The clock was ticking on me. I needed to come up with a new design for a wacky invention based on the problem of human hands being in cumbersome. I had to draw my idea, come up with a tagline, and present it to my audience in hopes of having my pitch “funded” for future use. Luckily, my (not so) amazing art skills were up to the challenge and come up with the greatest invention I could muster up. In the end, my idea lost to a Platypus. Yeah, if that sounds insane, you’ve found yourself in another installment of the long-running Jackbox Party Pack.
Like previous iterations, Jackbox Party Pack 5 is here to breathe new life into your parties with a variety of new games and questions that’ll make you howl with laughter and amusement. Of course, your mileage will vary depending on how many people you will be able to gather in a room, not only are certain games locked to the number of players you have with you, but they’re just all around more fun with the more people you have with vivid imaginations.
Similarly to previous titles, Jackbox Party Pack 5 is controlled by players utilizing their smartphones and tablets to join in the game. I loved how simple it was to set up. Grab your phone (or tablet), type in a web address, fill in your name and the unique room code, and you’re in. No need for your friends to hold controllers they aren’t used to, and it doesn’t matter what phone OS or browser they use. This makes it the ultimate pick up and play game, and it won’t take much convincing your friends to play.
Here’s a breakdown of each game:
You Don’t Know Jack:
A quiz show hosted by Cookie. The trivia of this game is fantastic and filled with obscure street-smart questions and not just academic-based questions. Some of them are flat out dumb and require nothing more than a guess but, more often than not, I was laughing out loud because of the absurdity. As with any quiz-based game, your score will vary depending on your knowledge, but more importantly, how often the same questions come up, which during my experience, wasn’t often.
You Don’t Know Jack is the crown jewel here as it’s fast-paced and full of questions. I loved how many of the questions require you to think outside the box to come up with an answer. Some answers want you to do some math as well.
Split the Room:
A fill-in-the-blank game in the style of a Twilight Zone parody. Split the Room presents each player with a different scenario that requires you to fill in the blank to make the situation as strange as possible for some, while enticing others, effectively splitting the room.
One such situation was “You have been offered $5,000 to lie on a table for one hour and have ___ served off your naked body at a fancy party. One of the people dining is [person in the room]. Do you do it?” During my play sushi was the word that filled in the blank. Each player then selects Yes or No and the longer it takes for them to answer, the more points you get.
The situations presented were funny enough, but when people don’t take them seriously, it ruins the point of the game. If I were offered $5,000 to have food eaten off me, would I say yes? More than likely yes, because it’s a hypothetical situation, but when it came down to brass tax, I probably wouldn’t partake.
Mad Verse City:
This is a glorified mad-libs game, but that isn’t a bad thing. Robots are attacking a city, and they decide it’s time for a battle rap. Each player gets the chance to fill in a word that fits the description, such as a preposition or a plural noun, that is then followed up by a sentence that uses that word. You have a write your own sentence that will rhyme to bust out a mad bar.
If you can’t think of a rhyme, there is a suggestion box. The game will automatically come up with a line for you. Unfortunately, the suggestions don’t always rhyme, but that doesn’t mean the rap won’t be funny. It was actually quite amusing to hear the results. I laughed way harder than I should on the line “That the best you got? Thought you were awesome. Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” Those lines don’t rhyme, but you can imagine how silly this game can get.
Out of all five games in the Jackbox Party Pack, this one quickly grew stale on me. Zeeple Dome is a physics-based game where you and your partner(s) will sling-shot alien creatures into bad alien creatures in a game-show style arena. I wish I could say its fast-paced action caused chaos, but it was more the frustration of having to look down at my phone, quickly back up at the tv and becoming frustrated that my shot didn’t hit. There are also huge lags in action when everyone constantly misses their targets.
Remember my story in the first paragraph? Here’s where that experience came from. Patently Stupid is akin to those mad libs game you’d play with your friends in school (and like in Mad Verse City). Only this time, you know have to draw it out. Everyone playing will get a few seconds to fill in the blank before the answers are randomly dealt out. Those with fantastic imaginations will get a kick out of this one.
I had a huge amount of fun with this one, and I could really see myself reaching for it one with friends.
One of my biggest gripes is the player requirements for each game. Two games require two players, but the other three games, ask for three or more. It doesn’t help that Patently Stupid and Mad Verse City throws in a computer player. So why can’t I just play with two people? This will limit your experience if you want to play when you gather with a single friend. Obviously, this game is designed for a party, but I can think of dozens of situations where I’d want to play this with just one friend. As I mentioned above, your mileage will vary because of these restrictions.
I did appreciate that the majority of these games have a family-friendly option so that you can censor inappropriate words. Though, the raunchier, the better, in most cases, will have your party have themselves more.
Jackbox Party Pack 5 is filled with fun games for you and your friends to play when you get together. Grab a couple of drinks (if you can) and just let your imaginations ride with the wacky antics. I loved how easy it was to start up a game and get friends to join. It’s just unfortunate that the party is held back by a couple of okay games and higher player minimums on the majority of games.