Another year, another Jackbox Party Pack. My friends and I are huge fans of this series and return to it numerous times throughout the year. Usually, with each new Party Pack, you get maybe three good games and two bad ones, so I was interested in seeing if the latest would keep up that trend.
As I did with my previous Jackbox Party Pack reviews, I am going to talk about each game individually instead of doing my usual pro/con format.
Quiplash 3 was a good bit of fun. It’s by no means the strongest game in the pack, but it takes the already solid Quiplash formula and delivers the best version yet. You basically answer a series of prompts with what you think is the funniest and best-fitting answer and those answers go up against others in a series of rounds until you get to the multi-answer finale and all the points are tallied up. It’s pretty simple really, but the Jackbox team has done a great job with all the creative prompts, the visuals and music, and just the overall presentation.
This is something you’ll see extend to the other games in the pack as well, they’ve really upped the visual side of things this time around. Regardless, Quiplash 3 is a solid first game for the pack and one my friends and I will be returning to.
The Devils and the Details
The Devils and the Details is easily one of, if not the most, chaotic games I have ever played in any of the Jackbox games. It plays very differently from the rest of the pack, being a co-op survival game of sorts where you each play as a member of a family trying to complete certain tasks before the end of each day. However, each family member has a personal score and it can be increased by completing selfish tasks that harm the rest of the family. This creates this cool dynamic where you’re both trying to help out the rest of the group while also trying to stay above the rest.
The actual tasks are divided into individual and group tasks – with the latter being where the chaos comes into play. They oftentimes require you to instruct another player, but when you have seven or so people playing at once, it quickly becomes a mess of players shouting instructions at others and trying to get everything done by the time limit. It can get very loud, but that’s the point of the game and I quite enjoyed the change of pace compared to the other games’ comedy-centric focus. It may not get the laughs, but it will definitely get the communication going in a chaotic fun sort of way.
Champ’d Up ended up being my favorite game of the pack. Every pack has a drawing game, and Champ’d Up not only expands on the drawing tools offered in the previous packs through colors choices and an undo button, but pits drawings against each other in a very cool way. You’re basically tasked with drawing something against another drawing without knowing the category that the two are competing in – only the original drawer knows the category. This can create some very cool matchups and the worse your drawing skill, the funnier it becomes.
This was one of the two games in the pack where my group literally couldn’t breath because we were laughing so hard at some of the drawings, and the way the game facilitates these matchups just makes it all that much better. Jackbox always seems to knock it out of the park with the drawing games and Champ’d Up is no exception.
Talking Points is the game that had the most laughs from my group. And not just regular laughs, but the kind where you find yourself wheezing. It’s a presentation-style game where you have one player presenting on a topic they know nothing about and another player feeding the first player new text and picture slides for their slideshow. As the presenter does not know what slide is coming up next, there is a ton of adlibbing involved, but that’s what really makes the game shine. You gotta somehow link together all of these unrelated images and lines and it can lead to some pretty funny moments.
For example, I pitched my presenter an image of a squirrel, then sausages, and then house keys, and he managed to weave it together into this werewolf narrative that had the rest of the group dying. It’s definitely the simplest game in the pack in terms of its design, but it’s got some top-tier execution and provides a solid foundation for a simple, yet fun party game – the type you can just bust out with any group and get to playing.
Blather ‘Round is without a doubt the weakest game in the pack. It’s not outright bad, but it definitely doesn’t click like the rest of the games do. It’s basically a trivia game played using word charades. You get a word and have to convey it through a limited set of other words and player guesses as they come in. What my group found was that a lot of the prompts are simply too hard, even the ones marked as “easy”. For example, I would get something like Bikini Bottom, which you would think would be at least somewhat easy to pitch, but the clues are so abstract that half of my group was guessing oceans and lakes and such and the other half was guessing coastal cities.
Of course, just like the other games in the pack, this is all going to depend on the group you play with. Blather ‘Round is just the type of game that is better played among those that like trivia games (and this is coming from someone that does). Even then though, it’s still missing that hook that makes me want to come back to it.
The Jackbox Party Pack 7 is yet another solid addition to the series, definitely one of the better ones. It’s got some really good highlights – most notably Champ’d Up and Talking Points – but some other fun additions as well – Quiplash 3 and The Devils and the Details. The only one that didn’t quite stick was Blather ‘Round, but even then, it’s not outright bad like the usual bad game included in past Party Packs. If anything, this might be the most well-rounded pack yet.
Quote: The Jackbox Party Pack 7 is yet another solid addition to the series and the most well-rounded pack yet. Champ’d Up, Talking Points, Quiplash 3, there’s quite a few highlights this time around!
You can buy The Jackbox Party Pack 7 on Steam here. It is also available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Mac App Store, Fire TV, and Android TV.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.