Monday, October 17, 2016

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Review: Oh Yeah!

Damn you, you magnificent bastards over at Jackbox games. I should be pissed that there's no new You Don't Know Jack, but the new games you've made, some...some are just too grand in majesty. Some are so-so, but Tee K.O. blew away my Halloween party. You would think Trivia Murder Party would make a Halloween party stand out. No. Making inappropriate t-shirts did.

Jackbox Party Pack 3 comes out this week and just in time for the major gatherings of loved ones and friends over the next few months. Also, people you work with that you might not love, but tolerate. Be prepared to tolerate them slightly more with five new games, four if you count one of them that is a sequel.

Let's go through each game and tell you how they play and how much they were liked...or tolerated.

A reminder that the Jackbox Pary Pack 3 requires no controllers to play, you can use a phone, tablet or laptop to connect to the game and can play over any distance as long as you have a good internet, though many of the games require a screen to see to play the game against your friends. Jackbox games the games a local co-op only.

Trivia Murder Party (1-8 players)

Oh, did we want to try this for Halloween and now you can too. This horror trivia game has you and up to 8 friends and a huge audience try and survive after being kidnapped by a serial killer. You have to survive by answering trivia; oooh, scary.

Though it's not that scary as it is adorable and funny as you and your friends must answer trivia and are represented as cute plushie dolls. Dolls that can die and when the die they turn over to show their skeleton side.

* The dolls have already been so well-received with early testing on Twitch and other places that Jackbox has talked about releasing them as real plushies.

Death isn't a release from the game as you can keep playing as a ghost and even come back from the dead in the end. The end game has you answering trivia fast in a hallway getting darker and darker. If a ghost catches up with the living they switch from life to death. This can happen multiple times until the first person escapes and only one person can make it out alive.

Before the end of the game you'll be answering trivia and if you lose you have a very high chance of dying during the random assortment of mini games. Your "friends" and I use that term loosely, can help you die during mini games by getting a higher score than you. They're a cocktail of mayhem and mirth, not your friends, the games! One friend lost just a finger, I had to Spin the "Wheel of Death." It didn't go well for me.

The presentation of this game was made for the horror fan as your spooky host talks nothing but trash to you. He's your host and murderer and you are his victims unless you live first. All the while the whole look of the game reminds you of classic horror films, mostly Saw and torture/dungeon films. It plays like a horror film that you star in mixed with a game show, sort of like Alex Trebek has finally lost it and wants you dead.

Questions aren't about murders or grim history it's regular trivia with a murderer at the helm.

One of the favorites from the pack for the great melding of horror and homicide.

Tee K.O. (3-8 players)

The absolute favorite of my Halloween party and will live on in your heart and on top of your skin. The game concept takes a bit from Drawful, but with more options and a bit more of a story. You and your friends and the people you tolerate as friends must duke it out on T-Shirt Island with your drawings and sayings.

You create four different drawings during the course of Tee K.O. and a boat load of sayings, anything you want to write down you can, unless you set on censoring, which is an easy choice in the the menu. How the game mixes it up is that you don't retain your phrases or images, they go to the other players, so what you draw and what another friend wrote gets stolen by another friend. You get their drawings and words.

Just think about it. You can draw anything and you can write anything, it got dirty fast. The laughter, the phrases, the amateur modern idea of what a face is. All came out of my friends and I on Friday night.

It was beautiful.

Now the game has different sections, chapters based on bad martial arts movies and anime. You choose an animal or Japanese yokai as your avatar and can even follow their short story if you win. The host of the game, sort of like you sensei walks you through each chapter and makes the game all the more fun as you're on your way to be champion.

How you fight is simple, you vote on your phone. The fighter with the most votes wins the duels. It's like the most simplified Pokemon battle ever. Though it's over rad shirt designs.

*Pokemon should have had some sort of drawing element with a stylus after all these years.

This was the absolute favorite of the party. Just as I was laughing at the end of it I suggested that the T-shirts could become real...and sure enough they can. You can order any of the shirts created at the end of the game. No matter how dirty, no matter how ugly. The only problem is copyright infringement for images. Other than that you can make any horrible sort of cactus man with the words, "Bees are Satan," on it or whatever you want.

Here are some of my parties examples:

Hats off and t-shirts on for Jackbox Party Pack's Tee K.O. that perfectly blends drunk doodling with competition with your friends. Then on top of that giving you the ability to wear the mistakes you've made as a human being and post them on Twitter. Oh, and we bought some shirts.

* When I played this games shipping was free on the shirts, unsure of pricing when game comes out.

Guesspionage (2-8 players)

Percents, that's always fun...said no one ever. It's hard to hate Guesspionage when it looks so well made. This game has you and your friends choosing what percent of people in the world might eat gum they find underneath a table or pick their nose in public.

The game has a great look with avatars again and a nice percentage circle to mull on, but guessing the percentage of anything is just to specific. It was a nice new try at a game, but just didn't become one of our favorites.

Fakin’ It (3-6 players)

The concept and visuals here are a fun idea again, sigh, it just fell flat when we tried playing it. Someone in your group has to fake what everyone is doing and you as a group have to agree and out the person "faking it." It just didn't work for us, because it's just to hard unless you and your friends can really agree on someone.

Quiplash 2 (3-8 players)

Like a splash in the pool you can't stop after spraying someone once; the much beloved Quiplash 2 has you making up strange answers and questions that your group of friends will vote on. Best answers-to your group of friends you tolerate playing- wins.

Mixing it up you can make your own questions this time around with all new questions. Another iteration that adds a bit more than the original.

Jackbox Party Pack 3 is well worth your time this any and upcoming holiday season for Tee K.O.. With five games to play this is the perfect party game to take us into 2017, as it can be played at any party or get-together leading up to your New Year's Eve party. Get it this October for when the friends come over and tolerate them to a whole new level.

Reviewer was provided game by publisher for review purposes.