23rd Nov2017

‘The Jackbox Party Pack 4′ Review (PS4)

by Phil Wheat

jackbox-party-pack-4

Jackbox Games have carved out quite a niche in the video game market – with a game and a mobile phone you can turn your console into a party machine, accessible to all the family no matter their age or experience. They’ve also found their games the subject of a LOT of YouTube videos… In fact it was on YouTube that I first discovered the Jackbox Party Pack games – watching Sourcefed Nerd/Super Panic Frenzy play a number of their games and look like they were having a lot of fun! There’s also been a growing trend of people streaming the games on Twitch, getting their audience to login and play along.

Now comes The Jackbox Party Pack 4, the fourth (obviously) game in the franchise; which is pretty much an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” kind of deal, with five more examples of the party game crammed into this latest iteration including Fibbage 3 and it’s spin-off Fibbage: Enough About You, Monster Seeking Monster, Civic Doodle, Survive the Internet and Bracketeering.

Fibbage 3 is the latest entry in the Call My Bluff-esque mini-game series, following the first two games included in the first two Jackbox Part Pack titles. The aim is to fill in the blanks in a sentence with a lie to fake out the others players but you must also try and spot the truth in the answers that appear on screen – winning points for both finding the truth and tricking your opponents into choosing your lie as the (in)correct answer. This time round the game also includes a “spin-off” of sorts, which sees players create lies about themselves and other players in order to fool the rest of those taking part. Of all the mini-games included in The Jackbox Party Pack 4 Fibbage 3 is far and away the much better game.

Meanwhile Monster Seeking Monster is a bizarre supernatural dating sim that sees players text each other messages in the hopes of having their monster avatars date successfully. Honestly, the less said about this game the better – it’s easily the weakest game in the pack and probably the weakest game in the entire Jackbox Games stable (and that’s counting the old “You Don’t Know Jack” titles); though the monster designs within this game are kind of cute. For monsters.

Civic Doodle is this title’s equivalent of Drawful, another Jackbox game, and sees players team up to draw images. The concept is that the city council ran out of money and so cannot finish murals around the city and it’s the players “civic” duty to finish off the murals. So that’s the setup… the game itself sees players login in to the Jackbox.tv website (as with all the games in The Jackbox Party Pack 4) and complete the image as quickly and more importantly as humorously as they can. Players then vote on their favourite drawing and the game continues with players adding more and more to the winning image until it, usually, ends up a ridiculous mess!

The last two games – Survive the Internet and Bracketeering – return to more of the quiz format of Fibbage 3, pitting players head to head against one another. Survive the Internet is the most vicious of the games – with the aim of the game to humiliate your opponent by twisting their answers to simple, often innocent questions, by crafting a new question that make their answer look as ridiculous as possible. Players then vote on their favourite question and answer combo, with the most points going to the question writer. Finally Bracketeering sees players asked a question and each answer is paired up, and the players must vote on their favourite of the two on-screen answers. You can also try and guess which of the answers will get the most votes to earn extra points – it’s simple but very effective gameplay that is second only to Fibbage 3 in this particular party pack.

Whilst the included mini-games were, for the most part, a lot of fun and – of course – I know that this is a PARTY game and is advertised as such, but you have to question who makes a party pack that features mini-games only playable by 3 or more players? Yes, the Jackbox games have a reputation that proceeds them, however when it comes to new players, and more importantly new purchasers, it seems ridiculous that not all the titles available with The Jackbox Party Pack 4 aren’t for 2 or more players! As it is, if you’re only playing with a roommate, partner, etc. then you can only access and play Fibbage 3, none of the other four games can even be started with less than 3 players – so what are you to do? Login to the Jackbox.tv site with an extra phone/tablet and fake players? Seems stupid not to divulge the 3-players minimum requirement before people purchase…

As long as you’re aware of that and have the necessary (and more importantly compatible) mobile/tablet devices for enough players, then The Jackbox Party Pack 4 makes for a fun evening in front of the TV with friends. Just make sure you have plenty of them!

The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is out now on just about every concieveable console/format known to video game playing man – including Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Windows PC and Mac via Steam, the Humble Store and Bundle Stars, as well as the Mac App Store, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Nvidia Shield(!)

PS4 review code provided by Jackbox Games

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