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The Jackbox Party Pack

January 6, 2015
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Everyone here knows that I read Penny Arcade, but, I should mention that I am not a PA fan, in the same way that I am not a fan of Tarantino.  So, it probably won’t surprise you when I direct you to Tycho’s “review” of Fibbage, one of the games in the Jackbox.

A game I am good at, though, is the one where people make up definitions for a strange word and try to trick others with their fake definitions, gaining points thereby.  Fibbage is like a trivia version of that game, where it might say that some place has a golf course in a _______, and every player submits a fake answer.  Then, you try to choose the right answer in a minefield of your friends’ bullshit.  It’s pure fucking magic.  The longer it goes, the more self referential it becomes; it generates running gags that show up in the answers and then even in the names you choose for the next round.  Drawful is a further embroidery of that concept, cross-bred with the vigor of Pictionary DNA.  Now, instead of a trivia question, every player gets a private word or phrase that they have to draw.  I’ll explain how in a second.  Then, what you have drawn gets titled by all of your friends, and everyone has to pick the real one from the tangled and generally hilarious mess.  Oh!  You also draw your own icon.  I’ve gotten twenty five dollars worth of entertainment from this game before it even starts.

Something that unites these games is that you play them from your fucking phone.  This is a huge part of their appeal, weirdly.  Everyone has a private screen they can enter data on, and it’s their phone.  People love their phones.  They aren’t the gruesome, jewel studded yokes we leverage to control games, devices which normals often respond to as they would a sacrificial kris or hefty Desert Eagle.  Everybody signs into the website and puts in the code on the screen, literally the most rudimentary pairing, and they’re a contestant.  There’s a little latency that mostly shows up in the more time sensitive You Don’t Know Jack, but God Damn.  The phone aspect by itself flattens the demographic availability.  Anybody can play.  And they will.  You might have to kill one of them to make the others leave.

One of the other games, Lie Swatter, apparently allows up to 100 people to join in.  At the time when Microsoft, via Xbox Live, tried that wildly successful (at least in terms of love from members here) experimental gameshow, 1 vs 100, I was shut out because of my IP.  Bastards!

I’m ready for this.  I hope that at least some of you are, too.  By the way, it looks like if only one of us owns it, all the others can play.

Once a game is started from the in-pack menu, players simply connect to the “jackbox.tv” web address on their device and then enter the on-screen room code to enter a game. No big mess of controllers needed!   Xbox.com

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7 Comments
  1. Herandar permalink
    January 7, 2015 8:51 am

    Oh good. I was looking for an excuse to get this… 😉

  2. January 7, 2015 7:36 pm

    I can’t not talk football.

    Some “analyst” just put up his quarterback ratings and I take exception to it.

    My ranking is as follows:

    1. Rodgers and Flacco – Cool as cucumbers. Will make lemonade out of lemons, and will serve it up ice cold in the heat of the day.

    2. Wilson – Really short with a great head on his shoulders…and legs under his hips.

    3. Brady – Too many of his championships under questionable circumstances.

    4 Luck – Untested

    8. Romo – Tested and failed. Lots to prove.

    8. Manning – Silver spoon footballer, a box of chocolates, and the only explanation for his last horrific month of football is a massive undisclosed injury.

    8. Newton – Whateva – Only got this far because the Cardinals played so badly. I couldn’t believe that Dameshek didn’t rank that game as number one in his latest “Shek Shame Report”. That was some sorry ass football.

    If Seattle doesn’t destroy the Panthers with a massive score difference, it was only because of their own hubris. I am also expecting a big Broncos blowout with Manning giving the Colts at least 14 points in interceptions.

    The other two games should be close and very entertaining.

  3. Herandar permalink
    July 2, 2015 11:21 am

    Okay, we got it, and have had a few nights when my brother and all the kids have ventured into the games. I even got my mother to play last night, which is pretty miraculous. The games are pretty brilliant.

    Playing with small children leads to a lot of ‘poop’ answers, and also spelling errors which make it easier to sort out the wrong answers on Fibbage and Drawful.

    These are first and foremost party games, and most of the games need you to see the television screen. The only game that is really viable with players outside of the room is also quickly becoming my favorite “game”, and that is Word Spud. It’s not really competitive; honestly, it’s more creative and humorous. I mean, you can play it to win, certainly, but I think it goes a lot better when the objective is to make the other players laugh. Would love to try and join a game of it if you play, Suns.

    Also, will try to link some Word Spud game result images here later once I brush up on my html. They should show on my (and my brother’s) Activity Feed already.

    • July 2, 2015 4:06 pm

      Herandar, thank you for the review. I actually got a refund (I used my “once-a-year” ticket on that). I guess I should have written that here, but nobody seemed interested at the time (except those that tried it with me and saw the results).

      The game is not made for online play at all. It says that it is for online play, but it isn’t. Only the host gets to see the answers etc. etc. All of the fun you had, as you said, was because everyone got to see everyone else’s funny answers. When you play with others online, no one can see anyone else’s answers. I was in disbelief when I discovered that, and misleading advertising was part of my complaint when seeking a refund. It is a local, single living room/tv party game.

      Glad to hear that you have had fun with it in the local setting. I doubt it not.

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