Gather up your friends because the wacky minds at Jackbox Games are back with the newest instalment of their party games, The Jackbox Party Pack 5! The Jackbox Party Pack 5 is a series of minigames where players battle against each other in a wild variety of games. Whoever has the most points at the end of the respective game will grab their crown and be declared the winner!
How to play
In case you’ve never played any of the other Jackbox Party Pack titles, here is what you can expect when playing them for the first time. Each Party Pack comes with five different minigames, allowing players to play at a social gathering or through the internet using their smartphones, tablets or browsers to interact with what’s on their screen. The ability to play the game this way is fantastic because that means that only one person needs to own the game and having extra controllers will not be an issue.
All you need is a decent internet connection if you’re playing via online rather than locally because when you can’t be where the host game is being played, you’ll have to watch a stream of it online. This is not the best option, as you will have an obvious lag between the questions being called and the contestants seeing them. Thankfully, Jackbox Games added an option to make the timer slightly longer so that everyone has time to get their answers in or draw a picture. Joining a game is simple – all you have to do is go to Jackbox.tv and enter a 4 digit code as well as your name!
“You Don’t Know Jack” is what started it all. It makes its way back year after year by popular demand! It is a trivia game with a twist, as they will ask you questions in a witty way. The host of You Don’t Know Jack, Cookie Masterson, will ask you and up to seven other friends different questions, and whoever has the highest score by answering correctly wins. These questions will pull from many different subjects, from pop culture to cooking techniques to world geography and everything in-between.
Periodically, the game will give the person in last place a big advantage in the game in the form of a Screw. At any point, that player will have the ability to utilize the Screw against their fellow players, causing mayhem as they sit back and cackle like Waluigi. The Screw gives the other players very little time to answer the question, and for every person that gets it wrong, the Screw-er will get points instead! Over time, the game has had very little change to it, and quite frankly, that’s a good thing.
“Split the Room” is a new game in the series with a noir-type aesthetic and hosted by a cat. Players are given a fill-in-the-blank hypothetical scenario where one person fills in the blank space of a question, and the other players will vote on whether or not they would say yes or no to the scenario. The point of the game is to judge the room and put an answer in that you know would divide the room as much possible. If everyone votes the same, you will not get as many points. This can lead to some seriously goofy questions, but you have to be careful that you don’t put an option in that everyone would be clearly swayed to one side. It is a fun game, but the best is yet to come.
Have you ever watched the end rap-battle in 8 Mile and wondered it would be like to be Eminem’s Rabbit squaring off against Papa Doc? Do you feel that beat hit you hard and you know it’s time to rap, but all you do is rock? Sorry, I am a dad in my 30’s that can’t rap to save my life! That’s why I will turn to the endlessly fun new minigame, “Mad Verse City“! Think large anime robots fighting in a city, but instead you are rap battling. In this game, you’re first asked to input a single word, usually a noun or an adjective. After that, you are given the first line of your rap, including that noun or adjective. For your second line, you can put anything you want, just be sure it rhymes with the first line. This is your best way to diss your competition. This process will be repeated for your third and fourth line.
After both aspiring rappers have completed their masterpieces, the two robots will go head-to-head in a rap battle! Players do not have to worry about performing this, as the game does everything for you! The beat will start and you will watch as the robots will perform a song that sounds like a Speak and Spell. During the performance, other players can either boo you or cheer; this will add extra points afterwards. After each round, the players in first and second place will battle each other. Whoever has the most money after two rounds will win the competition! Spoilers… I never won.
In the past, Jackbox Games has offered at least one minigame where the main focus has been drawing on your device. For those of us that do not possess an inner Picasso, this was always problematic. The Jackbox Party Pack 5 comes with “Patently Stupid“. This is a drawing game that is a bit different, as drawing is only a small part of the full game. In Patently Stupid, everyone will receive a prompt on their device, and you fill in the blank to create a problem. It is encouraged to get as goofy as possible at this stage. Next, you will receive two notecards on your device and you have to choose which problem to solve. After choosing which problem to solve, you will be given a short amount of time to draw an invention on your screen.
Once you’re finished, you add a title and a tagline. When everyone is done with all their tasks, it time to pitch your invention to the group. You can choose whether to have the game do the presentation for you or for you to do a demonstration yourself. After everyone has presented, players will bid on which inventions they liked the most. The money will be dished out to the inventors with a special bonus going to those that reach a high enough vote. You will do two rounds like this and on the third round, everybody will have the same prompt. Whoever has the most money at the end will win!
Finally, in this year’s edition of Jackbox Party Pack, there is “Zeeple“. Zeeple serves as the most unique addition to the collection, as it involves using your device to catapult your character into aliens inside an arena. Think Angry Birds, IN SPACE! To launch your character, you have to pull back the slingshot on your device in the opposite direction you’d like to go. How far it’s thrown depends on how far back you pull. You can play the game with just one person, but like most good things, it is more enjoyable with friends.
Every person that joins will be a different colour, and in order to take out one of the aliens, the player has to be the same colour as the alien they are trying defeat. The concept is simple; each wave will have a specific amount of aliens appear and your goal is to defeat all of them before they defeat you. After you complete all the waves, you will be rewarded money! I personally thought Zeeple was too different from the rest of the games, and so it felt out of place. If Jackbox Games made a different series more action-based minigames, it would fit perfectly!
The Jackbox Party Pack 5 never fails to entertain when it comes time to gather up friends for a fun evening of video games. From the tried-and-tested return of You Don’t Know Jack, to the new and wacky party games, every iteration in the franchise is a joy to put on when you have a few mates around and fancy a great time. There are plenty of moments where you’ll be caught off guard with how silly it can be and how stupid it makes you behave. Definitely a must-have for anyone that likes party style games!