Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Jackbox Party Pack Review: Best Thing For A Holiday Party

Jackbox Party Pack on Steam
also on Xbox One, PS4 and PS3

Jack is back...just in time for the holidays. And his brought some friends.

Is $24.99 worth the five games collection? Oh yes, yes it is. TTDILA & Friends sat down over the weekend to play The Jackbox Party Pack on Steam. Letting the games being accessible via Steam lets parties happen anywhere, even in a friends apartment that he moved into four months ago and still looks like he just moved in.

After accessing my Steam account I brought the game over to my friends computer. Or should I say games, because in this party pack you get five games. Yes, five games and a least four of them are fun to play. Get out of here Word Spud!

Other than the dropped potato word game you have the triumph return of You Don't Know Jack 2015 Edition. Fibbage XL, Drawful and Lie Swatter make up the rest of the games in the pack. Each is different in the way you play, but you need friends for the fun to happen. Why not invite some over for a Hannukkah or Christmas Party? Hell, celebrate Bastille Day for all I care. You and your friends will be having a Hell of a time going through these games.

What about enough controllers? "I don't want to crowd around a keypad or mouse ," you might say. Do I need to bring the special edition Jackbox controller? Forget it. All you need is a decent cell phone or a tablet with Internet to play. An innovative easy way to get everyone to play. You connect via the Jackbox.TV site, put in room code displayed during each game and add your name and your in the game. Your phone or tablet becomes an instant controller, notepad, buzzer and handing out "likes" machine. Every game changes the site to fit the need of the game. This allows for some games to have much more than just four players.

Choosing the first game to review is hard as Drawful was so liked by my friends Jackbox could easily sell and stand alone version. Then there's the newest addition of You Don't Know Jack.  You Don't Know Jack! wins. Just because I love screaming it when I win!

You Don't Know Jack 2015 (1-4 players) edition starts off where the last one ended, though not horribly crippled by being published by THQ. New strange number sequences, one, if not the best hosts to make fun of you and your friends, Cookie Masterson, is back and questions asked in such ways that they'll make you die laughing. YDKJ is a trivia game that draws from history, records, really simple math (sometimes, relax) and current pop culture and beyond bashing all together and making fun of you and insulting you when you get answer wrong. Celebrities are taking down like shooting fish in a barrel.

 Get answers right earn more points. Get answers wrong lose points. Three rounds of a tough competition that might make you laugh so hard you go, "Blah ha ha goo." I don't know what you just said, but you seemed to be having fun, wait some food got out, ehh. Second round is just like the first, though points are now doubled. Third is the Jack Attack. Word association at it's fastest. Connect the correct words based on themes. Example, let's say the theme is Jacks; Jack Bauer goes to 24, Jack Black goes to Tenacious. Words fly by fast and you have to click on your phone or tablet fast before anyone else to get points during the attack. This are worth a lot more, like four-thousand more A thrilling way to end the game. The game really ends with Cookie screaming You Don't Know Jack, which I do with him anytime I win, so often.

Other game play includes a Screw, each player is given one to screw over another player. The one screwed has answer the current question in five seconds. If you successfully screw a player over you earn many points and take away theirs. If they answer while screwed they earn points and you get screwed, taking points from you. There's a lovely animation of your enemies number being stabbed by the screw if you get them when this happens.

You have another chance to earn points. You choose the wrong answer of the game. By choosing the right wrong answer, that's too much fun writing, you can win four-thousand or eight-thousand fake cash points! That's a lot of points. It also has you on the look out and might stop answering as fast. You'll be given a clue at the start of each episode from a fictional company or media that will never exist. Based on that theme you'll have to choose a wrong answer that fits.

The game isn't always basic trivia behind a joke on pop culture. Sometimes they have some reoccurring segments like Dis Or Dat; lowest score chooses the right answer from two categories; Ex; Is it a cologne or the name of an indie artist? Other segments, not going over them all include: Cookies Fortune Cookie. Uranus with three other words as your only answers is another category. You could be deciphering what a dummy just told with it's lisp.

While Cookie talks the talk-high praise to Cookie (voiced by Tom Gottlieb) for the always engaging hosting and insults, there would be no game without you- the game is the essential trivia game for fun at home or at parties. It is not unlike being a guest on a game show. A game show that can now take place anywhere, in your house or on the go as long as you have decent computer to run it.

With fifty episodes in this pack, that can easily be added to with DLC, you have hours upon hours of time to kick your friends butts at trivia or a least learn something.

The only thing lacking in this updated version is avatars of you and your friends, perhaps a photo of you and your friends in the game for even more insults to injury. I can't wait to play it more this weekend for the office Christmas party and yell, "You Don't Know Jack!"

Now for more game in the pack.

Drawful (3-8 players), and Jackbox chose that name very well, is a drawing game that makes you and your friends or the people you've forced into playing to become artists. First create a photo of yourself, one of my friends drew a butt as his avatar ...multiple times, maybe that just makes him an ... anyway. After creating your avatar your given what to draw by the game, each players doing their best interpretation of  "animals in love" to "that crazy guy at work". You have three rounds and you'll earn more points if other players choose what you drew as the correct answer. Before choosing the correct term for whatever-in-g*d's-name you've done, your friends can put up false answers. If other players choose the wrong answers either created by other players or the game you don't earn points. Players may also earn points if other players choose their wrong answer. "Sperm circle" and other nasty phrases were thought up right away on others drawings.

This game... this game got the most laughs and shocks as what friends looked at surprised and let jaws hit the floor. Questions of understanding common portions of life or what might be going wrong in others branched out. I yelled a lot to "that crazy guy at work?,"  how could they all get it, it didn't make sense! I saw things I can't un-see, some of which I created.

This game has a girl host who makes the game just a little bit sweeter. Did I mention sound effects must have been bought in large quantities as this game made strange noises often and somebody bought out all the fart sounds of the Internet.

We only wish you could save the drawings for something later, like a montage or as some sort of a print out for memory sake. Game and Wario for the Wii U has a similar style game and art work can be saved and displayed in digital frames.

Creativity has come to die and you've come to watch it die and laugh as a cruel funeral home owner near an art school that had a fire, happy to see it all laid to waste. Drawful is a champion party game to play this holiday season. Not everything is a penis, but... yeah you're going to get penises.

Fibbage Xl (2-8 players) adds to an already released titled that's been available on next gen consoles with an extra large edition. The game resembles Drawful in that you can get creative with your lies. Instead of creating post modern dreck with your fingers, find the right words to answer questions. You and the other players in game create bogus answers to questions asked. If the other players pick your answer you get points. If you pick the right answer you get points. It's three rounds and random topics like something about Eddie Murphy's singing career.

For those that are competitive and smart. For those who know the others in the group and how they think. It's a great way to beat your friends.

Kill bugs and see cartoon bug guts in Lie Swatter (1-100 players). This is a fast paced "True or False" title. The first two rounds are random "true or false" questions. The third round, it's all about the same theme, I thought I would do better on PeeWee's Playhouse trivia. The game visualizes answers of truth by squishing cartoon flies in front of you for every answer. Sometimes the bugs reform as some sort of T-1000 might, others times they ain't coming back. This is a fast free-for-all and fastest on the draw earns more points game. If you don't answer correct you simply don't earn points.

The lies, all the lies, it's hard to know what's true or not. Everything reads so realistic, especially when it comes to celebrities. This game goes by fast. Not as engaging as the others, no host, not enough time to comment, but the value relies on having an activity you can do on the fly.

Word Spud (2-8 players) can be left at the truck stop. Such a miss, such a mystery, such a waste of the word potato. Unlike the other games that were easy to understand and pick up in seconds, Word Spud fell apart and became a, "let's not play that again game." You and up to at least one more have to add to a word to keep it from hitting the bottom of the screen. It's a joke on Hot Potato, and unfunny one. So shoot words at it. Words or phrases to "mother" went immediately south. You and other players vote if points should be given to words added. It mostly ate up time, like it made me want to eat up some potato chips. Whatever the idea is, the game needs something else to make it fun. Let's make a pack and say we never even saw Word Spud in this collection.

Two times since playing the pack has the game crashed on You Don't Know Jack. This was not  phones not working, but the game crashing itself . There is no save of your progress in episodes. This happened on two different devices, a laptop and PS3

Remember to turn off screen timers. Players and myself couldn't answer because our screens timed out.

The collection of titles, breakout laughter and competitive fun make this pack the darling of the holiday party season. A must buy for any holiday get together this remaining year into the next. Jack Box Party Pack mixes insults with hilarity and can get a group from sitting around on their phones to sitting around on their phones playing together. TTDILA & Friends didn't want to stop playing. Get together for the holidays and get on your phones and tablets and interact with friends and family, because if you don't, You Don't Know Jack!