Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Jackbox Party Starter Review: Three Games To Get Any Party Started

With July 4th weekend just ahead of us, the fine folks over at Jackbox have made a small pack of some of their best games to get any party started. And, they made it for non-American countries too and you can even turn on non American-centric questions...but, can you really escape America? You can't escape the fun with what they said were slightly improved versions of games already out in other packs.

What games you ask? Quiplash 3, Tee K.O., and Trivia Murder Party 2. Some of the favs from different Jackbox Party Packs. Now, if you already own the games there's not much reason to get this pack. If you've enjoyed them over our lovely Covid lock-down or wanted a let's say easy access favorites pack for a party this weekend, this is perfect.

If you're new to Jackbox games, I'll go over the basic concept and the three games here and what's new.

First off, what's so nice about this is all you need is a smart phone, laptop, computer or tablet and the internet. Then, you can easily connect to these games being played asking you to draw, answer questions or write some stuff. You can do this online over Zoom/Discord or other video voice-call apps or in the living room with friends.

The games in this pack are all working fine, though they've added auto submit if you don't finish a prompt in time. This is a big deal, as it's been a major problem in many Jackbox games in the past. I remember shouting out numerous times to finish, which is less of a worry now. Auto submit should be standard in all future Jackbox releases.

So, a few friends and I tried it over a weeknight and of course fell back in love with Qui...Trivia Murder
Party 2. The concept of a horror movie where you and your friends are forced to answer trivia by the killer who kidnapped you never gets old. Now, the trivia is random and can be about TV shows to history to really anything. A long the way you and your friends will be uh, downsized and most will become ghosts who still have to play. Only one of you can escape the hotel you've been trapped in.

It might have been the enthusiasm of trying this new version out, but we got to Question 10 or the final floor of the hotel in Trivia Murder Party 2, which was something no one could even remember doing, even though we've played it quite a bit.

By the way, the hilarious host, you're maybe murderer and his mini-games always delight when anyone gets a question wrong. He's a murderer with feelings and funny things to say. The mini-games might be deadly, but they add a some thrilling excitement of you being taken out in game. A fun title for those who love horror films or just trivia games...or both.

Next up possibly my favorite in the series behind You Don't Know Jack, Quipl...Tee K.O.. Yes, the t-shirt drawing and slogan game set to an anime animal martial arts tournament set on island that looks reminiscent of a t-shirt. It seems like a lot to unpack. It's not, you make funny t-shirts.

 Not sure, if it's like the updated Tee K.O., but dang you have a lot more colors and shirts to draw whatever comes to mind then the previous version..we think. 

Draw a dinosaur. Draw Batman. Draw a dinosaur marrying Batman. Then choose the slogan, "My America", underneath it.

There's no end to whatever weird, in-joke or random nonsense t-shirts are dreamt up by you and the other players. You may only choose the art and slogan you friends created. The more players the stranger the pool of pictures and sayings.Then the battle to death with your votes for shirt supremacy and wearability on weekends.

And, like before, anything can be printed out on a t-shirt you can really wear if you want to after the game following the share functionally after the game. You just got to buy it and have it shipped to you.

We did notice the shirts now appear on the screen of your device, which we were somewhat sure the original couldn't and it's a nice little feature if you've suddenly move into another room or we're looking away from the main screen. A, nice little touch.

Finally, what with thought was Fibbage 3 was actually Quiplash 3. The last game in this pack has the strange aesthetic of a claymation like circus. Sadly, one of my friends who I loved beating at the game, her avatar usually being chosen as a crescent moon, could not play due to having Covid. How I missed not seeing that sad crescent moon cry. Those tears being the greatest gift of all.

How did I earn those crescent moon tears? By making up some funny nonsense. Your prompted to finish sentences or give answers that make the other players vote for what you put down. So, know your audience or just know what will make them laugh. Or just make yourself laugh and look as claymation heads eat points and make nom nom sounds.

Each game in the pack pulls off entertaining folks and bringing some levity to start off your party, it earns its name. As already said an easy buy for those who don't have the games, slightly updated versions of them or want a simpler faster night of fun.

I hope it opens the door for other updated games from previous packs as it doesn't looks like we're getting You Don't Know Jack in the pack due in October. Maybe, an all drawing pack or best of hits collection. Or even a, "Your least liked games at a very cheap price pack." Put Zeeple Dome, Weapons Drawn, Civic Doodle, Monster Seeking Monster & Bidiots all in one game and you got a worst pack.

Other new additions are localization of each game in French, Italian, German, Latin American Spanish, and Castilian Spanish, which wasn't that big a deal for my friends and me, but is nice for those who speak other languages.

Some more settings are added too like content filtration, moderation, closed captioning for dealing with audiences over Twitch or just maybe people who can't hear the game if too many people are talking.

The Jackbox Party Starter is now available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox. And is set for $19.99. Get it on Steam today for an additional 10% off through the week.

Game provided by publisher for review purposes.