The Jackbox line of party games has a relatively long lineage from it’s humble pc/ps1 days as the standalone You Don’t Know Jack (YDKJ) series of trivia games. From there it has blossomed into full blown collections of digital board games that can be played using your smartphone’s browser and one centralized host screen to display the game’s prompts. How does this collection of games fare against the rest? Well let’s find out by reviewing each individual game one by one:
1. Trivia Murder Party 2: (TMP2)
TMP has always been a staple favourite of mine so when I noticed the sequel staring me in the face I lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s essentially YDKJ at it’s core but with the fun twist of both being horror themed and having mini games between rounds. Those who loose these mini games “die” and become a ghost. You can still collect money as a ghost and you can even win in the end during the final round by stealing the person in firsts body however. It’s mainly just a mechanic to help with activating said final round and incentive’s getting questions right as the sooner one person is left alive, the sooner the final round begins.
The main thing settings apart TMP2 from the first is it contains new questions, new mini games, and a new gift system. If you win the gift during the mini game; it tends to help you stay alive longer though it is at the expense of your ability to play properly. One example of this is the knife where, for each question you get wrong, you have to remove a finger which means not being able to select one of the four potential answers that finger represents for the rest of the game. Other than that though it’s pretty much the same game just given a face lift
Dictionarium is in my opinion one of the weaker games of the collection. In it you invent new words, give them definitions, synonyms, and an example sentence. Basically a new dictionary entry. Its a fun concept BUT the big problem is you are either going to have a group of friends that make this game incredibly fun or incredibly boring. Jackboxes in general always have that one game that relies heavily on literary creativity and well this one is probably one of the worst showings of that trend. Not saying it’s bad per say just that it’s not very friendly to the player.
3. Joke Boat:
A second game in this entry that relies heavily on literary creativity. This one has you putting in a bunch of nouns and pronouns into a pool for the algorithm to hand back at players to make jokes from. So if you aren’t funny it’s gonna be a bad time. Hopefully a so bad it’s good time but accidental anti jokes can be a dime a dozen. To edge this ahead of Dictionarium though, Joke Boat allows you to ask the computer to make the joke for you. There are three rounds with similar joke making requirements with the final round rewriting a punchline for an earlier joke.
4. Role Models:
Role Models is… well it’s okay. Basically it boils down to you categorizing the group into roles based on the scenarios it gives you. If anyone ties for a role there is a vote to see who is more like that role. The goal here is to have people know you well enough to all vote you in as a specific role in each question for points. At the end of it the computer will tell you what kind of person the group thinks you are and a winner is chosen. This one is only really good in person. A bit of a nitpick but seeing as Jackbox.tv (the website you log into to play) has twitch integration; it feels like a bit of a needed but lame choice overall.
5. Push The Button:
Push The Button Is only actually good in person in my opinion. You are on a spaceship and you have a time limit to vote on who the alien of the group is before things hit the fan so to speak. The vote has to be unanimous though otherwise nothing happens. When played online you will loose some very important cues of this game such as peoples faces, body language, and if there is only a written chat… their voice. It’s a choir without using at least a video conference call. That said it does have some decent mini games to pass the time as well.
Overall the games are fun and worth the buy but it’s certainly not like previous collections in the series which are more friendly to long distance groups. On the bright side though… They didn’t bring back Zeeple Dome.
- Trivia Murder Party makes a comeback
- Great for hanging out with friends
- For the price of a single night at the movies alone, you get countless nights of fun for the whole group.
- Games overall aren't as fun as previous installments
- Relies a little too heavily on creativity for a good time
- Not as Twitch friendly this time around