LifeisXbox’s The Jackbox Party Pack 9 review | Anyone familiar with the Jackbox games knows what to expect here, but for those who don’t yet, a small introduction: It’s a bundle of party games where you either sit together in the same room or use an online streaming service to share your screen, and then people can participate using their phone or tablet and there is even room for an audience of up to 1000 people. (the latter is obviously intended for streamers, but a really cool touch nonetheless and something I hope to explore at some point)
This is already the 9th offering of the popular partygame franchise and it introduces some new games while also bringing back a fan favourite with Fibbage 4. I’ve played a few of their previous releases and always had a blast with friends, so I was very excited to dive in.
Most Memorable Moment
Because I needed more people to test the game with and the actual real-life people we tried to play the game with had a hard time freeing their schedule (life at 30+ is busy y’all!), I organised a viewing party. While complex to set up: Xbox streaming to PC, which streamed to Zoom and had people call in to see my screen, it was a blast to play with some online friends. Games like these are best to experience with people you know well, though, so be sure to make an evening out of it and invite some friends over for drinks, snacks and games!
PS: I really hope they make streaming your Xbox output to something like Discord a lot easier in the future, that would save a lot of time and effort and could make this a popular title for communities to play together.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Fibbage 4 | The champion returns! Fibbage is among the best gametypes Jackbox has to offer and makes for an amazing party game to play with friends. You have to type in a missing word (your lie) and trick other players to think it’s the truth. It’s amazing how many questions there are and even more impressive to see how the narrator ties them all together. Only requirement here is: you’ll need perfect english spelling or it’ll be easy to spot your lies. Though it is possible to just pick one of the suggested lies when in doubt.
- Roomerang | In this game you play as roommates and have to come up with interesting, witty or funny remarks as people will vote on them and then have the opportunity to kick someone out. Think of it as a funnier version of Big Brother with opportunities to come up with clever puns. This one is especially fun to play with friends you know very well because you’ll understand their answers better and tie it to their personality.
- Junktopia | Help! A wizard has turned you all into frogs. He’ll only turn one of you back into your human form, but first you need to win a game. Go shopping for ancient and weird antiques, give them a name and then think of a funny backstory that will help you sell it. This one allows for a lot of creative writing and while not everyone in our group had an equally great time with it, I can see myself coming back to the game when we have friends over and see how good they can market their junk.
- Nonsensory | It took me a while to understand what we had to do in this game, but here is a brief explanation: each person will get a prompt on their screen like “how much does it look like Picasso drew this bird” and then a percentage rating. the goal for the artists is to approximate the accuracy of the statement. So if it says 100% you need to draw a bird that looks like it’s 100% certain a Picasso. That requires a lot of drawing skill though. Another example was a mix between a deer and a giraffe that was 80% giraffe, so I drew a giraffe with antlers. The other players then have to guess the number that was given to you and get 1000 pts for being right on the mark and fewer points the farther they are off. while it’s funny to laugh at each other’s art, the set-up itself was complex and mostly guessing, so not as fun as the other games on offer.
What we Disliked
- Quixort | Originally, I liked this idea a lot. You get to sort a number of blocks in the correct order and when you get a sequence correct, they disappear. If not, they stay on the conveyor belt and stack up until you die, Tetris style. The problem is each round takes a really long time and if you get a question that you have absolutely no knowledge of, it can get really boring forcing yourself to go through the motions. What’s worse: the other players can’t participate and they’ll have to wait until the round is over to have any impact themselves. I recommend playing this title by yourself, but that also goes against the reason why you’d get this party game.
How long to beat the story | Does not apply, but each game takes between 15-20 minutes.
How long to achieve 1000G | A really long time, the achievements require a lot of luck or many people working towards them, which is almost impossible to… achieve.
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Robby lives and breathes video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s talking about them on social media or convincing other people to pick up a controller themselves. He’s online so often, he could practically list the internet as his legal domicile. Belgian games-industry know-it-all.