerves to present it? This was a bit of a neat concept as you don’t have to be the one presenting but can actually allow the computer to do it for you. If you leave it to them, they’ll go through their script. If you want to do it yourself? You are given the prompts for how you want things to appear and you better bring your best presentation voice because without that? No one is going to want to back your project. Zero presentation skills means ZERO funding from your peers!
Finally there was Crab Nebula that was more of an interactive catapult fest in which all the players present have to work together to eliminate enemies on the screen. After being hit once, an enemy will change colors befitting that of another player. That player who’s color has been chosen must be the one to launch themselves at the enemy in order to do damage to the enemy. Now while this is a team exercise, the most kills will give the most points which basically makes you the winner. Having to work both together but “alone” was a lot of fun and you’ll definitely want to bring your A-Game if you want to win!