The Jackbox Party Pack 2 PC Review
The Jackbox Party Pack 2 is impossible to recommend if you don’t have any friends to play with. It’s also hard to recommend if you can’t get friends to play in the same room as you. If you can get some people to join in, then you could be in for a treat.
What is included in it is a collection of five party games: Fibbage 2, Quiplash XL, Earwax, Bidiots and Bomb Corp.
Earwax seems to get the most laughs out of players with it’s fairly novel concept. Each round one player is picked as a judge, who then picks a question to ask everyone else. Other players then have to pick sound effects that best suit it, usually the funniest ones win. What’s great about it is that when first playing it, you have no idea what the sounds actually are when you pick them, you only have a text description. It basically makes it surprising even for those picking the sounds.
Bomb Corp is probably the closest thing to a traditional video game included in the collection. Each player is given pages from a manual and then has to use that information to disarm bombs. It’s incredibly tense and fun to reason out the right way to do it, especially considering that the way certain rules are written can encourage that kind of chaos.
Bidiots is probably the most interesting idea, but it doesn’t do a very good job of explaining how it works. In this game you are asked to draw 2 pictures, which are then put up for auction. Those pictures are given arbitrary values, and every player has to bid on them in the hopes that they can then make a profit on them later. While a little frustrating to play initially with players who don’t quite get it, it can be quite fun once you eventually know what you’re doing.
Fibbage 2 and Quiplash XL are similar to games previously released by Jackbox Games, and are really cool ideas, but don’t do much new, they just add extra content.
And that is an issue with these games; they rely on a limited amount of content. Enthusiastically play them too much and you can see yourself running into certain things repeating a lot. It’s a shame knowing that if you routinely play it a lot, it can have a limited shelf life.
Every game is put together in a wonderfully quirky way, with its humorous voice-overs and they all have their own distinct looks. The opening menu screen presents all the games as a collection of boxes, and playing it feels like bringing out the family’s board games.
You won’t even need to bring any extra controllers, every game connects to a server, which you can then access via an internet browser (using a phone, tablet or computer). It’s a very smart system that saves a lot of money on controllers, and most people these days have an internet connected smartphone.
There is a workaround if you can’t get players in the same room to play with you, by live-streaming your game over the internet, but it’s not a completely perfect solution.
If you can get some friends in front of a screen and fancy a good laugh, The Jackbox Party Pack 2 is worth investing in, however it’s jokes can get old if overplayed and is worthless without people to play with.