Review: Jackbox Party Pack 8

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Everyone takes your phone chargers

Not to brag, but I played Jackbox games since the very first pack, so I’m a lifelong fan. Play through favorites like KO T-shirt and Discussion points This is how my quarantine buddies and I got through most of the lockdown, so they got pretty close to my heart. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to check out the new pack for work. Well, I played it with these same midlife buddies, and we all had a few thoughts.

Jackbox Party Pack 8 Drawful Animate

The Jackbox Party Pack 8 (Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 [reviewed], PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S)
Developer: Jackbox Games
Publisher: Jackbox Games
Released: October 14, 2021
MSRP: $ 29.99

The first game featured in the pack was a return classic with a new twist, which has become a staple of the game. Jackbox Party packs. This time it’s Animate attractive (3-10 players), and classic Pulling the rules are still in place – you are asked to draw a silly prompt, and after viewing the drawing, the other players submit their own titles. The twist, however, is that instead of a normal, static drawing, you actually need to draw a second frame for it to come alive.

Let me tell you that as someone who has absolutely no artistic skills at all, I was nervous as to how this one would play out for me. Having non-judgmental friends to play with certainly helps, but otherwise the game makes my animations come to life very easily. The prompts are also as crazy as I expected which gave some pretty hilarious results. Animate attractive doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t have to. He keeps a new feeling of fan favorite, and sometimes that’s all you need.

The wheel of enormous proportions

Next on the list was a combined trivia game and a spinning wheel game called The wheel of enormous proportions (4-8 players). Basically you go through various sets of trivia questions, and the better you do, the more coins you have to put on a giant wheel. Then each player has a chance to spin the wheel, and once you have over 20,000 points you can spin another wheel for a chance to win.

I really enjoyed the trivia on this one – they give you a big list of possible answers and you have to pick the right ones from the lot, kind of like a bigger version of the last round of Murder party. It was pretty well balanced, although I have a friend who’s amazing at quizzes, so she smoked us on those early rounds.

Then you get to the wheel, well, you turn around and see what happens. Of course, there are chances of losing points, unintentionally giving points to other players if you land on their slice, or stealing points. I can’t lie, this part of the game relied almost entirely on luck rather than strategy. The friend who was good at quizzes, whose point total was more than double the rest of us combined, didn’t even win in the end. If you like the chaos and unpredictability that this element of randomness brings, you’ll love this game.

Work Work

The third was a cute little game simply called Work Work (3-10 players). The principle is that you apply for a new job in an office, so in the first round you answer the personal questions as an icebreaker, then in the second round you answer the interview questions. What’s the catch, you ask? You can only use words to answer your interview questions that other players have used as an icebreaker.

This led to some ridiculous answers, and I can say for sure that this game made us laugh the most of all the others in Jackbox Party Pack 8. It was simple, but once we figured out what kind of answers to give for round one we all chuckled at the crazy stuff we put together.

Jackbox Party Pack 8 Mine Survey

The penultimate game presented was called Mine survey (2-10 players), who I thought had one of the most impressive art styles of all Jackbox games I have played. You and your friends are split into two teams, with the goal of escaping a dungeon (getting the most correct answers). The game presents everyone with a poll that says something like “what’s the coolest hat?” “, And you have to rank your preferences.

Then you take turns with the other team to try to guess how everyone has ranked those items collectively. There is a good strategy for this one, as you have to try and speak with your teammates to decide what you think is the answer without giving too much information to the other team.

There are some fun twists and turns to this one, and overall I was impressed with the design of the game. Jackbox has made a few moves in the last few packs to give us more strategic games, and overall I think Mine survey was pretty successful at that.

Jackbox Party Pack 8

We ended the night with Drawn Weapons (4-8 players), a social deduction game where you play as both a murderer and a detective. A friend of mine and I played a lot of social deduction games together, so our hopes were high for this one.

This game has multiple rounds, first where you draw a picture of a crime weapon where you hide a letter of your player name, then you find a name for your guest, then you have a chance to kill the guest from someone else if you can match them to the player, then when the killings happen you all have to vote for who would have done it, then you get together and try to figure out who did it, and if this is the case, you must try to distract yourself from your case.

As you can see from this giant phrase, this game has a lot of moving parts. Too many moving parts, my group unanimously decided. We struggled to understand how or why we went from cycle to cycle in a few cases, and overall, Drawn Weapons turned out to be a bit more confusing than fun. Chances are we just need a bigger group, or play a bit more to understand, but it’s not an easy game to play with a few friends after having a few brewskies.

Jackbox Party Pack 8 Drawn Weapons

Unsurprisingly, Jackbox continues to raise the bar pack after pack with production value. The art direction, animation and visuals are stellar in Jackbox Party Pack 8, and my roommate who does voice acting for games has repeatedly noticed how good the voiceover is. Another thing to note is that a friend of mine said that she often had to switch between apps when ordering food, and the reconnect button worked great every time she needed to come back to the game.

The settings menu was also very impressive, with customization options like turning on a family filter, different levels of profanity filters, and all kinds of stuff for streamers that I don’t know what they’re doing, but damn it, you streamers will find them super useful. There are just a few quality of life changes and accessibility options that it’s nice to see become more important as the Jackbox the series continues.

Drawn Weapons

If I’m brutally honest it’s not one of my favorites Jackbox packages.

We have always had a lot of fun playing, but for me, Jackbox is at its peak when the games are straightforward and the interactions with you and your friends really shine. There is a reason why Quiplash and Pulling have been so successful – they’re really good at letting us show off our creativity, often for hilarious purposes. I have a hard time with games like The wheel of enormous proportions and Drawn Weapons because they’re so bogged down with a long list of rules, I might as well play a table game. I know there will be players who will really enjoy trying something new (I mean we’re eight packs, it makes sense that they want a little more variety), but personally I prefer the silly at the strategic when it comes to this kind of social games.

If you’re a longtime fan of the show, I say it’s definitely worth trying something new, but if Jackbox Party Pack 8 this is the first time you try Jackbox out, I recommend taking a look at some of the older packs first.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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