Jackbox party pack is a franchise that releases every year, offering easy to pick up party games that players can enjoy socially in a local setting. Every year, my family plays the newest installment of Jackbox over the holiday break, and here are my initial impressions of every game released in Jackbox’s 8th installment.
Drawful Animate lets players draw 2 images which are played back to back to create an incredibly simplistic animation. Then, each contestant’s animation is turned over to the rest of the audience to guess what prompt was originally given to the artist. The premise is simple, but executed well, and the creative prompts were solid enough to spur creativity from most of the participants. Nothing revolutionary here, but a solid party game nonetheless.
The Wheel of Enormous Proportions
The Wheel of Enormous proportions was by far the weakest of the bundle and left most of our players ready for it to end before it was even halfway finished. This game revolves around answering trivia questions then spinning a roulette wheel to determine your score. There honestly did not feel like any consequence to your actual trivia ability (which was mostly very obscure and left most of the participants frustrated) with this roulette mechanic. With a runtime that overstayed its welcome given the simplistic mechanics of this game, it just wasn’t very fun.
Poll Mine is a cooperative exercise splitting the group into two parties who must answer survey questions then rank the results from most popular to least. This game promoted the most cooperation of any in the pack, as the group must collectively decide on how they want to rank selected answers to the results of the initial survey. Answer correctly, and you progress through the mine, but answer incorrectly, and you lose a torch, which represents your life in the game. The team with the most correct answers (and torches) at the end escapes. I enjoyed the unique chibi D&D inspired sprites, and overall the first go around of this game is pretty fun. However, the drawback here is the lack of deviation between new playthroughs. Once you’ve played it once, you’ve pretty much seen all there is to see.
Definitely the standout of the bundle. In Job Job, players must write brief stories about themselves and then other players are tasked with using select words from those stories to answer interview questions. This simple idea still led to some funny responses and the open ended concept is sure to have plenty of replayability down the line. As long as you don’t mind writing a bit in the beginning, I think most players will find fun to be had here.
The concept of this game has a lot of potential, but you will need a group of invested players who pay close attention to the instructions and rules prior to starting. On my first playthrough, there was a lot of confusion around the concept and objective of the game. Players must draw their murder weapons to use to kill another character in the game, but to be successful they must include a calling card in the form of a their first initial, which they must hide in their drawing. Then, they must choose which character to target and then once the round is over it is up to the group to dermine who murdered who. It’s an interesting premise but a bit convoluted and many of the players in my group took a few rounds to get a handle of the concept. Also, the game is a bit susceptible to cheesing, as you can simply scribble over your hidden initial making it a total crapshoot for the group to guess who was behind said drawing. I’d have to play a bit more of this one, but so far my verdict is interesting, but flawed.
Overall, Jackbox Partypack 8 was a solid but unspectacular addition to the series. I can see myself going back to Job Job and Drawful Animate, but games like the Wheel of Enormous Proportions are better left unplayed at your next get-together. For Jackbox fans, there are enough standouts here to keep you interested, but for newcomers I’d recommend Jackbox 3 as a good jumping off point.