Growing up I was a big fan of board games, and that included ones like Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, and fast-paced word games like Catch Phrase. Getting together with family and friends and laughing at the wild and crazy answers was (and still is) one of my favorite things to do. That’s why the Jackbox Party Pack games have always been a staple at any of my gatherings. They’re easy to learn and play, don’t require any prior experience, and are full of wit, satire, and humor to keep any party laughing the night away. This collection includes five separate games, and almost every one of them is great!
The Jackbox Party Pack 5 is special because it marks the return of original You Don’t Know Jack trivia game and it’s been enhanced slightly to include more players (now up to eight). Longtime players of the franchise will recognize Cookie, who once again returns as host. For those uninitiated, this trivia game is full of sarcasm and humor and very often the answer they’re looking for isn’t always the most obvious of the bunch. Prior games in the series allowed three (and sometimes four) people to go at it, but now with eight no one has to feel left out. Because of the additional players, the game has slightly changed its handling of screwing players. In prior iterations each player would get a screw and could force another player to answer a question. If that player got it wrong, they’d lose money and the player that screwed them would gain money. This still remains the case, except usually only one player gets a screw now, depending on performance. That’s probably because it would get way too annoying to have eight players screwing one another – basically every question could end up that way and that would totally break the flow of the game.
Other than that small change, the game pretty much plays the same, with all new questions and snarky answers. Since each player uses a smart device to play, there’s no need to purchase additional controllers. I have missed the You Don’t Know Jack games over the years and I’m happy to see it return for this collection. It’s always so much fun to play with friends and now that it supports a bigger crowd the competition is even fiercer than ever before.
The next game on the list is Split the Room, which can be played with three to eight players. At first I thought this game was going to play similar to Cards Against Humanity, where you’re given a sentence and you fill in the blank with the word of your choice and hilarity ensues. While this is indeed the case, the big difference here is that you’re goal is not to be the funniest or best answer, but to be the one that splits the most votes. You see, your friends are going to answer the question one of two ways and the word or phrase that you enter will have an impact on which way they vote. If you choose to put in words that will get everyone on the same side – you will have failed and won’t earn many points. So, you must try and think of something that will have some people voting one way and others another. This little wrinkle on top of a “been there, done that” experience really made the game unique and exciting. This one was popular among my crowd of friends and I can see us getting a lot of play out it.
The next game I was seriously doubtful of, but I must admit probably got some of the most laughs. It’s called Mad Verse City, and you must write the lyrics to a rap song and battle it out against another player. How it works is each player will be asked for a specific type of word (noun, verb, etc.) or phrase and then the game will put that into a sentence and the player must come up with a verse that rhymes with it. What often resulted was hilarity and had us in stitches. If you have an odd number of people playing (the game supports three to eight players), then the CPU will take over a character and some of the stuff it comes up with is equally entertaining. The crowd then votes on which robot (Go-Bot) had the best rap battle and awards him or her the points. It’s a simple game, but if you add some alcohol into the mix the game can take on a strange and disturbing turn!
Patently Stupid is the requisite drawing game in the collection, and it works surprisingly well. Players (again three to eight with the computer rounding out to even numbers) will put in a word and the computer will create a problem with that word in it. Then they’ll have to create an invention to solve the issue. They will name it, create a tagline for it, and then draw it. This game is probably where we went off the rails the most, and because of that it was also the funniest of the bunch. That’s because some of us (including myself) are horrible at drawing, and when you combine that with insane scenarios, laughing and confusion will soon set in. At the end of each presentation, the players will vote which inventions to give money to, and the one with the most money at the end will win.
Typically with these collections one or two games are stinkers, and that’s the case with Zeeple Dome. It’s not that it’s a horrible game; it’s just not that great and it’s kind of an odd one to include in a collection like this. How it works is that you and your friends (up to six) control these little aliens and you will use your touch screen on your smart device to grab and fling your character about the screen. There will be various enemies flying about and you’ll want to fling right into them to damage or destroy them. Some of them will turn colors and only the player with the same color can successfully land attacks. On the surface it’s sort of a co-op game, but the highest score at the end wins. This reminds of some early Nintendo DS games where you’d use the bottom screen to grab an item and flick it up to the top screen. The problem is this one gets boring real fast and it’s just not that compelling. I give the developers credit for trying something more gameplay oriented that you might find as a mini-game in Mario Party, but no one in our group thought this one was all that great.
The Jackbox Collection 5 really delivers fun and entertaining games this time around. With only one of the five not resonating with us, we call that a win! I’m so happy You Don’t Jack has made a return and it’s also great to see mostly brand new and unique games in this compilation. If you’re having a get together this fall, you simply must have this title! Nearly every age group can play and it’s a riot.
The Jackbox Party Pack 5 Review
- Graphics - 8/108/10
- Sound - 8/108/10
- Gameplay - 8.5/108.5/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8.5/108.5/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
When it comes to The Jackbox Party Packs, this ranks as one of the best. Nearly all of the games are fun and exciting to play and 4 of the 5 supports up to 8 players, which is fantastic for parties!