Written by Gregg Dietz and Edited by Ryan Copper
Here we are again with a new stack of party games from the wonderful folks at Jackbox Games. This year we have 5 ½ games that all play very well. The list goes as such: “Fibbage 3," “Fibbage: Enough About You,” “Survive The Internet,” “Monster Seeking Monster,” “Bracketeering,” and “Civic Doodle.” I'll be reviewing each one individually then the pack as a whole. Let's begin with “Fibbage3.”
“Fibbage 3” is more of the same in terms of what began this new age of Jackbox. When “Fibbage” first released, I had realized that it could work on streams. This was also the revelation for other streamers to the point that Jackbox also noticed and added features for those streamers and audiences. One of those features that was added to “Fibbage 3” is a lie that the audience votes for. Allowing the chat to play along beyond giving thumbs up to funny lies is very welcome.
The ½ part of this pack is “Fibbage: Enough About You.” The reason it's not considered a full game in the pack is because it's just “Fibbage,” but a bit more personal. If you are playing this with people you are not familiar with, you learn things you never thought you'd know. The biggest downside to this game is either playing with random viewers via twitch or people who don't want to answer the question honestly. But that's user issues and not with the game itself. The visual aesthetic is designed to look and sound like a 70’s game show which is super appreciated.
The next game is “Survive the Internet.” It makes you and your friends look like the worst kinds of people. The game’s visuals look similar to Windows 98. The general idea here is everyone gets a personal question, much like “Enough About You,” must be answered honestly. After answering the question, another player at random will receive just your answer with no name or context. They must then take that answer and add the title of a YouTube video, the name of a kickstarter campaign, a forum question, a hashtag etc. depending on the category. If the people you play with have fantastically warped senses of humor, this game can become the funniest of the pack.
The 3rd game was something that took time to grow on me, “Monster Seeking Monster.” The game is presented as just a silly dating game where everyone is a secret monster, but it's so much more than that. There are 6 nights and at the end of each night, everyone chooses who they want to date. Each successful date is rewarded with a heart, the most hearts at the end of the final night is the winner. However, as stated before, each player is a monster with a secret power that has an effect on the game. For example, the Vampire will turn anyone they date into a vampire and those who are vampires will then also become vampires. So this player's goal is to date a different person each night and try not to date another vampire. There are 16 monsters that can be used regardless of there being only 7 players. Now you may be asking “how do you convince others to date me?” This is done at the beginning of each night through text messages, with each player only having 4 to send on that night. So the level of nuance and strategy is very high. Admittedly, it took me a few play throughs to understand, but once I did, I fell in love with it. The art and music here are also incredible.
The 4th game in the pack is “Bracketeering.” This game seems to have the same ideas as “Guesspionage” but with slightly duller visuals and better sounds. The idea here is that an opinionated question that no one really cares about is asked, and up to 16 players answer it. Then everyone will be shown 4 answers, including their own, to then bet on what they think will be the winner. After which, everyone then systematically votes on answers that will then get eliminated in bracket form. Points are awarded to winners of brackets and those who bet correctly. The second round of this is much like the first, except no one knows the question, the game will simply ask for something innocuous. After everyone has submitted an answer, the question is revealed. The blind bracket round is quite fun, but round 3 becomes even more entertaining. The triple-blind bracket changes the question with each part of the eliminations. It's truly the most entertaining part of the game.
The final game in the pack is “Civic Doodle,” a community-based drawing game. There are 2 parts to this game, the first being that everyone competes 2 at a time to create a mural for the city. This becomes pure chaos as the further you get, the less people seem to care about making a continued piece of art. The second part of the game is slightly different but also better. Everyone must create a portrait by drawing each part of a face one piece at a time. Eyes, then nose, then mouth, and once that's all done, you are allowed to draw whatever you'd like. In my experience, this is my least favorite game in the pack. However,with the right crowd, it could be an amazing game, just not with random viewers on the stream.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoy what this pack has to offer. It does feel more in-line with board games than online games like the last pack. “Tee K.O.” and “Quiplash” are some of the best games created for streamers. That's not to say the 4th pack doesn't work for streamers, but that this whole pack feels better suited for a local group. I like to think that Jackbox just wants to make tabletop games, but knows digital is where the money is at. I really enjoy how Jackbox continues to innovate on how this new digital party game genre works. Each game in this pack is different and unique to what we know and play. If you're a fan of the past iterations, I highly recommend that you pick this one up. I give Jackbox Party Pack 4 a 7 outta 10.
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