Jackbox is a wonderful addition to any party night in. I think the only fair way to review such a game is to do exactly that. This is the eighth edition in the pack and packs are usually released yearly. Happy eighth birthday big guy!
This is a game that as long as one of your pals has a copy it is completely possible to play from anywhere, whether that be in person, remotely or streaming. This might be a big decision after the events of the last year or two and the continued restrictions that vary region per region. But nevertheless, there is always that option to be able to play near or afar.
As a note, I have played most of the Jackbox Game Packs and I have the opinion every pack I have played seems to have its hits, favourites and skippables. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say I feel that definitely applies here. In fact, I would say this is one of their weaker packs, but the hits that are here are really fun.
From the first impression, the game pack hub really opens a parcel of fun here.
Each game with its own titular music, and accompanying trailer to give the player a taste of what the mini game has in store. The hub isn’t too overwhelming and busy, something that can be an issue with any game that has a hub of variety included.
This pack altogether, certainly looks as if it is more aimed at family friendly play than naughty party go-ers. Each game is clearly labelled with what type of game it is, be it writing, drawing etc,, whether the game is family friendly, the time it may take to play and how many players can be included. Let’s get into it.
Drawful – Animate
Drawful Animate is the third installment in the Drawful Jackbox series, and has been a common favourite amongst the series’ fans. This take on the Drawful family adds a special but tricky, quirky component. Traditionally, Drawful gives players a weird prompt which needs to be drawn the best they can, usually something typically quite abstract and hard to draw. For example, It might be a dancing janitor. Players who didn’t draw the art need to guess what the picture was originally, in hope other players pick their predicted guess to gain points. Players with the most points at the end win!
In this case, players draw two pictures to depict their whacky prompt. An easy example to envision is a winking face. The first picture would be drawing a face with eyes open, the second picture would be the wink. When submitted the picture will come together like a simple animation or a short little flip book.
Sounds easy, buuut… the animations are not a winking face and there is no back button. So that’s going to put a spanner in the works from the get go. That’s right, no edit or back button. At first this addition… or lack thereof, feels like a poor oversight. However, the more you play the more you realise that it was absolutely intended. This ain’t no Sistine chapel!
It does give you the grace to be able to trace over the first picture, but even doing that can create all sorts of mistakes. One slip of the hand and it is all over for this round! Your poor winking face will turn into melted ice cream if you are not careful. When playing with some of the lads from FG HQ, this was extremely enjoyable. The mess up’s were the best bits, the guesses derived from our painted ink concoctions were about as abstract, outlandish and kooky as the prompts. You try animating a moon which turns a hipster into a break-dancer!
A great addition to the drawful family.
Verdict – 7/10. – Hit
Okay, you know how I said every Jackbox has its hits, favourites and skippables? For us at FG HQ, this is the hit and the favourite. This is the mini game where I will go back to Jackbox 8 just to play this with new friends.
For fans of Jackbox, it’s Joke Boat’s (JB6) now younger, smarter, funnier sibling, marrying Quiplash (JB2, JB3, JB7 + Standalone). Job Job puts players in to the mix of the dreaded job market as you compete for a job against your candidate friends.
Job Job asks each player a series of ice breaker questions that players will need to describe in as much detail as they can. For example – Describe what you would do should a bird steal your watch. (Weird, but let’s roll with it).During the interview you will be asked a series of questions, in which your answer will need to be the answer of the other players’ random words they used to answer the ice breakers.
You are not able to add your own words, but words from the question are acceptable. I can’t describe to you that when your friends catch on to their answer being used, how hilarity can ensue pretty quickly. From naming names, to naughty sentences, to just random obscure phrases to answer the most mundane question. Using punctuation can add spice, sass or just allow you to make your answer stand out from the crowd with pizazz.
Some of the same players will receive the same prompt and the rounds are judged on which player had the best response to the prompt. Player with the most votes gets the most points. Players will also get points for using as many words from different players as possible, although this is not known whilst you are picking your answer.
This game will be much more enjoyable with friends when you know their type of humour and can use that to win points. Much like Quiplash, Jokeboat, or other humor games such as Cards Against Humanity. What adds that extra chef’s kiss is the use of hilarious word art as their animations and background whilst playing.
Apart from one random hard freeze where we were all very disappointed that the rest of the group would not see our genius answers, this is the game all the group wanted to keep returning too and absolutely should be put in an All Stars should they ever make one.
Verdict – 9/10 – Favourite.
The Wheel of Enormous Proportions (TWOEP)
Every Jackbox Party Pack *needs* a Quiz game right? A solid favourite of the series is Trivia Murder Party, having a sequel in JB6.
TWOEP is a solid take on the popular Knowledge is Power. A game show esq quiz that tests knowledge, along with speed and luck.
This game first starts strong, asking you to ask the Universe your deepest ponder about the world. The narrator in this game is the wheel himself, who urges you to win slices that you can place on the wheel to spin and earn points. He is a welcome accompanyment to the game with cheeky dialogue whilst you play along and answer trivia.
You earn ‘slices’ by getting the most answers right and questions will be in the form of minigames! Minigames will prompt such games like choosing a ‘this or that’ (choosing the correct answer out of two). Matching items from columns or guessing a variety of answers from a chosen category to name but a few.
The wheel gives a ‘powerslice’ to players who win the final question round. This allows bonus points if the wheel lands on this slice. After question time, it is time to place slices and spin the wheel. You can choose to double up, but you may accidentally be overlapping your slice onto another player’s spot on the wheel; in which case you will split the points.The first player to 20,000 points will be able to spin the ‘Winners Wheel’ which gives you a 40/60 chance of landing on any portion of the ‘win’ slices. This is completely random, and can win or very much lose you the whole game. Rendering the whole point of knowing the knowledge..well a little useless.
TWOEP had potential, but is certainly aimed at American audiences. There were questions that filled in the blanks looking for American slang of certain terms which nobody could guess. Questions felt as if they were designed more for American audiences and a USA national knowledge, and for that it started to lose our attention in answering the questions. Of course we gave it a good stab, but when most of the answers are a guess and none of us could get the answer, it doesn’t really matter if you try to win.
Verdict – 6/10 – Hit.. sort of.
Players will divide into teams and each individually answer a prompt where it will ask you to rank the category. Players will then have to come together in a head to head battle to decide how the group answered collectively and where that rank would fall.
As all the games in Jackbox, the prompts are quirky, and something you likely would never rank in your own mind. I.e When playing we ranked all sorts such as the best finger, of course collectively the right thumb won. Which disappointed the left handed me, but even the solo ranking is very fun to complete.
The game itself is set in a mine that an evil witch has commandeered. She will explain that the game is a way out of the mine should you win. After players rank individual answers, secret special maths is completed to actually work out the running order between everyone’s answers, but the game requires you to work together with your team to pick the overall answer between all teams involved. There are many tactics to this game, you will need to speak with your teammates to decide where you think the individual members of other teams ranked their spots whilst trying to do secret magic special maths yourself around where that number would end up overall. Its all a bit of a muddle to get your head around but a fun muddle. During rounds 1 and 2, the witch will ask which rating she wants guessing. Players will win and collect torches with every correct answer. Visually it reminds me of room 101, or Takeshi’s castle. Doors are lined up next to each other, and it’s your job to hopefully find the torch behind it to tell you you are right. Should players get the answer wrong, then they lose a torch. Round 3 invites players needing to rank all answers from least to most popular (8-1).
If any team runs out of torches then they could lose the whole match if the opposing team doesn’t get it correct.
As a premise this game is really fun, but I think a number of factors need to be in play for this game to be a true hit and take off. First of all, It seems as if it would be more fun should the players know each other, that way you know their likes, dislikes and opinions. Although this game would work with strangers, or even as a great ice breaker to get to know people. It feels that the best place is having that rough and tumble debate when you really know that someone hates a certain ice cream. Of course, there are some really obscure prompts, so you are not guaranteed to know your peers’ favourite way to get out of a robbery, or their favourite cutlery / crockery. Teams may engage in clever acting tactics to try and convince you they would never place an answer as top for them too.
The second factor is the number of people playing,I played the game both with the minimum amount and then a few more, and the game lit up when there was actually, you know…a real team. This is a game I can see hitting off at things like Christmas or family game nights, again aiding to the family friendly play.
Verdict 6.5/10 – Hit on family nights in, or get togethers, but likely skippable if there’s only 2 or 3 of you.
Weapons drawn is a social deduction game, much like that of Among Us, or Push The Button (JB6). Essentially, everyone is a murderer, and everyone is also a detective. The job of the player is to murder without being suspected, and also uncover someone elses murder.
This is a tough one to explain because quite frankly, it was very confusing and a bit of a mess. The only thing I am sure that was actually murdered, was the vibe.
Weapons drawn requires you to bring two ‘guests’ to your party with you. These poor chaps will probably be dead by the end of the night so best to name them after your ex’s or people who have wronged you. The prompt given to you on your device is the murder weapon. The murder weapon is something the player will have to draw, but within your sketchboard is an initial of your name you will have to conceal.
Players will then choose someone to murder, and the group will try and decide which murder to investigate (You have to try and convince team mates to not pick yours!). Then one player will receive a magnifying glass to be able to hone in on any letters of any player’s drawings that may be concealed. Players then vote who they think murdered that particular guest, and will find out if they are right or not.
This game has a foundation, but I don’t think it’s for Jackbox. It felt very convoluted, poorly explained and just quite frustrating to play. There are games Jackbox have made similar such as Push The Button, that do tick all the right boxes in social deduction. Allow for fun unique twist, with mini games and laughter. It seems here Jackbox tried a bit too hard to be unique and different, by having everyone be both murderer and suspect. At one point, my own weapon had no letters from my name, which for me was great!.. But completely defeats the point of the game. It fell flat for us at HQ. Jackbox have extremely fun games, but this one is not the one.
Verdict 2/10 – Skippable.
So there you have it, 5 small review’s for 5 small games with friends and fun. Some hits, some misses, and an absolute corker. This isn’t Jackbox’s strongest round but still brings a smile when playing and is always an option in the selection for games night. I’m not sure I could recommend the price for the selection on offer, but Jackbox games often bundle games together or have great offers, and it is worth picking up for that, should people like the sound of what is on offer.
Jackbox’s formula always remains consistent with hits, favourites and some skippable entries. Jackbox Party Pack 8 is no different. Although it’s not the strongest pack of 5 in the collection, this game still brings a wide variety of party games that can cater to almost any gathering.
Jackbox Party Pack 8 is available now on PS4 (review platform), Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch and Mac.
Developer: Jackbox Games
Publisher: Jackbox Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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