By Edwin Velez
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released on October 20th, 2016 for Xbox One (Also availible on PS4 & PC)
Developer: Jackbox Games Publisher: Jackbox Games
For sake of familiarity, Jackbox games on this generation all integrate the usage of mobile devices as the controllers. This makes hosting the game a breeze, as many of us in the modern age have a device (cellphone or otherwise) that can connect to the internet. The controls can be a simple as answering a prompt or trivia question, and in some cases will test your artistic skills. In Quiplash 2, your main function is to answer prompts. Just like in the original, your answer goes head to head with one other player’s answer, and the remaining players vote for the favorite. This game is simple enough participation wise, and usually the raunchier or more ridiculous answer gets the win, at least in my household. It is a blast to play with all new questions, and even comes with the option of making your own. Quiplash 2 is always a safe bet for a good time.
Next up is Trivia Murder Party, a new take on traditional trivia games. In this trivia title, it is all about the end game. Answering questions correctly saves you from potential death, whereas if you answer wrong you must compete to survive in several mini-games. These mini-games are often luck based, and sometimes involve safe or already dead player’s participation. It is really fun to unknowingly set yourself or others up for failure to see it play out moments later. Most of the questions are pretty hard from what I saw, but it is all in good fun. The final round of the game is one of the best aspects across all their titles, and I do not say that lightly. Each of their titles typically features a very important, make-or-break final round, and Trivia Murder Party is the most fun and engaging one yet. Each player will answer prompts in order to move towards an Exit. Dead players start further back, while living players start closer up, all ultimately positioned by score. Each prompt features multiple answers, with several usually fitting the prompt. Correct answers put you forward, and wrong answers set you back. The catch here is that “dead” players that catch up to living ones get to steal their body, potentially winning the game if they can reach the exit. This creates some tense moments that will potentially destroy friendships like the spiked blue shell of Mario Kart fame, but the end result is one hell of a finale.
Fakin’ It is another creative entry in this bundle, one that focuses more on real time, real life engagement as opposed to answering prompts or fiddling on your phone. The theme of this game is that each round, someone is “the faker”. This person will have to blindly blend in with the other players, all of which received directions and prompts that the “faker” did not. Each round consists of three prompts, which is three chances to catch the faker. After each prompt, everyone gets to guess who the faker is. The vote MUST be unanimous for it to take effect. If the players do not catch the faker in time, the faker walks away with more points. Those who vote correctly, whether or not it is unanimous, ultimately get points for being correct. Like a more engaging game of Clue, it is really a battle of wits. On the very first game we took part in, I was the only one to remain undetected when it was my turn as the faker. It is a scary moment as it winds down to each voting session, hoping no one outs you. It is all about blending in. Every round may feature a different style of actions that are being done. One style has a prompt pop up on the non-fakers phones, and whoever that prompt fits most accurately they have to point to when the timer is up! It is hilarious and dastardly, but that is Jackbox for you! My only suggestion with this particular title: Make sure everyone is paying attention. It can be a bust if no one understands the concept going in. If they do though, it is smooth sailing and good times.
Jackbox Games have another winner on their hands, no doubt. I think this is the most creative and approachable pack yet. With the continued support of audiences as well as the stability of Jackbox.TV, you really cannot go wrong here. Each title has its own aesthetic and themes that are pulled off fantastically, and are supported by equally great hosts who voice the narratives. If you host game nights, movie nights, or like to have multiplayer games, there is no excuse why you should not own this one. Jackbox Party Pack 3 shows just how creative the team is and why they keep coming back with more for the fans.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 9.5/10
+Great for Parties