It’s that wonderful time of year again. The annual change of the seasons. Leaves falling, temperatures dropping, and all your friends and family crammed into the living room, cozying up by the television. Of course I am talking about the special holiday where we are thankful for a bountiful serving of good times. No not Thanksgiving you weirdo, I am talking about Jackbox Party Pack 4’s release! Yes that’s right, Jackbox games is back for more hilarity and good times with their fourth collection of game. This time they have featured 5 and a half games, yeah you read that right, AN EXTRA HALF THEN WE NORMALLY GET! Whoop whoop! Fibbage is back for more, we get another drawing based title, and we even get to dip our toes in the waters of anonymous dating and more! Let’s ease our way in by going over a familiar face: Fibbage!
Fibbage 3 & Fibbage: Enough About You
Fibbage is back! If you are unfamiliar, it is basically a test of who is the best liar. So it is a good excuse to invite all of your habitually lying friends and family over to see if you can outwit them and all the practice they have had. Fibbage presents you with prompts, and a key element is left from the prompt. This is where you come in! You will come up with a believable lie, as will all other players. All lies (and the truth) will then be shown on screen, and it is in your best interest to find the truth. If you do pluck the truth out of the pack, you earn yourself some points. If others pick your lie, you get points, and if you pick their lie, they get points. It is one of the easier premises to follow once you understand that the biggest laugh is not always the way to win, but the most sensible lie is. I dig the 60’s themed vibe they went for this time around, but do wish that more prompts had been a bit raunchier or out there as that’s what I am accustomed too. Some just seemed too vanilla for me in this iteration
Thankfully the mini-game touted as the half-game of the pack is a welcomed addition. In Fibbage: Enough About You, you are tasked with telling the truth, but only about yourself. This time you will receive personal prompts in which you should answer truthfully, and prompts about others in where you will again make up a believable lie. With strangers, this game is a lot more casual, but with a bunch of friends or family you will have to think on your toes, and expect to see a few similar or repeat answers.
Monster Seeking Monster
Now this is one of the easy standouts in the collection. This game basically entails what half of online dating truly is: Horrible people trying to land dates with hidden agendas. Except you are literally monsters in this scenario. Like mummies, vampires, werewolves and more. Each of the seven possible players is randomly assigned a monster type which is not announced to the rest of the players until later in the game. Each round, players get to send three messages total to any other player of their choosing. The end goal is to try and date someone who also wants to date you, which will earn you big points. The monster types add all sorts of strategy to the mix which is profoundly unexpected but is incredibly deep. You may have to seek out a certain monster type, you may get points for rejecting more people, or you may just need to try and date every other player! It all depends on what you truly are behind your generic avatar, and monster types are revealed for the highest scoring, non-revealed monster at the end of each round (excluding the first). This further ramps up the strategy, as having your true identity revealed can hurt you but possibly help others. Now a personal tip for playing this: do not use your real names when playing with friends and family. Knowing who you are can have a negative effect on how you approach playing. The solution? Pick a random letter and keep it to yourself. This keeps things much more interesting. Monster Seeking Monster is the best game without a doubt in this bundle.
Survive the Internet
A less flattering entry in the line-up is Survive the Internet. While I liked the concept, the final product just is not as polished as many of their other games are. This games takes a spin on the internet, giving you the opportunity to put your friends online comments (the ones they come up with during the game, not actual online comments) and put them in an unflattering light. Essentially each player is given a simple prompt to answer, and then something a bit more out their prompt wise. Your “out there” answer will get attached to someone’s simple answer, and then it is shown on a sort of social media styled template. So you may get a question like “what’s your favorite animal”, and answer simply “dog”. Someone else might get a picture of a steak asking “how would you describe this steak”, and answer “Yummy looking”. So in the reveal portion of the round, it might show your avatar uploading a post that says I love my dog, and then another players “comment” yummy looking. It sometimes plays off well, but all in all is too hard to follow for most, and does not evoke the same enjoyment that other games will.
Now this one is a bit simpler in terms of accessibility. In Bracketeering, 3-16 players enter a tournament of sorts where they not only submit prompts, but bet on the one they think most likely to win, even if it is not theirs. Prompts can be as simple as what is the Coolest Animal to Best Choice to Date Your Dad. With the latter, the last two that ended up in the finals where Terry Crews and John Cena. This final round was a blind round, so your answer stuck around through three unknowing prompts, with an initial prompt to justify your answer. So we were asked first to name a celebrity, then the three prompts followed per round: Who Would Win in a Fight, Best Choice to Date Your Mom, and then Best Choice To Date Your Dad. I carried Terry Crews through all of those and came out the victor. Another cool feature here is that ties are actively broken by voters. If two answers tie, anyone who voted for it is told to tap the answer on their device as many times as they can. The winning answer is the one that received the most clicks. It is an awesome and hysterical feature. Only downside to this game is that it is definitely better for larger crowds which you may not always have.
Last but not least is yet another title that tries to bring out your artistic side by having you draw instead of answering prompts. In this game, you and up to 7 others take a swing at sprucing up various parts of the town. With a nearly blank easel to start, a pair of players will each start their own vision and begin to draw. After a certain amount of time is up, the rest of the players get to vote for which piece that they would rather continue on. This goes on until everyone has had two chances (if I am not mistaken) to participate. The end result is often funny, misguided, and erratic. This is one of my favorite drawing games to date, but I will say it features one of my least favorite behind the scenes characters, and that is the Mayor. He is clearly a doofus, but the voice is overly annoying and there are scenes where he just rambles on, which gets old quick.
Jackbox Party Pack 4 is another solid entry in the lineup, but definitely not the strongest. I like some of the ideas here, Monster Seeking Monster in particular, but as a whole some of the games feel hard to follow or too focused on the streaming side of things. As a fan of the series, I like having these games available for get together, but with such a push for streaming it feels like the small get together are being put on the back burner. Though not the most easily accessible pack in recent years, it is still a quality one overall. Streamers and fans of the series alike will still feel at home this time around, though maybe just a little less so than in past years.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 7/10
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