The Jackbox games have always served as a great tool for breaking the ice with a group of friends. The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is the latest release of their yearly party game franchise and contains an absolutely brilliant group of titles.
Fibbage 3 is the big returning game for this pack and it is still as fun as ever. Players are given a trivia question and have to come up with the best lie to fool players. All of the lies are compiled and the players must then choose what they think is the real answer. It’s still an absolute blast and when you figure out the perfect lie to trick everyone else, you can feel like a genius.
However, the biggest addition to Fibbage 3 is Fibbage: Enough About You. Each player gets a prompt about themselves where they will have to answer a personal question. These can be things like “What is one habit you would like to stop?” or “What is one sound you hate?” After you answer, the question is displayed for everyone else and they all have to come up with convincing lies. Then, everyone tries to guess which one is the real answer. It can be hilarious when you think you absolutely know something about someone, only to find out that you aren’t even close.
Survive the Internet presents players with a simple prompt and they provide an answer to it. This can be something as simple as “Give a brief review of your last vacation.” Then, another player is presented with the comment and has to create a fake prompt for the comment provided that paints the other player in the worst light. So, if someone said, “It was a great day”, you’d say something like “The day the orphanage burned to the ground.” It’s a game that relies heavily on improv and a lot of the prompts are just not great for getting the kind of extreme response that would make the games more fun.
Monster Seeking Monster is…a bit much, in all honesty. It’s a game where all players are assigned as monsters. Their goal is to have a chat with another player and try to get them to agree to a date. This is made all the more complex by each player being secret monsters. These monster identities give them specific abilities depending on how many dates they can score. But then there’s a robot, as well, and if the robot gets sad it’ll destroy the world, so you have to try to date the robot and honestly, it’s all way too much for a party game. There’s a ton of layers and with actually knowing which player you are trying to date, that makes the game actually a bit uncomfortable. If they simplified the rules and hid everyone’s identities, it could be a lot better, but as it stands, it’s pretty bad.
Bracketeering is a fairly simple game where players come up with simple responses to a single question. For example, “What is the best shape for a coffin?” Then, the game generates a bracket of these answers and players all vote on which one they think is the best. The game gets even more fun when it goes into “Blind” brackets, where everyone gets a single prompt, leading everyone to answer something simple, only to have a new question generated for the bracket.
For example, the game will tell everyone to put any age into the game. Then, once everyone has done that, a question will be generated, such as “What is the best age to go to Vegas with $10,000?” Everyone wants their answer to win, but then you can also take side bets on upcoming prompts. This game is heavily designed for a larger number of players, and while the game will autofill some of the answers, it’s a bummer when the prompt that wins the whole thing belongs to one of these provided answers.
Finally, Civic Doodle is this packs drawing game, as has become custom for the series. You and the other players are tasked with cleaning up graffiti throughout a town. However, rather than getting rid of the graffiti, two players have thirty seconds to build off of the original. Players then vote on which one they prefer. Then, two more players have to build off of that revised version. This proceeds for a total of five rounds and then everyone competes to give the graffiti a name. This is far and away the most fun that this pack has, as the directions it goes can be absolutely insane. For example, what started as two lines evolved into a middle finger, which then became a finger with fireworks shooting out of it, which then became the NBC peacock, which eventually got the name of “Fuck CBS.”
That said, there are some issues that may be too much for some players. Bracketeering has a timer that half of the time doesn’t seem to work correctly. While we had twenty seconds left on the timer and two players had not voted, but for some reason, voting was closed. Several rounds had people who didn’t vote simply because the game wouldn’t let them. There’s also some delay with the drawing in Civic Doodle and the aforementioned with Monster Seeking Monster and Survive the Internet can be frustrating to players.
Moreove, the biggest issue that some players will find is how there is an absolute reliance on improv to most of the games. All previous titles had some kind of game that was a quiz, like Guesspionage or Trivia Murder Party, or other games that didn’t require you to create improv answers, like Bomb Corps or Fakin’ It. The majority of the games, Monster Seeking Monster, Bracketeering, and Survive the Internet, require you to really be thinking out clever answers, which ends up making these games feel more like “Who’s the funniest person?” than previous titles did. If you are playing with your less humor-inclined family, for example, a lot of these games can be frustrating.
However, The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is still a great addition to the Jackbox family of games. Each game has their own unique twist and they can be fun with the right people. However, this pack feels more like you need to be playing with the “right” sort of people to get the fullest enjoyment out of it. And that’s a great experience, but it’s definitely not for everyone in the same way that previous titles felt.
SCORE: 7.0 out of 10
A code for The Jackbox Party Pack 4 was provided to Pixel Related for review.