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Quite possibly the best one yet!

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    The Jackbox Party Pack 4

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    Quite possibly the best one yet!

    When Jackbox Party Pack 4 was announced, my wife and I knew immediately that we were going to get it. We watched eagerly as each of the new games were announced and detailed and upon release, downloaded and put it to the test with our friends and family. But after some time with this collection, is the series finally getting stale or is it still the party game gold that the first three were? Absolutely the latter.

    The previous three games each brought five new games to the table and this time, Jackbox Games decided to up the ante a bit and offer five and a half (more on that later). Like the previous games, these games are all played with phones/tablets/computers either in a local party setting or online through streaming services (or both). The games included in this collection are Fibbage 3, the latest version of the game upgraded enough to be fresh, Fibbage: Enough About You, the game we know and love that instead focuses on how well you know the players, Survive the Internet, a hilarious modern take on the telephone game with the intent of embarrassing your friends, Monster Seeking Monster, a fake dating game where everyone has secret monster powers, Bracketeering, a tournament style game where everyone fights each other over who’s answers are better, and Civic Doodle, a drawing game where players vote on the best doodle and have to add onto it every turn. Each game supports eight players again (except MSM, which supports seven) and again includes options for streamers and local multiplayer.

    The first game included in the set is Fibbage 3 and has become a staple of the Jackbox series, having appeared in 3 of the 4 packs. Like the previous iterations, you are given a random trivia fact with a part removed and asked to fill in the blank with a lie that could pass off as the truth. For example, it might give you "Reviewer Jerry posts his reviews to ______" with GameFAQs being the answer. However, each player has to figure out a lie to insert into the blank, for example, "Youtube", "IGN", etc. After each player inserts a lie, the game asks you to pick the truth from all of the lies. If you pick the truth or someone picks your lie, you get points. If you’ve played either of the previous Fibbage games, you’ll know what to expect this time around. However, there are a few small tweaks this time that puts it above the others, namely, the way the audience and likes affect the game. Normally, players and audience members can like their favorite lies to give an ego boost to the player who wrote them. This time, each like is worth a small amount of points, meaning players who both tie in a round can gain a competitive edge by getting other players and audience members to like their answers. Audience members can also play along by voting on a lie that appears in game as well as choosing what they think are lies and truths. There are even double categories where you have to think up two lies (though the ‘lie for me’ option is still included). While it’s honestly more of the same that we know and love, it’s an awesome inclusion and the additional tweaks make this game more fun and competitive.

    Also included with Fibbage is a brand new mode that warrants it’s third inclusion: Fibbage: Enough About You! This game takes the Fibbage you know and love and centers it about the people playing the game rather than random trivia facts. In the first round, it asks you to fill in the blank to a random trivia fact, such as "Jerry thinks _____ is still a great movie, despite it being terrible". The other players then have to enter a lie and try to figure out what my favorite terrible movie is. The second round then asks you to enter one random truth and lie and asks you friends to figure out which one is the true statement. It’s wildly fun and a great twist on a fun favorite, though it’s not as great for streamers as it is for local parties.

    The second game included in the collection is Survive the Internet and is honestly one of my new favorites in the series (and possibly my favorite of this collection). The game randomly chooses a particular internet site to post on (news, social media, video site, hiring site) where players are given a prompt to answer and that answer is given to another player without any particular context. The game then tasks you with coming up with the most ridiculous context for that comment on the particular website. For example, we navigated to a photo sharing site where I was asked where I would prefer to live: in a warm area or a cold area. The game sent a picture of an igloo to my wife and asked her to come up with the caption for that picture that would make me look the most ridiculous. After everyone’s answers were sent, I posted a picture of an igloo with the caption "Mexico’s weather is beautiful this time of year", which made me look ridiculous. Afterwards, everyone votes on their favorite post and both players, the original commenter and the author, get points. We all had quite a few good laughs with this game as we took each other’s posts out of context and twisted them in the most clever ways. My only gripe with this is that it would have been a bit funnier had the game shown us the original question to see how far it progressed but it’s still a blast.

    The third game of the pack is Monster Seeking Monster and is another fantastic choice and is extremely unique in it’s gameplay. After everyone signs in, they are assigned as a random monster, each with their own powers. For example, the ghost character can steal hearts from people who reject them, the mother gains hearts when their randomly assigned offspring doesn’t date and wolfmen/vampires can change their dates into them for extra points. The catch is that these powers are completely secret and won’t be revealed until later in the game (and only if you’re in first place). The game then starts on the first night of six and tasks you with finding a date. To aid you, you get four text messages to send to your potential dates to convince them you’re worth dating. At the end of the texting round, you choose who you want to date (revealing your messages to the other players) and if you both pick each other, you successfully go on a date and get a heart. Players with the most hearts at the end of the game win. This game is hilarious and can get very raunchy (or weird depending on who you play with) as you can send whatever message you want to convince others to date you. Things for us quickly jumped from sexual talk to Chris Hansen as we laughed and double crossed each other or made fun of each other for dating family members.

    The fourth game is Bracketeering and is kind of like a tournament style Quiplash. Players are given a question to which they enter two answers and face off against other answers in a tournament style until one answer wins. Players are also asked to bet on which answer will win a certain bracket for extra points. However, later rounds come with a hilarious catch. The second round asks you a general question, such as "Name a board game" only to have the real question revealed after all the answers are in, for example, "Name a board game that would be best narrated by a British person". The third round is similar but each round, the category changes. For example, it may ask you to enter an age with the first round being "Name an age that it would be weird for baby teeth to fall out at" while the second round is "Name an age that would be best to have $1000 in Las Vegas". If answers tie, they have to mash the prompt on their phone and the fastest fingers win. It’s a hilarious twist and the mystery rounds are a blast as your answers may not necessarily be what you expected them to.

    The final game in the collection is Civic Doodle, which is this pack’s drawing game of the collection. The game starts with a blank slate with two random players drawing whatever they feel like. The rest of the players vote on their favorite drawing (and can choose emoji while they’re drawing such as a heart or poop). The next turn, two more players have to add onto that drawing with the cycle repeating until all players have drawn. On the final round, everyone draws at the same time and then votes afterwards. It’s a pretty fun game and a clever twist on the drawing motif that’s been featured on previous packs but I feel like it’s one of the weaker titles in the pack.

    Also returning from JPP3 is the feature that allows you to view previous game results and share them on social media (or download them yourself). Had a hilarious final round of Bracketeering that you want to show off to your friends? Think a collaborative image your friends drew on Civic Doodle is hilarious and should be preserved? You can access these by going to the game’s website and clicking "previous galleries" with simple buttons to share to most popular sharing sites. The game also features options for streamers such as requiring a Twitch login, being able to hide the room code to stop people from joining, disabling audience or even disabling post game sharing. The stream timers also return and make it easier to get people to pop in and play online while streaming to T

    However, one thing to note is that this game is called "Jackbox PARTY Pack" and as such, unless you plan to stream this game, there won’t really be anything here to play by yourself (and Fibbage 3 being the only thing you can play with 2 players). All other games require at least 3 to hop on and start playing as well so bear in mind that if you don’t have a few people waiting to play this with you, there isn’t much of a point in picking this up (which is odd considering one of the games offers a computer player if there aren’t enough people playing).

    Trophy wise, the game is a bit of a mixed bag though there are quite a few that will require a large group of players playing with you (10+). There are trophies for getting ties in Bracketeering, having 7 players guess the lie in Fibbage: EAY, getting 100 poop emojis on a drawing and the classic "write a lie that’s actually the truth" trophy from JPP1 & 2. Many of them you’ll get simply by playing along (such as MPP’s "No one gets a date" or STI’s "Get best burn twice") but some will be somewhat elusive so bear that in mind.

    Overall, JPP4’s selection of games is quite amazing and this is possibly the best JPP yet. Aside from Fibbage 3 being the same old same old, the other five included games are a blast and are quite varied. MSM is hilariously good fun and quite unique while STI is one of the most hilarious word twisting games I’ve played yet (and a great way to embarrass your friends). Fibbage: EYI is a great twist on an old favorite that really tests how well you know your friends and family while Bracketeering offers a competitive twist on the fun that Quiplash introduced. If you’re still on the fence, hop onto Twitch or Youtube to join a stream and play a few games but otherwise definitely pick this one up as it’s hilarious and will keep you and your friends entertained.

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