It was nearly a year ago that I wrote about a very fun game to play when drunk. Despite the fact that I don’t drink. Now, I’m not really a party person. I don’t get invited out anywhere unless a sibling or cousin invites me, mostly because I hate parties. But here I am, talking about another party game.
This time round, it was my sister’s 20th birthday. She wanted everyone to play party games with her. Of course, brother comes along with his library of about twenty billion games, and drags out a game called the Jackbox Party Pack 3. Yes, number 3.
In fact, I’d actually played a game from the original Jack Box Party Pack – Drawful. This game also came out of brother’s gigantic Steam library. I’d played it a handful of times when family were over, most notably when my cousin and his girlfriend last visited, and it was a huge success. It’s basically a mobile form of Pictionary, played on your phone. You are given a caption and have to draw it on your device of choice, and everyone else has to guess what it is. It’s a huge amount of fun, made even better because no one can draw very well on their smartphones. We didn’t really play any of the other games, mostly because Drawful is just so much fun. That’s another article though.
The Jackbox Party Pack No.3 though doesn’t contain Drawful. It contains other games. And for sister’s birthday, we tried all of them.
The first game we tried was Trivia Murder Party. This game is, as you can guess, a trivia game, but getting a question wrong means you have to take your chances in a chance-based mini-game. Losing means your character dies, but you can still answer questions. After round 3, you all play in a “pick the odd one out” sort of round, with endless questions until someone makes it to the end and wins. It’s a lot of fun, but if you’re not American, you might not get some of the questions.
The second game is Guesspionage. Designed as a sort of pseudo NSA sort of thing. One at a time, a player is given a random statement and you have to guess the percentage of people it applies to. Everyone else must then guess if the actual percentage is higher or lower, with points being scored based on how close you are. Unless you’re either very lucky or have too many percentages in your head, don’t expect to get high scores. Still, there’s lots of interesting bits of trivia, but if they’re true or not, I don’t know.
Fakin’ It, I’ll be honest, I don’t quite get. The game works by giving everyone except one person a statement, like “Put your hand up if you’ve cried on a date!” and the one person has to pretend whether they got the question or not and try and blend in as much as possible. Everyone then has to guess who the fake person is. Sadly, it doesn’t work with only 3 players, and it REALLY doesn’t work if you’re playing with family members or close friends. Questions like “put your hand up if your eyes are brown” don’t work in blue-eyed families.
Tee-KO is Party Pack 3’s drawing game. You get to draw three t-shirt designs of your choice. Then you type in random words and phrases. Then everyone gets randomized t-shirt designs and random words/phrases people have written and picks one of each to create a finalized t-shirt design. If it wasn’t so convoluted, it’d be a really good game, especially with its super nice animation style, but unclear instructions and just being a tad complicated make this game my fourth favourite on the list.
The best game though is Quiplash 2. Out of all the games, we spent most of our time playing Quiplash 2 (the first version appeared in the second Jackbox) because it suits my family perfectly. Simply put, everyone is given two captions and each player has to give a funny or witty answer to their captions. Then two captions are put against each other and everyone votes on which one is the funniest. If you get 100% of the vote, you get a Quiplash and get extra points.
How rude, silly, racy or dirty your answers are depends on who you’re playing with – playing with teenagers is completely different from playing with adults. Because there’s no trivia involved, it doesn’t matter how good you are, you can write pretty much anything. Sometimes the really off the wall answers are the best, and occasionally slamming your keyboard also makes for a good answer. While playing, one of our best voted answers was the result of a typo!
But the best thing is that each full game is very short. It’s three rounds – two caption rounds and a round where everyone gets the same caption, and you can finish a game in about five minutes. And unlike the other games, the amount of players doesn’t affect the quality of the game at all.
Although the Jackbox Party Packs are all advertised as local games only (although you need an internet connection to connect to jackbox.tv), you can play over the internet by having the host stream the game. You can’t use controllers, but considering how half these games require writing or drawing, with different notifications, rules and messages sent to each individual device, I can see why.
There are only two major issues with the Party Pack. Firstly, $25 for what is essentially five mini-games might be too steep for some people, even if there is a ton of both questions and voice acting. Secondly, you NEED friends to play this game. At least three of them, but the more the merrier!