[Review] Jackbox Party Pack 6 – Nintendo Switch

Written by Mel Curtis
  • Developer:  Jackbox Games
  • Publisher: Jackbox Games
  • Release date: October 17, 2019
  • Price: £25.99 / $29.99
  • Review code provided by Jackbox Games
A Family Affair

My family seemed to be mildly irritated wit me when I told them the next game that I was going to be reviewing was a party game that I would need their help with. It took a little convincing to get them interested in playing with me, but it was vital if I was going to properly test out Jackbox Party Pack 6. The people that I live with are a fairly diverse group, side from us all being women. So, I think it is important that you understand the makeup of the group that this game was tested on so you can estimate if it would work with your planned captives, I mean friend-group.

  • Mel – Myself, a early 20’s avid lover of games both digital and physical.
  • A – My late 40’s mother who does not care about video games in the slightest, prefers Apples to Apples over Cards Against Humanity
  • S – My 19 year old little sister who doesn’t play a lot of video games, mostly Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, and  Minecraft, though she loves Portal as well.
  • K – My 15 year old little sister who likes to play games, but relies on me to tell her what is coming out that she might like. Plays a lot of mobile games.

My little sisters had thankfully played a Jackbox Party Pack at a school club before so once they found out what we were going to be playing, they got very excited. As someone who had not played before, I took this as a good sign.

Jack-Out-of-the-Box

Before we get into looking at each of the games that were included in this pack, I might as well talk about the way that game plays in general. Everyone who is playing needs some kind of device with an internet browser in order to be able to play by entering a room set up by the game. This is excellent, since it avoids having to teach someone the controls of a game. Everyone knows how to tap a few things of the screen of their phone or click around on a computer. There’s also a lot of options in regards to age limiting thee game to make it more safe for families with younger children to play. However, the game will only remove the not suitable for young ages prompts that it has in its games. It will not censor anything that the players input.

If you want to make sure that the players all behave, there is a setting that makes it so the VIP player must approve everything before it is allowed on screen. I’ll be the first to admit that even on prompts that were not inappropriate, we had a bit of hard time not taking things in a more dirty direction, but maybe we;re just a dirty minded bunch.

Push the Button (4-10 players)

This game was the one that gave us the most trouble. If you’ve ever played a Mafia-style game (One Night Werewolf, Town of Salem) then you know what you’re getting into here. There is an alien among you, figure out who it is by challenges and vote them off the island. While the game is fun, my mother struggled to get a handle on it at first. This is one of those ones that might take you a few rounds to fully come to grips to, meaning the first round could be frustrating enough to certain players that they might not want to play a second.

I also think he game is very heavily weighted in the favor of the alien. It makes sense in some ways, as they are the minority of the group, but when I played as the alien, I did feel it to be a bit too easy. The alien player quickly gets access to the ability to hack others and themselves, which not only can neutralize their own shortcomings, but can allow them to put suspicion on another. You can only hack one player at a time, but in a small game, this isn’t really a detriment. This is something that I think could have benefited from a little more balancing.

Joke Boat (3-8 players)

This game has an interesting concept in that it begins with all the players basically doing some mad-libs in order go get the words that will be chosen from in order to formulate the first half of a joke, which the players must then finish out with a punchline. Everyone then votes between two of them in order to assign points. We had a lot of fun with this one… at first.

Unfortunately, Joke Boat is much like a joke that goes on too long, it looses interest over time. There are three rounds, and even with 4 players, going through all four wore thin after a while. I can only imagine how it would be with 4 players, having to go through twice the number of joke offs. The major problem is that you’re using the same words that were input in the beginning for all of the jokes. I would have been happier to just do two rounds and be able to refresh that stockpile of words that were put in. Either way, though, we laughed quite a lot and perhaps knowing there were three rounds going in might have better prepared us for how long it would take.

Dictionarium (3-8 players)

This was another game that had more than just one or two rounds, but it was made better by each of the rounds being very different from one another and there being a strong payoff at the end. Players are given a nonsense word and come up with a definition for it. Then, you must come up with a new synonym based on that definition. Finally, use the new synonym in a sentence. The most voted on instance in each becomes the basis for the next step and at the end, players are presented a dictionary definition made up of the highest scoring piece of each round.

This was  a clear favorite among us while playing. We collectively agreed that it was one of the best ones for playing during a party and the definition given at the end was a real highlight. Having the capability to screenshot these definitions with the press of a button on the switch just makes things all the better. This was one that we had a hard time keeping clean as players, though. Thankfully there weren’t any children around.

Role Models (3-6 players)

This is one that I unfortunately was not able to take any screenshots of while playing as I was blocked from doing so by the Switch. My best guess as to why this happened is that this is the only game that allows you to take a photo of yourself to serve as your avatar while playing, something that both of my little sisters did. In this game, players choose a category, then sort everyone, including themselves, into a role that is best suited to them. The categories are nonsensical and silly at times, but adds to the fun.

K professed this game to be her favorite, owing to the descriptions of what kind of a person a player is based off of how they were categorized by the other players over the course of the game. I have to give this game props for having my favorite visual style of the bunch as well. This is one of those games that is perhaps best played with an odd number of players since tiebreakers were the only thing that seemed to cause the game to drag and slow down for us.

Trivia Murder Party 2

This is the only game that is considered to be not safe for children in the pack (with others having options to make them child friendly). Part of me assumes this is for the dark and somewhat gory presentation of the game, with the implication that players are being killed off for answering incorrectly. Part of it is also likely from a lot of the trivia questions being things that a child just wouldn’t know. Yet, as a bunch of adults and older teenagers playing this game,

For A, S, and I, this game was our favorite. A lot of that came from the round moving quickly and the concept being understandable and easy to quickly pick up and play. If this is someone’s first JackBox game, this would be one of the best to start them out on both to get used to the controls of the game and get them in a competitive mood. Not to mention, who doesn’t love a good trivia game?

Let’s Wind the Party Down

This is a great party game, even if some of the games contained within are stronger than others. It’s fun for a wide range of people too, so I’m not worried about whipping it out at my next family gathering to give my family a kick of fun. It has me looking forward to trying the others out as well.

Pros
  • Capability to make things more family friendly if needed
  • Varied game play between games
  • Lots of laughs to be had
  • Each game is stylistically distinct and memorable
Cons
  • Games sometimes go on a bit longer than needed

Verdict

An extremely entertaining set of party games, even if they aren’t all created equal.

4/5

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