The Jackbox Party Pack is back with its 4th collection of games, and apart from some nasty bugs this seems to be one of the better titles in the series.
Fibbage, the game about writing convincing lies to answer questions, is back. As you’d expect this edition features totally new questions and question types as well as a mode called “Enough About You.” This new mode in The Jackbox Party Pack has players type answers to questions, while the other players try to select which is the correct answer—while also providing lies. As always, Fibbage is fun, simple, and easy to pick up and play, like most games in these collections.
Survive the Internet is a game about taking your friends’ answers to questions and writing headlines or hashtags to make them look foolish. For example, there may be a question that prompts you to answer something nice, but your friend will make it look like a comment about a serial killer on the loose. Then everyone gets to see each other’s creations and vote on the best one each round, with points given based on the answer that received the most votes. It’s a pretty simple game that is only as fun and creative as the people you are playing with.
Monster Seeking Monster is a dating game that may be the breakout hit of this collection. In this game, players assume the role of a monster whose powers are unknown to other players at the start of the game. Players can message each other to try to get others to agree to a date. Those that get dates get points, however, everything isn’t always what it appears.
After each round—beginning with the second—a monster’s powers are revealed to everyone, which will drastically change how others see them or even play the game. Powers can be something simple like, “as long as this player doesn’t get a date, you earn a bonus point,” to “everyone you have a date with is infected with a curse and everyone they then date will become infected and so on,” with points are rewarded based on how far your curse has spread, like a spooky STI.
The game doesn’t do a great job teaching you how to play or strategize the first time you around, as myself and people I played with were confused until a few rounds into the game. Once it clicks though, it is a devilishly good time.
Bracketeering is a game where players answer questions and then vote on each other’s answers in a tournament bracket format to find out which answer is best. In one round we were prompted with, “what is the coolest animal?” I answered Knuckles the Echidna, another player (or the game) provided the answer, “a weed smoking bear”. As this can be played by 16 players, there are 16 answers on the bracket. At first, four answers duke it out for votes, before two answers battle during the semi-finals, and eventually, the finals with the remaining two answers. In my game, it came down to Knuckles the Echidna versus Sonic the Hedgehog for the coolest animal. I’ll leave it up to your imagination to decide who won. Additionally, players try to guess who wins overall and earn bonus points as their selected answer wins rounds. This was easily the most fun I had with this collection, yet was the simplest game.
Finally, there is Civic Doodle, a game about drawing murals in towns. The game begins by providing an unfinished picture or squiggle, which will be expanded by the players. Those players’ resulting pictures are then voted on by other players and the winning picture will advance and be expanded by the other players. This can run for up to eight rounds for one image, which is certainly a bit too long, especially since there is only so much room to draw.
There is a nasty bug that makes drawings not show up correctly on screens, be they on the main screen or the smart devices players are using to draw. Considering that drawing and judging is the core of this game in The Jackbox Party Pack, the bug made it basically unplayable. I played The Jackbox Party Pack with viewers on Twitch, and one of the devs was in chat as this happened and said that they are aware of this issue and they are already working on a patch to address it. This begs the question, why not delay release then until the game functions properly? I’m sure they have their reasons, and the answer may not be as black and white as us outside the studio may believe it to be, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing that the only drawing game is currently the worst in this title.
Each game has its own settings that can be changed and feature settings such as family-friendly questions and answers as well as options for streamers such as extended timers, requiring Twitch logins, and the ability to censor answers from being shown. As far as the Switch version of The Jackbox Party Pack goes, it suffers from long load times when going back to the main menu—the same as previous titles on the console—but is otherwise a solid port.
A digital download of this game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. For more details see our ethics and review policies here.