Review Copy Provided By Publisher
The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is the 4th installment in what has become the yearly Jackbox series. This time around, Jackbox Games has brought only 1 familiar game, and 4 brand new ones revealed over the course of this summer, and while they all aren’t perfect, There are still plenty of great laughs and moments to be had with the game 4 iterations in.
Fibbage 3 is the first and only returning veteran game this time around. Nothing has changed other than new questions and the removal of the deFIBrillator. The best new addition to Fibbage 3 comes in a new mode titled Fibbage: Enough About You. This mode is where you write out truths about yourself and see if you’re closest friends can get them right. It can be incredibly satisfying when you’ve perfectly guessed one of your friends, and even more surprising when you find out things you never knew about them.
Survive the Internet is the first new game of the pack and is also a contender for one of the pack’s best offerings. Players are asked pretty tame and tepid questions about their thoughts on medial and trivial things. Afterwards, those words are given to another player and are told to twist them into something vile and untrue in order to slander their reputation. Much like Quiplash before it, this game is not for the faint of heart, but you’ll find plenty of gut-busting and chuckle-worthy moments that make the game worth coming back to constantly.
Monster Seeking Monster is a mystery dating game where you play the role of a monster in disguise trying to date other monsters. Each of you has a hidden ability that’s only revealed if you are the highest placing player. You must attempt to date and gain hearts for 6 nights while trying to avoid having your ability revealed. It can take at least 1 full game to really understand the game which goes against the easy pick-up-and-play nature of Jackbox, but it can be very rewarding the second time around, as play styles can slightly change depending on which monster you are. The only thing weighing the game down a bit is that the usual 8th spot in the game is exclusively reserved for the audience this time around. It can be fun to watch it choose random pickup lines in hopes of dating someone, but it would have been nice to have an option to turn them off and replace them with a proper 8th person.
The 4th game on the list is Bracketeering, this pack’s answer to Quiplash. Players answer one prompt and duke it out in a tournament sized bracket to see who’s answer is the best. Players can also bet on which answer they think will make it out on top before, and during the start of a new bracket for extra points.The big draw of the game is the ability to play with up to 16 people at once, but sadly this ends up hurting the game in the long run. There are no options to readjust brackets for games with less than 16 people, so the game automatically fills in answers. The computer prompts aren’t especially enticing or fun, and more often than not, just draw the game out too long. There’s also the fact that ties are settled by quickly tapping the answer you want to win. In a group f 16+ this probably wouldn’t be a big problem, but when you have a group of 6-8 people, it can become unbalanced if someone is faster at tapping than others. While a great idea on paper, Bracketeering is ultimately undone by its ambitious scope.
The 5th and final game is Civic Doodle. In the game, the mayor of Doodle Valley tasks you with drawing murals and pictures of citizens in order to make the town a nicer place. Players will take turns competing against each other as they draw different murals on the same wall. Once a winning mural is chosen, the next players will be tasked to modify or add more to the drawing. once everyone has had 2 turns to draw, everyone must name the mural. Much like Survive the Internet, Civic Doodle is one of the top contenders for this year’s pack. It’s tons of fun seeing odd and hilarious modifications being made to previous paintings. the only downside is that 2 rounds in an 8 player game can drag out just a bit as 8 phases to one round is already a lot.
Overall, The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is still a great time with friends on or off the internet. Expanded audience features are nice, such as being able to choose a collective lie for Fibbage 3, but others such as being the only 8th player in Monster Seeking Monster impede on some of the local aspects of the game.
FINAL VERDICT: ★★★★☆