Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Jackbox Party Pack 9 Review: Sort It Out


By Jonathan Bilski
Ooh, baby, baby, baby, baby. Ooh, baby, baby, ba-baby, baby.
-From the song Push It from Salt-N-Pepa

I'm excited there's a new Jackbox in town! The party pack game where all you need is your phone to play and well a console or computer to really run your copy of the game. Jackbox has returned and we've go to put everything in the right slot...woah. We have to put the pieces together. No, we have to...Ohhho, sort it out! With games like Quixort and then in order of how much they were liked: Fibbage 4, Roomerang, Junktopia and finally Nonsensory.
Jackbox Party Pack 9 (and for some reason still having a The in the front of the title doesn't sound right) is a mixed one this year. I was so looking forward to a new drawing game or possibly, maybe over zealously believing in a clay sculpting game with Junktopia. That was sadly a dream. 
This isn't starting off like a strong pack. I learned to really love Jackbox's Don't Push The Button, but this is another questionable year on how some games made it so far in the process over at Jackbox HQ.

Let's go with my favorite first.


Quxiort is a trivia sorting game, which sounds boring as a write it out now. In fact, it was the favorite of the TTDILA crew. How is it not boring? You're a robot drone trying to put in order something like what was added to the McDonald's menu by year or what TV show finale came out earliest to latest. It's random. Oh, and you're on teams. It can be one on one, but if you get more people that means more mistakes and yelling. And yelling about what brand of car came out first or how to kiss from wiki-how comes up, you're gonna have some fun.

This is simply the easiest game to get into the pack. Colorful and cute with drone avatars and laying down a time line on a conveyor belt couldn't be cuter. Well, it could, but this is a trivia game.

There's even some fake info you have to dispose of in incinerators on your right and left of the conveyor belt. Be careful though, that thing you might never heard of might be real!

So, Quixort just wins out of the gate for cute look, ease of access and just fun with friends.

Fibbage 4

Oh, why weren't you more, Fibbage 4. When the trailer dropped I couldn't wait to share it with friends, now I'm thinking on how I can go back to Fibbage 3 with its 60's style. Fibbage 4's style is all over the place. I would say the theme is weird animal photoshop art. Not classic Fibbage 3's mash-up of eyeballs and vegetation.

Fibbage is a game where you make up answers to questions and try and fool your friends, while you try and guess the true answer. You can really try and make believable nonsense or go make up stuff and get the most likes. And, it's a favorite of the series.

Nothing that new has changed except for visuals and some tweaks to how the game is played and a new fan Fibbage feature, but I guess my gripe is basically it's just a new coat of paint and in a color I don't like.
If they, let's say mashed up the 70's or 80's with something else, in the vein of the last game, it would have me. What it is, is a more updated Fibbage with new questions. 

There is a strange new gimmick of fans sharing stories that you can make up answers to. Literal video clips of people telling you a story you have to make up ending to. This was enjoyed, but maybe the game should have just been solely video clips. Something to make it stand out more from its earlier iterations.


MTV's the Real World and many other shows like it have inspired this one. You play as a a roommate. Trying to win over other roommates with what you write down. You can either act out the character trait given or just do what you want. The fun depends on who you're playing with.

Just like the "reality" shows that inspired it, you can totally get into it and the more the merrier.

Oh, and if you thought if you evict someone that they're gone. Think again. Someone very much like them will come back to see if they can be the top roommate.

How do you win? Other roommates give you points for liking what you say...and of course, don't get evicted!
Props to the new host, whom reminds me of RuPaul.

The design also is a bit fun with the oddly shaped folks that are living together.

 While fun, it's not something I'm just crazy for. For one thing, this game doesn't have mini-games like many reality shows. That would have been a nice feature that isn't here. I mean, I want a totem or a special necklace to get me out of jam.


Wait, what is this. No. Take this out.

Nothing flows in Junktopia. Easily could have been a drawing game, but instead it's a game where you try and sell strange objects to each other.

The story, which isn't liked. The hillbilly wizard host, music and basically the game just isn't liked either. It sounds funny that a wizard has turned you into a frog and the way to become human is to pick an item and then try and sell it. It sounds way less boring than Quixort, but it ain't.

If perhaps you could draw or "sculpt" something...not even then maybe. 

The frogs that you embody are cute, but other than that, it's just not that fun making up names and stories behind weird looking dolls and random weird stuff.

It's junk.


Ughhh, who doesn't want to like a game with a chimp host? It's with much sadness, I have to say this one doesn't have me either. You have to guess how other people would answer a question on a scale from 1-10 and that just kills it. That scale is an annoyance. I scored as did other's very well sometimes and it doesn't really connect you to the person. A strange unfulfilling gimmick.

Technically, it has drawing in the game, but it's so minimal or just doesn't connect that it serves little purpose in the game.

Where as Junktopia's visuals be nasty, except for the frogs, Nonsensory looks fine.

I'm really just attacking the game itself. I just don't want to play it.

Looks like Trivia Murder Party 2 and previous packs will be shaping up Halloween and Christmas parties. Quixort and Fibbage 4 are more than playable and I'll be giving the other ones in the pack some more tries, but out of the gate I kind wish Jackbox Games did a little more. I feel like the trivia sort game should get to be part of a better pack then this. Nothing quite impresses like Tee K.O. or You Don't Know Jack. It's hard to rank this one against some great stuff in the back catalog. And, I get trying new strange things. Junktopia and Nonsensory were not the right answer.

I'll keep a few, the rest you can have back. Or I can always toss Junktopia in the incinerator.

The Jackbox Party Pack 9 is out now, coming to all systems. The version we played was on Steam.

*Every game has an ending theme and they're are glorious. In a previous packs the've given games intro's like TV shows that are skippable. I say, give me more! Can't wait for their release on Bandcamp.

* "The Jackbox Party Pack 9 will have all of the moderation and accessibility settings featured in recent Party Packs, as well as new features like easier server reconnection, QR code sign-in and moderators’ ability to kick players from the game at will. Additionally, Jackbox Games will be releasing a free update that includes localization in French, Italian, German, Castilian Spanish and International Spanish soon after launch."

Game provided by publisher for review purposes.