No other game series has impressed my group of friends as the Jackbox Party Packs do.  Every time there was a large gathering, one person would bring up the series as a suggestion for what to do and every time the answer was the same, “Put it on!” With Jackbox Party Pack 6′initial announcement, there was loads of wonder on whether this title would be able to hold up as well as its immediate predecessor and especially the third iteration. Luckily, this year’s edition is able to make a name for itself thanks to a few of its new inclusions.

Jackbox Party Pack 6

The Games

What this release boils down to is how fun each of the five games play out. Trivia Murder Party 2, Role Models, Joke Boat, Dictionarium, and Push the Button all have their own unique formulas for players to mess around with. All of them have their own positives and negatives that aren’t able to be judged in one lump sum. Because of this, I’ll be going through each one individually in order to better assess the package as a whole.

Trivia Murder Party 2

First up is Trivia Murder Party 2, which is the sequel to the trivia title found in Jackbox Party Pack 3. Here, a serial killer asks questions that could result in “death.” Answering a question correctly spares you from participating in a random mini-game where you could be killed off. Once all but one player has been eliminated, a lightning round of questions appears where everyone’s ghost tries to come back to life. It’s incredibly entertaining and much more enjoyable than its original form, as well as the You Don’t Know Jack trivia portions. The mini-games that can be played are able to be enjoyed by everyone, even those that aren’t up for death, while the questions aren’t too incredibly complex making it fun for all. However, there is a game in which results in one person becoming the announcer’s father. This player is then subjected to continuous negative effects even if they aren’t deserved. It took the enjoyment out of the experience for whoever had the item and was incredibly dreaded. Overall, though, this mode was the favorite for my particular group.

Jackbox Party Pack 6

Role Models

Role Models was a mode that took the Jackbox experience to a much-needed new level. At the start of the game, players were tasked with taking a selfie for their character or drawing a picture of their face. This is the first time the series has done something like this and was something fun. Despite this, some did have trouble taking a selfie due to issues with Google Chrome. It took a few attempts for everybody to load into the game with a picture but it did take away from the momentum being felt after playing other portions of the game. Not only this but screenshots and video captures weren’t allowed to be taken. This is the only game where this is unable to occur and is pretty saddening as high points couldn’t be captured to look back on later.

Once everyone has taken their photos and drawn their faces, the game is able to begin. Players are given a wide selection of categories that they can vote to select in order to categorize the group. For example, one section was called “Full House x Stranger Things.” In this, each user got to select who they felt resembled a particular character on the show. Who’s the Uncle Joey of your group or who’s most like Eleven? The group’s votes ultimately become compiled together and the best results are selected which definitely leads to some laughter. Those that don’t receive enough votes to become a definitive “role model” are placed in a voting match to see what they most resemble. It helps to make everyone feel included and join in on the fun and is very enjoyed. At the end of it, the game attempts to define your own character traits and can be hilarious. This portion is fantastic for a group setting where everyone is familiar with one another and doesn’t get too brutal in terms of insults. Despite the connection issues, this is one of the best games found in the pack.

Joke Boat

One of my group’s favorite games to play out of all the Party Packs was Mad Verse City from Jackbox Party Pack 5There, players were presented with a Mad Libs-style fill-in-the-blank which resulted in a hilarious rap battle between two participants. Joke Boat looked to follow in a similar vein. Players are given a short amount of time to fill in words for various descriptors. After this, a prompt is set up in which the user has to deliver the “punchline” to the joke. There are two prompts to choose from and a help button to assist whoever may be having a brain fart. Prompts are fairly simple but it was actually a bit tough for everyone to make great punchlines. More often than not, only a chuckle here and there could be heard and very rarely were there outbursts of laughter. It would be a much better mode if there could be a way to crack jokes about each other. You can create a joke that takes shots at the audience yet it just feels cheap since they can’t really retaliate. Jokes are able to be voted on but when both options suck then it turns into “Which joke sucks less?” It also takes a bit too long to get through every joke. If all the stand-up routines aren’t sticking, then it becomes tedious. This mode had a lot of potential but it just isn’t able to stick the landing as well as others included in the pack.

Dictionarium

Every group is sure to have a couple words or phrases that don’t really make sense to anyone that’s not on the inside. Dictionarium allows for more of these random words and phrases to show up. The game has a seemingly nonsense word pop-up on screen and each round has the group come up with a definition, synonym, and sentence featuring the word. All of these are voted on and can create some laughter. In the first playthrough, it’s a bit tough to get a hang of things. Some players had no idea what to do and how to go about it. However, in subsequent playthroughs, it became plenty more enjoyable. It’s much more middle of the line type of mode than others. Players either wanted to play it or they didn’t. It wasn’t something that was actively sought out for nor was it anticipated to play. The mode is fun and can create some laughs but it’s not something that became an instant hit. One thing that did make this a really interesting mode was that it saved all of the words that were created. So it’s very easy to look back and have a few chuckles.

Push the Button

The final mode featured in the pack is Push the Button. This is by far the most complex and detailed game mode that the series has seen yet. At first glance, it appears very similar to Fakin’ it from Jackbox Party Pack 3 but it’s much more intricate. Because of this, it takes quite a bit of time to explain and fully understand which makes it hard for newcomers joining in on sessions. If you do have a consistent group, though, it’s much simpler and becomes more broken down. But what is it? Aliens have invaded a spaceship but they look exactly like the humans on-board. 15 minutes are put on the clock and various tasks must be completed in order to figure out who the aliens are. Players can choose which task has to be accomplished but they get to select who participates. Tasks vary from “Which insect should Noah have saved on his ark?” to “Draw a couple.” Humans have a normal prompt, while aliens have a slightly altered one. It appears very simple to figure out who the aliens are but if only that were the case.

The alien characters can send their prompts to humans while also being able to change their own prompts. This can throw off entire strategies and makes things a bit hectic. It’s fun to have this feature but it makes the aliens much more overpowered than they need to be. Humans were often the ones being voted off the ship with the aliens emerging victorious. Not only this but with such a limited time, there isn’t a lot that can be accomplished. It’s an incredibly ambitious mode and a great direction that the series may be heading towards, but it’s a bit too complex to play over and over. This is a mode that can take a lot of energy to finish and thus isn’t great for constant playthroughs in a session like others can be.

The Package as a Whole

Jackbox Party Pack 6 adds new modes and features that show the series is progressing from past titles. One new feature that is included is the ability to make questions not so specific towards American culture. If you’re playing from outside of the country, you may have noticed that the questions are very US-centric, however, this can now be altered and is an excellent inclusion. Not only this, but games are becoming more complex and can be a bit more personal to a group. The inclusion of selfies and detailed modes help drive this point forward. It’s nice seeing that this iteration is advancing but that’s where many of the problems begin to arise.

By being so personalized, playing with people who aren’t as familiar with a group can quickly become a struggle. Unlike previous entries where members can take shots at each other or come up with entertaining responses, this isn’t necessarily featured. Besides, Trivia Murder Party 2, there wasn’t a definitive mode that the players were dying to play again. Dictionarium was enjoyable but didn’t have enough variety in it that kept us coming back. The same thing happened with Role Models, as well. It was funny but once those laughs came out, it was tough wanting to return to it. Joke Boat felt too generic and didn’t have enough prompts to make it worthwhile. Where Mad Verse City and Tee K.O excelled in this format, Joke Boat fell flat much like a majority of the responses being found. Push the Button did offer plenty of variety and new experiences but it took too long to get the hang of and understand. So much so that after a playthrough or if new members joined, it became a hassle to want to explain it all again or start it up.

Jackbox Party Pack 6

As an overall package, Jackbox Party Pack 6 does have some definite high points. It features the best trivia section that has been seen to date, while also offering some new inclusions to the series such as selfies. With the exception of Role Models, all of the modes allow for at least 8 players to be able to join in, making it less likely for someone to be left out. Despite these, the problem is that many of the games can only be played once in a respective session. With previous iterations, it was possible to continuously replay modes like Split the Room, Fakin’ It, and Quiplash but here that wasn’t the case. The prompts and many of the situations just weren’t as wild as the series is used to. It feels much more tame which definitely hurt it in the long haul.

Many of these experiences were also one-offs. Which meant that after everything was played through once, that was it. Afterward,s all that remained was a clamor for loading up another title from the franchise. This still remains one of the best series to play with large groups, however, this entry is better suited for a tight-knit group that mostly only plays with each other. If new people are coming in and out, then it becomes tough having to explain the rules or having to figure out one another. This entry would have benefitted from including more wild prompts and scenarios. Because of this, Jackbox Party Pack 6 isn’t as crazy as it could have been. Not having much player choice and variety do hurt the overall feel of the title yet it can still be enjoyed by a group of friends looking to have a bit of fun.

 

Thank you to Jackbox Games for providing us with a review code!

Jackbox Party Pack 6 Review (Nintendo Switch)
Jackbox Party Pack 6 is a solid entry in the franchise but it doesn't do much in terms of replayability.
Overall Score7
Pros
  • Trivia Murder Party 2 is Fantastic
  • New Features
  • Can Play with Lots of Friends
Cons
  • Modes Aren't as Replayable in a Session as Series Pasts
  • Push the Button Becomes too Complex
  • Not as Hilarious as Previous Entries
7Good
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

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