Quiz fans rejoice. Jackbox is here to remedy the monotony of the family games night with it’s latest set of interactive competitive multiplayer games in Jackbox Party Pack 7.
If you’ve been under a rock for the last year then you likely haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing what’s on offer from a Jackbox Party Pack. The seventh iteration, like the previous six, collects a selection of competitive mini games that usually require at least three players to function and nearly always require participation from players to choose or create the most suitable answers available to them to win.
It’s also surprising to many first time players that you don’t need more than one controller to play but you each need an internet enabled device such as a phone, tablet or another laptop. Players connect to the Jackbox.tv website and “connect” back to the game you are hosting via a unique four letter code. Then utilising your handheld or lap device you can participate privately in each game or minigame without your friends seeing your choices or answers.
In the main it works very well, only very rarely did we have any type of disconnection or timeout challenge for the players and even when it does occur, reconnecting with the same username and room code gets players straight back into the swing without having to restart the game for all players.
Jackbox Party Pack 7 comes loaded with four new games and the next iteration on a Jackbox staple, Quiplash 3. The remaining games consist of some cooperative family chaos in Devil in the Details. Talking Points; where players are forced to give an unplanned speech whilst supported by other players. Blather Round; a guessing game where players try to describe the situation with preset phrases and Champed Up a fierce drawing game.
Quiplash 3 builds on its previous outings and it’s clear the developers have tried to push it as the premium offering in the package with an improved graphical overhaul. It continues to offer the ability to play with packages created by other players (although they may contain questionable or NSFW material) but doesn’t feel like a generational leap over what made it so interesting previously. If it isn’t broken then don’t fix it. Those looking to engage on social media platforms can still invite the audience to play along supporting the best quips from the main players.
Talking Points feels like it could be a little hit or miss depending on your playing partners. Given you have to speak on the spot about a random subject it’s more likely to get a better response from players who are suited to either speaking publicly or can wind a tale on any subject as the drop of a hat. If not then expect some uncomfortable silences as the timer counts down to zero although with the right players and atmosphere it can really stand out and creates some great ‘laugh out loud’ moments, especially where supporting players get to pick the imagery associated with the speech a player is giving mid speech.
Devil in the Details may be the most controversial offering as it hits a little too close to home for families playing together. As a family of demons you must work cooperatively to attain a joint points tally by the end of each day. Not only do you play out each mini game on your device to score points but you must; in some instances; work together with another player by barking instructions to them to help solve a particular dilemma. It can often descend into a shouting match between siblings and parents. It’s probably the most progressive of the general Jackbox game blueprints given Devil in the Details includes a lot of small interactive minigames, much more than any previous Jackbox entry.
It feels opportune for Jackbox to be releasing its latest party pack now of all times. With the UK threatening further isolation measures and a potential second lockdown; it’s good to see a release that focuses so much on player communication and interactions. Whether it’s gathering your immediate family (but not more than six) around the TV for a games evening or streaming a session with your friends over platforms like Twitch it’s a great example of gaming bringing people together even if it can be quite competitive.
There’s more quality of life improvements to make games and interactions easier than previous outings. Audio cues, spoken room codes and better social platform interactions are on offer although streams can still suffer somewhat from stream lag or latency and we experienced up to 30 seconds delay which can cause some issues when time is of the essence.
A fun selection of games for family and friends to come together over, Jackbox Party Pack 7 stands out over other party games as there are no real weak entries in this latest collection. At a time where the benefits of increased communication and human interaction is paramount, Jackbox Party Pack 7 provides.