The Jackbox Party Pack 4 review: More zany, bizarre party game fun

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While The Jackbox Party Pack 4 offers up some new game concepts, the overall package didn’t seem as fun as the past couple outings, but it’s fun nonetheless.

TA-ratings-86It’s another year and time for another The Jackbox Party Pack review! This time, our The Jackbox Party Pack 4 review takes a look at the latest collection of multi-player party games. Read on to find see if Jackbox Games still has what it takes for a fun party time. Just a quick note, normally we rate games on gameplay, graphics, sound, and the like but this one we’ll be assigning a rating for each game individually even though we’ll still be talking about each of those other criteria.

As always, the team at Jackbox Games has a quirky release trailer for the game. Check it out below.

Gameplay

Each of the six (five-and-a-half as Jackbox Games puts it) games included in The Jackbox Party Pack 4 have a different theme, but the gameplay consists of using your smartphone, tablet, computer, or other internet connected device as your controller. As with past games, once you start up a game on your console, everyone joins in by visiting Jackbox.tv and entering a room code. The games also offer a means of audience participation if the game is full or you’re streaming over Twitch or Mixer.

Fibbage 3

Fibbage is the only game from previous editions that is making its return to The Jackbox Party Pack 4 — and for good reason. It’s hands down the best and favourite of the bunch.

Once everyone has entered the game (2-8 players), they are presented with a number of questions over three rounds. Depending on the number of players, two or more enter in a fake answer for a question on their device. In this version, the audience can also enter in a lie to try and confuse the players. Once everyone has entered their answers, the round begins. Players are awarded points for players who guess their wrong answer or for guessing the right answer. As such, the goal of the game is to guess as many right answers as you can while fooling the other players with your answers to rack up the points.

jbpp4-fibbage-3-screenshot

Fibbage 3 screenshot.

Fibbage: Enough About You

In the game, this is a sub-game in Fibbage 3. In Fibbage Enough About You, players are asked to enter a truth and a lie about themselves. Once entered, the other players must guess the truth. Do so and they get points while the person the question is about gets points for those who guessed the lie was the truth.

Unlike the other games, this one is definitely best played with a bunch of people that you know — or think you know — relatively well. Of course, you may just learn a thing or two about your friends and family in this game!

Survive the Internet

The first new addition to The Jackbox  Party Pack 4, Survive the Internet was a bit confusing at first but after a few rounds, it did get a bit fun.

In this game, 3-8 players are asked a question which they should answer truthfully. The answer is then passed to another player and they must make a question that takes the answer totally out of context. Once the questions and answers are revealed, everyone votes on who made the comment look the most stupid and points are awarded accordingly.

jbpp4-surviving-the-internet-screenshot

In Survive the Internet, Player 2 takes Player 1’s answer out of context.

Overall it’s not a bad game but it definitely depends on who you’re playing with.

Monster Seeking Monster

Monster Seeking Monster… yah… depending on who you are playing with it can get weird fast. Really weird… it’s like psycho Tinder! Each player (3-7 can play this one) picks a character and then are given a secret monster identity. Each round then gives each player the chance to make up four chat messages to send to the other players in hopes that they can entice them to hook up at the end of the round.

Which is where it gets really weird… but of course that probably depends on who you’re playing with. After the chat messages have been sent, each player must choose who they want to hook up with. If two players choose each other, they each get a heart. If you don’t match… well, you’re out of luck.

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Monster Seeking Monster is a game of monster hookups…

This is also where the secret monster identity comes in. For example, if you’re a vampire, one of your skills is that you get half a heart extra for each player you hooked up with successfully by the end of the game. If you’re the Invisible Man, you always appear in last place but secretly know your position.

At the end of the second round, the player currently in the top spot has their identity and one of their secrets revealed. For the following rounds, the top unrevealed player has his or her identity and secrets revealed.

As I mentioned before, this is definitely an interesting game that can spiral out of control quickly. Oh, your messages aren’t private. At the end of each round, everyone else gets to see what you and the person you are trying to hook up with said, so there’s a chance for some embarrassment as well.

Bracketeering

Bracketeering is the third new addition and while it’s a take on the bracket challenge concept, it felt a little lackluster. Up to 16 players are asked questions and once they’ve been entered, the bracketing begins. For example, players might be asked what the best name for a grandma is. Once the round starts, two answers are pitted against each other and players have a limited time to vote for their favourite answer. The winner goes on to the next bracket until finally a winner takes all is picked. There is a time limit per round but once everyone answers, if no one changes their answer for a few seconds, the round ends early.

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Bracketeering brings a familiar concept to the series.

Unlike the other games though, you only get three letters for your name but there’s no warning. As a result, in one of our first matches we ended up with three people with the same name which made it a bit difficult to tell who was who.

Civic Doodle

What would The Jackbox Party Pack be without a drawing game? Enter Civic Doodle. The 3-8 players in this game have been tasked with beautifying the city with drawings and paintings for the sides of buildings around town.

Two players start out and are given a short amount of time to start drawing something. Once the time is up, the other players vote on whose drawing is better. The winning drawing then moves on and two different players get to continue the process drawing. Again, after a set time period, the other players vote and the favourite goes on to another round to be completed by two more players. The winning drawing is then displayed on the side of a building.

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Civic Doodle has players building on each other’s drawings.

As you can imagine, there can be some pretty fun and funny drawings based on the people your playing with.

Graphics

Jackbox Games has always had some fun graphic elements with the games within their Jackbox Party Pack games and the latest is no exception.

Fibbage 3 and Fibbage Enough About You both feature fun, retro 70s style graphics with a pastel flower palette. Survive the Internet brings us closer to the present with its 80s web browser and desktop interface while Monster Seeking Monster has a Monster High kind of vibe. Honestly, I only know that because I have a daughter. Bracketeering has an 80s techno-sci-fi vibe and Civic Doodle was the only one that was pretty basic with its map and paper style interface.

Sound

Sound design and narration is on par with previous Jackbox Party Games editions. Most of the announcers aren’t overly annoying and add just enough wit and laughs while the background music and sound effects add to the game.

Multiplayer

As with previous Jackbox Party Pack games, this edition utilizes your smartphones as the controller, allowing for pretty much anyone to join in. The audience factor is fun as well in case you have more players than allowed for a particular game or while streaming online. During our review of the game, we had no issues connecting to the servers or joining the rooms to play each game.

Price/Value

The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is available for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV (4th Gen), Windows PC, Mac, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and NVIDIA Shield for $24.99USD. Given that Fibbage is the only returnee this go around, and it’s still a fun game, you’re getting a mix of four other new games plus the additional variation of Fibbage Enough About You. If you’ve enjoyed the previous The Jackbox Party Pack games, you’ll likely enjoy this one as well — not to mention adding six new games to your party game mix. Even though some of the games aren’t as fun as some of the previous games, they’re still good for a few rounds and at less than $5 a game it’s worth the price of admission.

Wrap-up

While The Jackbox Party Pack 4 offers up some new game concepts, the overall package didn’t seem as fun as the past couple outings. Overall, it is fun nonetheless, it’s just that it isn’t a home run like previous editions were.

*We were sent a review code for The Jackbox Party Pack 4 on the Xbox One for the purposes of this review.

The Jackbox Party Pack 4

The Jackbox Party Pack 4
8.6

Fibbage 3

9/10

    Fibbage Enough About You

    10/10

      Survive the Internet

      8/10

        Monster Seeking Monster

        8/10

          Bracketeering

          8/10

            Civic Doodle

            8/10

              Graphics

              9/10

                Sound

                9/10

                  Multiplayer

                  9/10

                    Price/Value

                    9/10

                      Nailed it

                      • Graphics and sound fit the games well
                      • Fibbage and Fibbage Enough About You are a blast
                      • Easy for multiple people to play
                      • Audience participation is more involved

                      Needs work

                      • A couple of the games don't seem as fun as previous outings
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