Becoming an annual, reliable piece of casual entertainment is The Jackbox Party Pack, recently releasing its ninth instalment. These accessible games allow for large groups (in this case up to 10, with more able to play in the ‘audience’) to pick up their phone and quickly and easily jump into one of five party games. Usually a good laugh amongst friends, The Jackbox Party Pack has a solid reputation as one of the most user-friendly gaming experiences on the market, only requiring one person to own the game whilst everybody else freely joins using a mobile phone, either in-person or via an online call service like Discord.
With the most recent pack of games only just launching, now’s the perfect time to take a look at the 5 minigames on offer to see if this year’s release is one worth picking up for you!
“The BLANKING fun fourquel with all new ways to fool your friends!”
The first game in The Jackbox Party Pack 9 is the return of a classic and Jackbox staple. Possibly my favourite of the Jackbox mainstays, Fibbage 4 is a bluffing game that rewards deception amongst friends. The premise is simple, a trivia question or prompt will display with a keyword or phrase blanked out. Fill in the blank with your most deceptive response and hope your gullible friends take the bait. Players are rewarded for picking the truth and if people pick their lies. Fibbage 4 promises an expansion on the classic formula, with clips from old movies being a new reason to pick up and play this returning title.
“These falling blocks of trivia aren’t gonna sort themselves!”
A game of communication, cooperation, and trivia! Break into teams as you’re given a special category with answers placed on a spectrum. ‘Who is the oldest Simpsons character?’. Take your collective knowledge of the category and try to arrange all of the available characters from youngest to oldest (or, on whatever appropriate scale for your specific prompt). What seems like a simple trivia game is actually a chaotic exercise of communication skills as each player one by one controls what’s happening on the screen. Good luck if you and your teammates disagree!
“Welcome to Junktopia!…boy, humans will walk into any old portal, won’t they?”
A game based on players inputting witty lines to make their friends laugh is not a new idea for Jackbox, but it’s always something that ends up being fun. Junktopia takes this idea and frames it in a fantasy, shop management simulation… of sorts. Grab some junk, name it, give it some funny backstory, and see how much your peers appraise the item based on your creations. Perhaps if you succeed you’ll even have your body reverted back out of frog form! Oh yea, did I mention you were a frog?
“Drawing, writing and READING MINDS!”
A really delightful new inclusion into this year’s pack is Nonsensory. The game involves a bit of intuition, a bit of artistic skill, and a lot of potential laughs and banter. The game asks you to make educated guesses on a scale ranging from 10% to 100% based on a prompt you are given. It’s one of your competitors who fills in the answer to that prompt, so you need to find a way to get on their wavelength to hit close to the mark. Perhaps an easier game to understand by playing, Nonsensory brings quite a lot to the table as a new idea.
“Are you here to make friends…or WIN?”
A bit of a popularity contest with a drizzle of roleplay, Roomerang is a reality TV-inspired minigame where you answer prompts and hope that your answer gets the most love. Everybody enters the game with a bit of a description of their character, and choosing to play into that character helps to get the fun rolling. Eliminations mean one of your fellow competitors gets kicked out the door, though something tells me it won’t be long before you see them return as a fresh face.