With so many of us cut off from friends and family due to the lingering impact of the coronavirus, many have turned to online computer games as a way to interact. Jackbox has been around for a while now, and during my time in solitude, I cracked open previous games in the series and played them over Zoom with my mates. The latest entry, The Jackbox Party Pack 7, features some great new additions to the series, whilst building on one of the most famous to date. Each one offers a very different experience to the last, and most of them are great.
Quiplash 3 is pretty much the same as the previous two, albeit with a fancy new claymation-style aesthetic. You get given a sentence with a missing word, and have to fill in the blank with the funniest thing you can think of. Friends then vote on what they laughed at the most, which in turn rewards you with points. The final round asks you to give three answers to a particular question, and once it is time for your response to appear on the screen, other players will vote on your answers, or the computer’s.
In The Devils and the Details, you work with friends to complete daily jobs as part of a family of devils. A list appears on your phone of all the tasks you can complete e.g. phoning up for a pizza delivery, or fixing the broadband. Each completed task earns you points, however, you can work with others to earn more points by completing challenges together. If you want to be naughty, certain tasks can affect your family dynamic but can earn you a load of points. The goal is to work together, but you’ll win the game based on how many points you have. I didn’t enjoy this as much as others, but it was varied enough to give me plenty to do.
Champ’d Up sees you draw a character on your screen, and when a prompt appears on the screen, players will vote on which design fits it best. You can change colours for your picture which gives you more options to create something truly hideous, and the amount of weird and wonderful characters my friends and I created were nuts. If you’re like me, the first thing I drew was wildly inappropriate, but when the prompt appeared it fitted it surprisingly well. You can swap in previous drawings in the latter stage, but it all depends on whether it fits the prompt.
Talking Points has to be the best game of the bunch. Each of you will be given a sentence that you’ll need to complete, and that will act as a selection of TED Talks you have to do. Once you have picked one, your speech begins. As you are given a new direction to take your speech in, a friend can choose an image that has nothing to do with your speech to try and throw you off, except it becomes a hilarious challenge when you are faced with a pug wearing a pineapple on its head, or a postman wearing a horse mask. If you have ever watched Impractical Jokers, then I highly recommend you play this one first.
Finally, Blather Round sees you pick a character, story, or place from the list provided, then try and offer clues to your friends by picking words from a short selection to place in missing slots within a sentence. “They are ….. and …..” might be one of the sentences you have to fill, but sometimes the words on offer aren’t always helpful. I managed to get Australia after one sentence, but sometimes these can go on forever, and when your friends are guessing and they get read out, it can be so funny. Hearing Shrek thirty times when it is definitely not Shrek became a running joke, and it was a guess that always ended up popping up regardless of whether it was a location, a person, or a story.
The Jackbox Party Pack 7 features some great games, especially Talking Points and Blather Round. Quiplash 3 is still great, but it doesn’t really deviate from what made it so successful The Devils and the Details was fun, but it went on for too long and started to lose its shine as the days rolled on. Champ’d Up is OK, but it lacks the same quality of the better games. The voiceovers are still mildly annoying, but if you can get past that, there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had. If you love the series, this is probably one of the best, and if you are looking for something to play with friends or family you can’t see right now, this is something you should suggest.
Wide range of games
Talking Points and Blather Round are excellent
Voiceovers are still annoying
The Devils and the Details takes too long