IntroductionWe're going to do something a little different today. The Jackbox Party Pack 3 is a game developed and published by Jackbox Games Inc. The Jackbox Party Pack series is a (now) trilogy of games that consist of five or so mini games. Well, not mini games. They're fully fledged games, albeit short ones and are primarily focused on comedy and making you and your friends laugh. If you have any. Which you don't.
I'd just like to quickly thank my brother and girlfriend for helping me play this. They had much better things to do, but I am priority and the king of everything. I suppose watching musicals is my punishment, but it was worth it to have the chance to review this. I'm sorry for running your phone and iPad battery out respectively, because yes we're still using the format of using other devices to play the game, because buying the game just isn't enough anymore.
Like I said, we're doing something different. I can't really review this game as a whole because all I'd be doing is reviewing a menu, so what I have to do is review five separate games. So instead of doing the usual story, gameplay and so on, we're just going to have five mini reviews. That okay? No? Tough.
The game can be bought on Steam for the $22.49 price.
3 - 8 PlayersGreat start, we'll start with a sequel. Now before I even analyse the game, you should just note that he game actually exits full screen when entering any game. I thought it was really weird it did this, but I suppose it isn't too big of a deal.
As usual with most Jackbox games, the narrator is humorous. I love that about these games, especially the first two. The humour doesn't seem forced and it's just a lovely natural ice breaker to ease you into the game. Effectively, the game is Cards Against Humanity but with only blank cards. You're asked a series of questions and you are to answer them with the funniest answer. A failed example of being funny courtesy of me and my girlfriend can be seen below.
Now obviously thanks to favouritism, I lost. However you can use something called the Safety Quip. What this does is it creates an answer for you, but for half the points. Honestly it is useless. Completely not needed. Also, most of the time, said answer given to you will either not win or just doesn't fit the question. It makes the safety quip completely redundant, and on top of that it isn't too difficult to think of something funny so long as you have a functioning brain.
Out of all the five games, Quiplash 2 is the most intellectually creative game to play. It's fast paced, fun with friends and overall it was the one that made us think and laugh the most. But bugger that, I got shafted points wise and didn't win, which isn't fair.
Unfortunately as fun as it was, it does have its problems. Mainly it was too short. For three people, you're looking at about five minutes for a game. On top of that, it isn't explained too well in the beginning, not at all really. Especially when you accidentally click to create your own game and are asked to write about prompts. Still, it was pretty fun.
Trivia Murder Party
1 - 8 PlayersThe only solo game in the pack is oddly enough the most fun if you're a trivia buff like me. I still lost, that's not the point though. Ironically I've been watching a little known show called American Horror Story lately. Well, I've been forced to watch it. But the theme to this game is actually very similar to the theme of European Scary Tales or whatever you'd like to call it. A very horror themed game, actually scared me a tad bit, but to be fair, I'm scared of a lot of things.
The narrator again begins the game for us. Unlike Quiplash 2, it is explained very well and comically through a couple minutes of tutorial. And of course, like Quiplash 2, it is comical.
Surprisingly, the trivia questions are actual trivia. I was asked which 1973 film Harrison Ford starred in that was directed by George Lucas. It's a very specific bit of knowledge that I didn't know, nor did anyone else. I can't remember the answer, but it wasn't Blade Runner and it wasn't Star Wars either. But what happens when nobody gets the right answer? Well, I'm glad I'm pretending that you asked that question.
Minigames in Trivia Murder Party are very fun and unique. The first minigame was where we had to choose which finger to cut off. You could pick finger one, two, three or four. What you don't realise is that this choice matters. So if you choose to pick finger number three, you can no longer answer any answer on the third answer piece. I thought this was superb and it really does add a tense underlying tone to the game.
One thing I loved about this game was that if you die, you aren't eliminated. You become a ghost and are given the chance to steal someone else's body. Of course, to do this you have to get the questions right and they have to get the questions wrong. Easier than you think if I'm honest, especially if you're good at googling things. Which I didn't.
The final round is insane. It gets dropped out of nowhere and isn't really explained at first which really confused me. But here, this is what you do. Basically you're asked quickfire questions, what you need to do is select all the right answers and move towards the exit as the area behind you begins to die out. At this point, if you're a ghost, you're given a chance to catch up and overtake the living players to take over their body and attempt to exit the level and make it to the ending. Once you make it to the ending, you'll be treated to a nice little credits sequence showing who survived and who didn't. It was a lovely touch and it makes the whole game seem like a movie.
One last note, the music throughout is great. I know I mentioned this earlier but I want to mention it again because it was just so great.
2 - 8 Players
Guesspionage is a new one, much like all of the other games on this pack. It wouldn't be a new pack if the games weren't new. But this is one of the two that just don't work. It gets boring really fast. Let's have a look as to why that is.
Well, to start with, you select an agent to play as. You've got a nice variety of choice, all differently voiced with a single catchphrase that they say every single time they're selected for literally anything. They could literally be selected for death row and the annoying knob of a character I picked could go "gimme a high five" on a loop.
However it's probably a given by now that it's humorous. Not the actual game itself, but the narrators. They're very entertaining but are only really heard on the menu screen which is a shame because the game would have seriously benefited from these two narrators throughout the game.
To play, one player will be asked a question and has to answer with a percentage out of 100. The other players then play higher or lower, if they're correct with their choice then they'll receive a few points, if they're incorrect then they receive the lovely prize of absolutely nothing. The problem with a higher or lower system though is that it gets more complex very soon on and on top of that it means a player can steal the game and win it without actually providing any real use in their own rounds. I suppose this keeps it interesting and tense, but it just seems a bit cheap and an easy way to win the round.
I'm pretty sure this game was fixed against me though. Mainly because my girlfriend somehow managed to get right on the exact percentage every time and if she didn't then I would guess incorrectly for higher or lower.
But Ewan you sexy thing, how do these questions formulate? Surely they cannot be random percentages. Well, actually, it's a survey of the internet. I thought it was very smart that they set it up this way. By basing it off of internet searches you can guarantee quality information.
There is a double or nothing system implemented into round two, I mentioned this earlier but failed to eplain it. You can not only bet higher or lower, but you can also bet much higher or much lower. What this means is that if you think it is 15% higher or lower, then you press much higher/lower.
I genuinely have no idea if anything else happens, we got bored and we quit. It got boring very fast.
3 - 6 Players
Easily the shortest game I have to review here because it was just genuinely bad. It's an interesting concept I'll give it that, but it doesn't really have any impact. The game heavily relies on people to tell the truth. I am unfortunately British, as are the people who I played this game with, so it was very difficult for us to tell the truth.
The music is forgettable to say the least. Graphically speaking the game performs well, but that doesn't matter if the game doesn't work. But even worse than that, some of the questions weren't even anything we could salvage an answer from.
For example, we were asked the question "Who owns a king sized bed." The idea being that the "Faker" puts their hand up or leaves it down in the hopes that they can lie. Now, the problem here is that, out of the three of us, none of us actually had a king sized bed. The game relies on you owning things in a sense and that's where it falls flat. Overall, just nothing salvageable.
3 - 8 Players
This is definitely the most interesting of all the games and certainly the most unique. Now before you beign, much like Guesspionage, you have to pick a character, each have their own reason for entering the tournament. My brothers character was in because of a clerical error, I was in because I was paying for someones surgery. We got a good laugh out of those. You're also able to set a victory quote. Mine was "I'll win because I'm fat." This statement was not true.
Good God the narrator for this one. Now, I'm not saying he sounds like Austin Powers, but he most certainly sounds like Austin Powers. This guy is the funniest narrator of them all, but his quips aren't the best. That doesn't matter though, the quality of his delivery is superb and I'd like to congratulate all of the narrators for doing a hell of a great job.
So the main part of the game is to draw and design your own t-shirt. That is extremely difficult to do in a 90 second time limit and on a phone. It's shit. That's what it is. Utter shit. It's impossibly difficult, I couldn't even draw a stick man. But we managed it, we managed to push through "Chapter 1". You're also asked to write up some slogans, so basically be as offensive as possible. I had such classics as "Michael J Fox approves this T-Shirt" and "Hitler was Okay". Truly offensive horrible things, but still funny given the circumstances of this game.
The next part of the game requires you to match up other peoples t-shirts and slogans into the best combination possible. After you've done this, you vote for your favourite. And then that's it, you re-do some more t-shirts, slap a few more slogans about and then have a T-Shirt Gauntlet to decide the winner.
It's such a shame though because with a bit more pacing this could actually be a phenomenal game, but because it speeds through at such an alarming rate, it's only just okay.
Graphics and soundYou'll be surprised to know that there is a hellish lack of options to choose from in the options menu. You can take the game out of full screen and change the volume. That's it. It's probably because the games themselves have specific options menus, but still, it was a bit alarming at first when I saw this as soon as I launched the game.
There's nothing else to really say. I mean, each of the games look absolutely gorgeous as a whole and the art style is still as beautiful as ever. I'd feel like I'm beating a dead horse if I compare it to the old games, so beat the dead horse I shall. Jackbox Party Pack games have stuck with the same art style for a very long time now, ever since the first one. The reason for this is that it works, and it works really well.
Musically wise, it's as good as ever. The music is fast paced and upbeat for most of the games and it fits very well. Like I stated previously, Trivia Murder House features a form of American Horror Story related musical number which was surprisingly very fitting and funny at the same time. Music is important for a game like this, and luckily it manages to create some great music that fits each game respectively.
ConclusionIt is fun, don't get me wrong, but there isn't really enough overall. The laughs and entertainment factor are few and far between when playing some of the games. Out of the five games available, we all agreed that Trivia Murder Party was the most interesting concept wise, while Tee K.O. and Quiplash 2 were most interesting in the comedy aspect. On the other hand we found Guesspionage quite boring and Fakin' It was a straight up waste of time.
A couple of the games lack depth, most notably Guesspionage, it was never really explained what the whole point of the game was. It was more or less just "Here are some statements, give us your answer" and nothing more. It pales in comparison to Trivia Murder House, which was by far the most fun because I'm a trivia buff. Guesspionage was also the one that got boring the quickest, being that not only did it lack depth, but the gameplay never changed enough to expect us to continue playing.
Well, it was an interesting experience playing this. I'm very thankful that I was given the opportunity to play it before release. I'm also thankful I played it, because it was actually some fun. Yeah, it has its flaws, but you know what, most games do. If you're looking for a laugh then this is most certainly something you may want to take a look into.
|+ Quiplash 2||- Guesspionage|
|+ Trivia Murder Party||- Fakin' It|
|+ Tee K.O.||- Certain games lack depth|
|+ Beautiful graphics||- Some games get boring very quickly|
|+ Brilliantly fun party game with friends|