New year, new Jackbox Party Pack. Last year’s Party Pack 8 was a bit of a disappointment – at least to me and my friends – so it is now time for the 9th to hopefully redeem the series a bit. And as usual with this series, I will be talking about each game in the pack individually.
Fibbage is back and it’s just okay I guess? I mean, Fibbage was never really a favorite in my group and this is literally just more of that, with more categories, a revamped final round, and this funky new VHS feature that incorporates old movie clips into the game. The movie clip thing is cool, but really, your fun in this one will come from how good a liar you and your friends are.
There are some funny moments, but this ended up being one of the weaker games in the pack due to just how little it felt changed compared to past iterations – it felt like a waste of a slot in this pack.
Roomerang has easily one of the best concepts for a Party Pack game. It plays a lot like a reality TV show – perhaps Big Brother is the closest comparison – where you’re assigned a character and a quirk that needs to be acted out on that character (I had shy grocer, for example). Then you get to answer prompts and vote in order to thin out the crowd – with each round concluding with a vote to eliminate one player.
The catch being that even if you are eliminated, you just return as a new character with one letter in your name changed – which we thought was hilarious and made for some really cool roleplaying moments. That said, one’s success in this mode depends a lot on the quirk you are given – some are SUPER easy to make jokes with whereas others are much more difficult. That and it was a bit disappointing that all of the rounds are simple question prompts and no other activities to spice things up – it would have been cool to see them do another format or something like they did with Fibbage 4 and the video clips.
Roomerang games also last the longest out of any in this pack and feel like they can drag on, ranking it towards the bottom of this pack along with Fibbage.
And now we’re starting to get to the good stuff with Junkopia – yet another addition with a brilliant concept. This time though, it actually has some decent execution to go along with it! It revolves around receiving a random image of some random item, coming up with a name and backstory for said item, and then having it appraised by the other players based on what you came up with. The items themselves range from artifacts to literal sausage horses and it plays a lot like Talking Points from Party Pack 7 where most of the fun comes from the creative freedom to present as you like with just enough direction given from the game so that you’re not completely lost.
It strikes a good balance there and a lot of laughs were had from this one due to the sheer absurdity of some of the presentations. Junktopia ended up being the favorite of many in my group and my personal second favorite, definitely one we’ll return to.
So we usually get a drawing game in each new Party Pack and that is basically this one – Nonsensory. The catch being that the drawing stuff is only a portion of it and the rest of the game revolves around guessing the likeliness of various prompts written by the players. After a certain point, the prompts become drawings, which is a nice change of pace, but it is a bit disappointing to see the usual drawing game slot in the pack taken up by something that doesn’t emphasize that element.
That said, the game itself is good. The prompts are funny, there’s plenty of variety, and the laughs were plenty. This is another case of a Jackbox game providing a really good base and just letting the players roll with it without being locked into something super specific and hard to work with. As the drawing game of the pack it’s a disappointment, but as a game on its own, it’s actually pretty good.
And then we have Quixort – my favorite game of the pack and perhaps the best trivia game that I’ve played in any of these Party Packs. You’re split into teams and tasked with sorting tiles based on a given prompt – such as procedural TV shows by episode count, sovereign states by founding date, or even straight-up mathematical equations that you need to solve on the spot. The categories are all over the place and, as a trivia nut, it was a lot of fun to discuss amongst the team where each tile would go. There’s a bit of strategy too, as you need to leave room on the conveyor in the event one tile needs to go further left or right than one already placed and the game even throws curveballs by giving you fake tiles too (those need to be disposed of).
It’s a bit different from the usual Jackbox game given the team approach and the fact that the teams do not play simultaneously, but it adds a nice competitive edge that the other games in the pack are lacking in, rounding out the collection nicely while still providing the laughs – just in a different way (like suddenly forgetting the simplest of math concepts when solving equations due to the pressure).
The Jackbox Party Pack 9 is an improvement over the previous pack, including some solid highlights – Quixort and Junktopia – and other fun additions too. It may not be among the best from the series (it may be a while before we match the high that was Party Pack 7), but it is definitely one my friends and I will be returning to, even if just for a few of the games.
Quote: The Jackbox Party Pack 9 is an improvement over the previous pack, including some solid highlights – Quixort and Junktopia – and other fun additions too.
The Jackbox Party Pack 9 retails for $30 USD on Steam.
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.