jackbox party pack 8 is a solid take on the fantastic formula

© Image: Jackbox Games

The Jackbox Party Packs are a social godsend; these collections of simple, dynamic minigames have been a bastion throughout the pandemic. Only one person needs to own the pack, and then they can host a Discord call or Twitch stream and get everyone in on the fun via a web browser. The newest entry, The Jackbox Party Pack 8, is a solid new contender in the series, with no games that feel like filler.

Some of these packs are mean, and delight in pitting you against your friends in a bizarre competition. Others are pretty chill, and can be safely dispatched to entertain family during the holidays or to break the ice with acquaintances. The games in 8 all feel a little more focused on delivering a specific experience, and the developer’s gotten better at crafting their little quirks.

Drawful Animate

Drawful is great, and one of the best games from previous Packs. Drawful Animate is better. It’s like a feral game of Pictionary, where players are given absurd captions and limited tools to draw them. This is not an artistic endeavor; in fact, the worse you do, the funnier things get. Drawful Animate spices things up further by giving people two drawings to complete, which then loop together to create a basic animation.

This isn’t a huge change, but it’s a novel one, and it also comes with some fun tools like episodes. You can write your own wild phrases, or fill in your friends’ names so Drawful Animate can pull them up as the subject matter of a round. It’s a nice tool to stack on top of the base game, and players can avoid burning through all the prompts by adding their own. Drawful Animate is the headliner of this pack, and it’s a lot of fun — as long as you were already on board with Drawful vanilla.

Job Job

Job Job was my surprise favorite from this pack, and it’s especially great for those who love absurd humor. In Job Job, everyone answers small-talk questions. Those answers are then fed to the other players, who have to use their refrigerator magnet skills to piece together a cohesive answer. This is a quick and funny one that is group agnostic; I’d feel equally comfortable busting this one out with friends as I would with my family on Christmas Eve. Also, the fact that everything in the Job Job universe has googly eyes is deeply concerning and hilarious, which cancels out the inherent soul-draining despair of a job search.

The Poll Mine

The Poll Mine is a super charming survey game. Players have to rank their choices to a difficult question — which of these terrible options can you best endure? Then, everyone has to guess how their friends answered. The nature of this game means it’s probably best with a pre-existing group who have some familiarity with each other. But for fans of the previous Party Pack Games that focus on interpersonal dynamics, like Party Pack 6’s Role Models, this will be a treat.

jackbox party pack 8 is a solid take on the fantastic formula

© Image: Jackbox Games

The Wheel of Enormous Proportions

The Wheel of Enormous Proportions is a simple roulette wheel, with one catch. If you want the wheel to favor you, you can win bigger slices of it by answering rapid-fire trivia questions. The game might give you a huge chunk of John Travolta’s filmography, then ask you which movies had him dancing. Knock it out of the park, and when you approach the wheel, your victories grant you some random slots of the wheel, increasing your chance of landing on a win for you. The only real downside to this minigame is that the Wheel itself is — and there’s no better way to say this — horny on main. The game’s conceit is that you are playing travelers trying to have your unique question answered by the titular Wheel. The Wheel is… a little too into helping you ascend to its spiritual heights. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a slight distraction.

Weapons Drawn

Weapons Drawn is probably the most cerebral game in the pack. Everyone is both a murderer and a detective — the goal is to hide your own murders while uncovering the others. The game takes a letter of your name, and gives it to you as a calling card. Then, you have to draw a weapon around that calling card in order to disguise it. The ‘A’ in Cass can become the faucet in a clawfoot tub, or the ‘C’ can make the handy edge of a mace.

With Jackbox Party Pack 8, Jackbox Games have further refined their process, making all of these games pretty dang fun. Their experience is also reflected in nice quality of life features, like a menu that allows me to adjust volume and tick on extended timers just once instead of having to manually check the menu of each minigame. It’s a small improvement, but a welcome one.

No single one of these games are worth the cost alone — there are Party Packs that I own as a Tee K.O. or Quiplash machine, and none of the games in this Pack have that same stickiness and ease to pick up for me. But there are no stinkers, either — everything here is something I’d feel comfortable recommending to a friend or bringing out at a gathering. That’s a valuable resource, and I figure wherever I go, at least I can liven it up with some Job Job.

The Jackbox Party Pack 8 will be released Oct. 14 on major digital platforms. The game was reviewed using a pre-release download code provided by Turtle Rock Studios. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network


LATEST NEWS

NEWS RELATED

Epic Games Store Will 'Welcome' NFT Games After Steam Bans Them

© Image: Epic Games / Kotaku Decorative Epic Games and its CEO Tim Sweeney are open to letting games that use blockchain technology and NFTs onto its PC store, even as NFTs continue to be criticized for being a giant, planet-burning scam filled with grifters. This follows Valve’s decision to…

Read more: Epic Games Store Will 'Welcome' NFT Games After Steam Bans Them

Alleged Elden Ring Xbox One footage leaks

© Provided by GamesRadar Elden Ring Elden Ring footage has allegedly leaked showing the highly anticipated game running on an Xbox One, of all things. Alleged Elden Ring footage from xbox One. pic.twitter.com/uaGbogXBrBOctober 16, 2021 GamesBeat’s Jeff Grubb posted the footage to his Twitter page on Saturday, October 16, with…

Read more: Alleged Elden Ring Xbox One footage leaks

New Gotham Knights trailer reminds us the Court of Owls is always watching

© Provided by GamesRadar Gotham Knights A new Gotham Knights trailer dropped during DC FanDome, and it’s all about the mysterious Court of Owls.  Gotham Knights is an upcoming action RPG that lets players control Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood after they’ve gone their separate ways. The four are…

Read more: New Gotham Knights trailer reminds us the Court of Owls is always watching

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League hides a bit of comic history in those prison uniforms

© Provided by GamesRadar Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League DC Fandome 2021 trailer The Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League trailer is hiding an Easter egg that hints at the series’ history.  The new Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League story trailer released as part of DC Fandome 2021…

Read more: Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League hides a bit of comic history in those prison uniforms

Play as Superman's dog in DC League of Super-Pets the video game

© Provided by GamesRadar DC League of Super-Pets: The Adventures of Krypto and Ace The upcoming DC League of Super-Pets movie is getting its own video-game spinoff, appropriately titled DC League of Super-Pets: The Aventures of Krypto and Ace.  Announced at DC Kids FanDome, The Adventures of Krypto and Ace…

Read more: Play as Superman's dog in DC League of Super-Pets the video game

Minecraft is coming to Xbox Game Pass on PC next month

© Provided by GamesRadar Best Minecraft servers Minecraft is coming to Xbox Game Pass on PC next month.  The Minecraft PC bundle includes both the Java and Bedrock versions. Announced at this weekend’s Minecraft Live event, developer Mojang confirmed there’ll be crossplay for Windows 10, Windows 11, and consoles, and…

Read more: Minecraft is coming to Xbox Game Pass on PC next month

Remastered GTA Trilogy Will Seemingly Feature GTA V-Style Controls And High-Res Textures

© Image: Rockstar Games Decorative If Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition was a boat, it would have sunk by now after all the recent leaks. First, there was the leaked rating information, then leaked achievements. Now, more details about how the game will play, box art, and…

Read more: Remastered GTA Trilogy Will Seemingly Feature GTA V-Style Controls And High-Res Textures

AnalogueOS bring save states, screenshots and more to Pocket

© Analogue “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.” Analogue, the boutique retro console manufacturer, has made a tradition out of pinning announcements to today’s date, October 16. First there was the Super NT, the company’s FPGA-based Super Nintendo clone, in 2017; then, the Mega SG, its Sega Genesis clone,…

Read more: AnalogueOS bring save states, screenshots and more to Pocket

'Suicide Squad' game trailer shows why you'll take down the Justice League

FIFA isn't thrilled with EA's dominance of soccer games

How to watch DC's FanDome 2021 livestream

Dbrand pulls its PS5 Darkplates from sale after Sony threatens legal action

Epic will give you a $10 coupon if you let them email you

Monument Valley 2 adds new chapter to promote forest conservation

The future of ‘Minecraft' includes swamps, scary monsters and a Game Pass bundle

There's now an official 'Minecraft' gaming chair

OTHER NEWS