Dec 17, 2017 Last Updated 11:30 PM, Dec 15, 2017

The Jackbox Party Pack 4 Review

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The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is a collection of different party titles meant to interact with your phones instead of using cards. It contains six (well, five-and-a-half) different party titles that range from 2-16 players (depending on the title) and allow up to 10,000 non-players to take part as an audience. With a new version of Fibbage (3) and a new mode, Enough About You, Party Pack 4 also includes the party titles Survive the Internet, Monster Seeking Monster, Bracketeering, and Civic Doodle, as well as a new feature: family-friendly modes.

Jackbox Party titles are unique in that you are playing a board game but without a board.

Instead, you interact with the game on your phone or tablet while anoter screen, such as a TV or computer monitor, displays the “board.” To play, you go to jackbox.tv and enter the specific title’s room code into your phone and add your name. Most Jackbox titles work best if you come up with a creative name so your friends and family don’t know who you are, however Fibbage: Enough About You is the exception.

Once everyone is ready to play, you can start the first round. Depending on the title, everyone answers a question or draws something on their phones. These actions are then displayed on the main TV/computer screen, where additional questions are asked, votes are held, and you laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. After each round, points are assigned depending on guessing the truth, lies, and voting. The final round is often worth double points, and some titles have surprises that change strategies halfway through. However, these surprises aren’t much of a surprise after you’ve played the title once or twice.

Each pack has a variety of titles, but each title isn’t going to appeal to all players. Party Pack 4 continues this trend and has a dating/texting title, drawing title, two question titles, bracket title, and a title where you tweak your friends’ comments.

Answering or drawing each prompt is timed, so you have to think fast. You can increase the timer in the settings of some of the titles. But if you struggle to type on a phone or tablet, you can use a computer, keyboard, and mouse combo to interact with the title if one is available. You just follow the same directions and go to jackbox.tv to join in.

The new Fibbage title is a huge improvement over previous ones

Fibbage 3 is the typical Fibbage title, but with different questions and a handful of new features. There are new colorful animations and images, which are a huge improvement from the animation-less Fibbage 1 released in 2014.

In Fibbage 3, you give made up answers to off-the-wall trivia and then try to guess the correct answer while avoiding your opponents’ fake answers. The title plays similar to previous Fibbage versions, but its shining moment is the Enough About You version.

In Fibbage: Enough About You, rather than answering questions about random trivia, you answer questions about yourselves. Your friends then answer the same question, and everyone guesses what the truth is. It’s a refreshing mix up to the previous Fibbage versions as this allows you to be more personal, stranger, and rowdier.

Survive the Internet focuses on how bad you look on the internet

Survive the Internet starts off with answering a prompt on your phone. Once everyone has completed this step or the timer runs out, you are given a friend’s answer with a new prompt to answer. The commentator then displays the tweaked internet posts. Points are awarded by voting. Each round gets more ridiculous and awkward.

It’s a fun, quick title that heavily depends on how clever your friends are. The real twist at the end that brings the most laughs is when you are asked to post a caption or title to another person’s picture post. The old phrase of “a picture is worth a thousand words” comes to mind — so make sure you vamp up the timer settings to allow for some real creative posts here.

Monster Seeking Monster is a new twist on dating titles where you hide your monster identity and text other dating candidates

Monster Seeking Monster is where you text other players to find a date match each night. Each player has a hidden monster identity and superpower that gets revealed slowly over six nights. You only have four texts that you can send to other monsters each night, so you have to strategize the best way to snag the date you want to want to date you back. When you get a successful match during the night, you receive a heart. The monster with the most hearts at the end of the sixth night wins.

However (SPOILERS), after the second night, a new monster — a robot — is thrown into the mix that can kill everyone, complicating gameplay. This new monster loses a heart every night, and if he comes in last at the end of the sixth night, he explodes, killing everyone. This is counteracted by at least one person creating a match with the robot each night, and someone must always date the robot the last night as he receives double hearts then.

You can hide on-screen messages, use game codes so people can’t join, and create secret lightning words. However, even with the options, the replayability is low with the same people. So unless you have a variety of friends you play party titles with or like sending pick-up lines or dirty messages to monsters, you may not play Monster Seeking Monster as often as the other titles.

Bracketeering is a new spin on party titles but doesn’t make the cut

Bracketeering is where you give two answers to a question and then everyone votes what is the best answer. You then predict what answer will go all the way. After guessing, everyone votes on different answer pairs, with the winning answer proceeding to the next bracket. Each round consists of a full bracket, which makes the rounds feel slow despite a short timer for each answer period. There is no topic change until there is a final winner for that bracket.

While different, Bracketeering doesn’t allow your friends’ humor to make up a strong part of gameplay, so it can feel flat compared to the other titles. To make Bracketeering exciting, you really have to be creative and silly answering the first questions. If your friends are lame at party-type titles, then you won’t tell much of a difference.

Civic Doodle

Civic Doodle is reminiscent of Drawful and Drawful 2, which are standalone and Party Pack Jackbox titles. However, rather than coming up with your own drawing for different prompts, Civic Doodle has two players draw based on the same image prompt. After finishing the drawings, the rest of the players vote on the best drawing. The winning image becomes the next image prompt, and two players continue drawing on it. In the final round, everyone gets to draw.

While Civic Doodle is enjoyable, Jackbox’s Drawful 1 and 2 are more fun and enjoyable for big groups.

The new family-friendly mode in The Jackbox Party Pack 4

A new addition to Party Pack 4 is a family-friendly mode. Survive The Internet is automatically family friendly, and Monster Seeking Monster isn’t family friendly at all. However, the other titles have family-friendly modes available in the settings. As the commentators tend to have a dry, crude humor, the family-friendly mode is a relief if you are playing with a stiff family, or children.

Minor Bugs

Most of The Jackbox Party Pack 4 titles have minor bugs. Most of these are related to the connectivity of your phone or tablet you are using to interact with, which is just part of the beast of playing with lots of phones on either limited WiFi or mobile data. If you time out on your phone, you’re supposed to be able to get back into the room. However, my husband’s phone wouldn’t always let him back in one night, despite working just fine on the previous night’s gameplay.

On our first playthrough, the post-game gallery viewing options didn’t work. The link kept pointing to a 404 error screen. However, the second night we played, it worked perfectly. Whether it was a one-day-only bug or they fixed it (as we played them pre-release), we’re not sure. But it was rather annoying the first night.

7

The Verdict

The Jackbox Party Pack 4 has a wide variety of party titles, so at least one of them is going to interest you. All the titles are about fifteen to twenty minutes in length, longer if you’re playing with more than eight players, so it can be a quick laugh when you've got a bunch of family or friends over. And, if your friends and family are awesome at being silly and creative, playing with them will be a hoot.

Cherise Papa

Cherise Papa is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for writing novels and playing games. With a thirst for lore and massive damage, she heals raids, conquers civilizations, smashes things with two-handed weapons, tames dinosaurs, and eats other snakes. Accompanied by her husband and gamer toddlers, she explores new worlds and logs too many hours on Steam. Her gaming drink of choice is rich hot chocolate with peppermint candy canes, mint chocolate chip ice cream, or handfuls of marshmallows. 

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