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The More the Merrier - The Jackbox Pary Pack 3 Review

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Review

The team over at Jackbox Games must be doing something right, because when I had people over to try out The Jackbox Party Pack 3 on Switch, it seemed like I was the only one who hadn't heard of the game. I'm sure the excellent integration for Twitch streaming that is built is partially to blame for that. Even though all of the games were new to me, it only took a few minutes before I had each of them down and was having blast.


Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, TV, Switch [Reviewed]
Developer: Jackbox Games
Release: April 13, 2017 (Switch)
MSRP: $24.99
Press copy provided by Jackbox Games


The Jackbox Party Pack 3 is a collection of five different games that are meant to be played with 3-8 players in a couch multiplayer or party type setting. The games are super easy to pick up and meant to be enjoyed by the casual player and gamer alike. What's more, chances are everyone at your party already brought their own controller for this game—it primarily uses smartphones so that each player can interact with the game independently.

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Quiplash 2

The first game in the pack, Quiplash 2, gives each player a series of open-ended questions and prompts them to give a short response to each. Each question is answered by two different players and their answers are then pitted againt each other; the rest of the players get to vote on the best answer. At the end of a few rounds, the player with the highest voted answers is declared the Quiplash champion.

This one has a "Cards Against Humanity" feel to it, but I think I actually prefer Quiplash because answers aren't limited to the cards you currently have in your hand. Everyone has a level playing field and this greatly increases the levels of hilarity present while playing. Another advantage to the Quiplash method is that the game can be played as "clean" or "dirty" as you'd like, meaning the game is as family-friendly as the players. Quiplash 2 is probably my second favorite game in the pack and is your best choice if you're looking for a good laugh.

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Trivia Murder Party

Trivia Murder Party is probably the most competitive game and perhaps the game with the most depth. Each player must correctly answer a trivia question (multiple choice) to avoid participation in a high stakes mini-game. Mini-games include answering a series of math problems, memorizing patterns, and even a version of the prisoner's dilemma (prepare to lose friends over that one). If you fail a mini-game: you die. Not to worry though, you'll still have a chance to win during a final race to the finish line and round of trivia.

This game will probably have the least appeal to casual players, but is still very approachable and fun. The trivia questions are sometimes pretty obscure (or maybe I'm just not good at trivia), but the mini-games keep things exciting even if you're not getting very many questions correct. My biggest beef with this game is the narrator/mediator; his voice is at best cheesy, but mostly it's just cringeworthy. Despite the off-putting narration, Trivia Murder Party is still a fun time for a round or two.

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Guesspionage

As you might be able to "guess" (please clap), Guesspionage is all about guessing. The game asks a single player to pick an exact percentage of people who they believe match the prompted criteria. After this initial guess, the remaining players wager whether the actual figures are lower or higher than the guess. Points are awarded to each player based on how close they were to the correct statistic.

This game is great because it gives each player a chance to show just how little they know about how people behave, and then gives the remaining people in the room the ability to rub-in how ridiculous of a guess it was. More than anything else, Guesspionage is great for learning very specific statistics that you'll never use again. This one is fun for a few rounds, but probably not much more than that in a single sitting.

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Tee KO

In Tee K.O. players will go through a number of phases to create the coolest, most funny, or even most inappropriate t-shirt as a group. The game starts by prompting each player to make a number of random drawings. Afterwards, each person will create as many different taglines or captions as they can in a time limit. Once all t-shirt elements are created, each player will get a random assortment of drawings and captions from the other players, and they must use them to create the best t-shirt. The shirts will then face off against each other in a player-voted tournament until only one t-shirt remains, its creator taking home the gold.

This one is probably my least favorite of the pack, but it's by no means a bad time. I found the pace to be a little slow and drawing to be difficult on the small screen of a smartphone. While the drawings sometimes add to the hilarity, most of the time they were so bad that we might as well just play Quiplash. The lack of direction with the drawings and captions mean that this game is built to reward shock humor over cleverness, which is fun at first but grows stale quickly. Tee K.O. is still a good time (you can even buy the shirts you create for a reasonable price), but I'd rather play some of the other games in the pack.

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Fakin' It

The final game in Jackbox Party Pack 3 is also my favorite. In Fakin' It, everyone in the group is asked a question and needs to respond via a certain visual cue, like a hand-raise or holding up a number of fingers. The caveat is that one member of the group does not get to see the question until after everyone has answered, but must try and blend in by answering anyway. It's the job of everyone except the "faker" to determine who the faker is, and they've got three rounds of questions to do so. The game continues like this for a number of rounds, with a faker being assigned at random each time.

This game works best with larger groups (5-6 players) that know each other fairly well. This makes it a little more challenging to identify the faker, but easier to catch the faker in a lie. When the question is something like "hold up as many fingers as you think there are teams in an NFL conference" and your American football loving buddy holds up six fingers, it becomes quite obvious who the faker is. This game plays a little like a simplified game of mafia where everyone works together to out another player. It's a lot of fun as both a faker and a normal player, especially if the faker is willing to defend their response with everything they've got.

Jackbox Party Pack 3 Fakin' It

The Switch version of The Jackbox Party Pack 3 plays identically to every other version of the game. Becuase most of the game is played on a smartphone (any device that can connect to the internet will work), the only thing the Switch controller is used for is choosing which game you want to play. Being able to take the game anywhere is nice, but not very practical with the size of the screen or the need for a constant internet connection. The visuals and audio in the game are presented well, but the game is largely text based, so they aren't anything to write home about.

The team over at Jackbox Games should pride themselves in the fact that they've released the best party game for Nintendo Switch to date (yes, that's a diss on 1-2 Switch). The five different games offer a laid-back casual expirience that can be as fun as the people that are playing. Fakin' It and Quiplash 2 are our favorite games in the package, but each was worthwhile and brought something to the table. The $25 price tag might be $5 too much, but it's not unreasonable when you compare it to the price of a single board game. Overall, The Jackbox Party Pack 3 is an exciting game for social events that can be enjoyed time and time again.


Pros

  • A variety of games that offer something for everyone
  • Fakin' It and Quiplash 2 offer hilarity and strategy
  • Great game for large parties and close groups of friends
  • The game runs perfectly and smartphone integration is genius

Cons

  • $25 is a little too expensive
  • A few of the games grow stale fast

Verdict

Great

Great

Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.

 

Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

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