The Jackbox games are sets of fun and humorous group games, most supporting up to between 6 and 8 players. The main game display is on the TV with everyone gathered around controlling it via a website on their phone. While mainly designed around everyone gathering around a TV, they can be streamed over Zoom/Twitch to enable others to join your games from their own homes.
Jackbox over video chat with friends and family has been a great way to socialise during the year of lockdown. Jackbox Party Pack 8 has been announced for release in autumn, so I figured why not go through all the games in my personal order of preference. For games with multiple iterations throughout the packs, I’ve based it on the latest versions.
30. Lie Swatter (Pack 1 / 1-100 Players)
A fairly basic “true/false” quiz. It has a very large capacity for players, but there’s zero interaction at all. For their first pack, it was a good example of how many people can play together, but that’s about it.
29. Earwax (Pack 2 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
A game where you create “phrases” using sound effects. The big issue with this game is that you don’t know what the sound is actually going to be like until you’ve submitted your answer. Quite often, the sound effect isn’t quite what you would expect based on the poor descriptions given.
28. Word Spud (Pack 1 / 2-8 Players)
The “finish the phrase” idea eventually became the brilliant Quiplash, in this you’re forming a “word cloud” by creating a phrase by using part of the previous one. People vote to keep or bin each answer. It’s not terrible, just a very early idea.
27. Zeeple Dome (Pack 5 / 1-6 Players)
An attempt at creating an action game in Jackbox, Zeeple Dome is pretty much a multiplayer Angry Birds, and really isn’t the kind of game you generally want to play while playing Jackbox games. It’s a nice idea, just not really what people want to play.
Fun With The Right Group
26. Mad Verse City (Pack 5 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
A poem/rap battle game. Finish a prompt, then add another sentence that rhymes with it. The most charming thing is listening to the robot voice read them out (you can opt to read them yourself). If all players are great lyricists, then it has potential, but it can very easily fall completely flat.
25. Joke Boat (Pack 6 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
A joke-creating game that mainly shows why British panel shows are filled with comedians and not random people. Jokes are pitted against each other, but like Mad Verse City, completely falls apart if you don’t get the right mix of prompts and people.
24. Bomb Corp. (Pack 2 / 1-4 Players)
A co-op game about diffusing bombs, each player gets a different part of the instructions and players have to work out what they need to do between them, a bit like Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes but with more random games. The main issue with this game is the low number of players.
23. You Don’t Know Jack: Full Stream (Pack 5 / 1-8 Players + Audience)
A fairly basic trivia game. The humour in this one is provided entirely by the game (players just answer questions seriously) and seems to detract from the game more than anything.
22. Split The Room (Pack 5 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
You are given a yes/no question with a blank. You have to fill in the blank with something that you think will “split the room” as much as possible, with a 50/50 split getting you the most points. Fun as an occasional thing.
21. Bidiots (Pack 2 / 3-6 Players)
A maths auction game disguised as a drawing game. You draw “artwork” at the start of the game for people to bid on. This drawing itself is fairly irrelevant. Each player gets different information on what each piece of art is worth, and the aim is to win bids, but still keeping it under the value that it is worth.
20. Guesspionage (Pack 3 / 2-8 Players + Audience)
A game about guessing statistics. Each player takes turn guessing what percentage of people do X, while everyone else picks “higher” or “lower. It does seem slightly random and even the “global” data feels very US-centric. I feel like this would be an interesting basis for a future game, but asking the players/audience questions and then people guessing percentages based on their answers.
19. Role Models (Pack 6 / 3-6 Players + Audience)
Based on various categories, such as “who would sing what song at Karaoke?”, Fan faction phrases or boy band positions, you have to sort yourself and other players into each role. The player with the most votes for each role gets the position. Points are scored for being “in line” with the group the most.
18. Patently Stupid (Pack 5 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
Draw a silly invention, then try to sell it to other players. It’s a bit like the board game Snake Oil. This is a game to play every now and then, even if it’s probably nobody’s favourite.
17. Dictionarium (Pack 6 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
A game that requires some creativity, but can work really well when someone makes a good answer. People are given made up words or phrases and has to come up with a meaning for them, winning ones then need a synonym before being used in a sentence. It’s a game where nobody cares about scores, but more about creating the best meaning.
16. Civic Doodle (Pack 4 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
A silly drawing game that’s about drawing and nothing else. The game starts with a few lines and two people add their touch to it (preferable keeping it small). A vote takes place and the next two players then duke it out for the next addition, resulting in a crazy piece of art at the end. It’s silly and simple, but it works.
15. Bracketeering (Pack 4 / 3-16 Players + Audience)
While I’m unlikely to play this with 8 or fewer players, the support for up to 16 makes this a great option for when you have more and want to paly a game without needing people swapping out between rounds. You answer prompts and compete for the best one, with later rounds being blind brackets that can result in some great answers.
14. Tee K-O (Pack 4 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
Create three drawings (anything you want) and then a bunch of slogans (again, anything you want). The lack of prompts can make this difficult, but can result in some great random combinations. You then get a selection of pictures and prompts from other players and have to create a T-shirt using one of each. These are then pitted against each other in a “winner stays on” competition.
13. Monster Seeking Monster (Pack 4 / 3-7 Players + Audience)
A solid social deduction game, although I think the “dating” theme will put some people off due to feeling “awkward”. One great way around the potential awkward is to not use identifiable names: have rude-sounding puns, names of Avengers, or just completely random things. The aim of the game is to get the most hearts by going on dates. Each day, you get to send a limited number of messages, then you choose one who you want to go on a date with…but it’s only successful if they chose you as well.
Each player has their own “role” where they score points in different ways. For example a “mother” wants to stop her daughter from going on dates and will gain bonus hearts if the person playing the daughter fails to get a date, or a zombie that spreads its infection on a date, with both players now spreading it. If all players get infected, the zombie wins.
12. Drawful 2 (Standalone / 3-8 Players + Audience)
Pictionary with a twist. Players get given very strange prompts and then has to draw it. The picture is then shown off and people have to create their own name for what the picture is to fool other players. All these answers are shown and you have to try and pick the correct one from the bunch.
Drawful 2 also supports a custom mode, where players can submit their own prompts, so you can use lots of personal jokes and references.
11. Fakin’ It (Pack 3 / 3-6 Players).
A fun game where you can find out some interesting things about other players. In the first round, the game asks a simple yes/no question. After a countdown, players raise their hands if their answer is yes. However, one player doesn’t get the prompt, so they have to make a guess about the answer. If the faker can survive three questions without being spotted, they get a lot of points.
Future rounds introduce more types for players to pick. One has you holding your fingers up to signify a number as your answer, another one has you point to another player. Both of these are great fun. The last type has you pulling faces, which is just awkward as everyone is attempting to keep an odd face while judging everyone else’s.
The only bad thing about Fakin’ It is that it doesn’t work over video at all, as everyone has to reveal their answer at the same time.
10. Talking Points (Pack 7 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
As someone that hates public speaking, I hated the idea of a “Public Speaking” game…but Talking Points pulled it off in a good way.
The game starts by filling in three prompts to create topics of discussion, then you get sent three created by others to select as your topic for the speech.
As you start your speech, and assistant is assigned who selects text and picture slides from a selection of lines and images. Your aim is to talk about the subject while keeping in line with the imagery that pops up for you. You can add text and draw on this picture to highlight certain things. Speeches are complete nonsense, but can be extremely funny.
The scoring system itself feels fairly meaningless, the people listening tap thumbs up/thumbs down based on what they like/dislike, with the score being based on how liked it is combined with the total activity. Still, it’s all about the fun rather than scores.
9. Champ’d Up (Pack 7 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
A drawing game where the idea behind the drawing is just as important as the drawing itself. First up you will be given a category that your champion will be competing for (champion of dorks, champion of realising they were beautiful all along, etc). Based on this, you will draw and name a champion that could win.
Then you get sent the name and drawing someone else’s champion. Based on this (and having no idea what the category is), you have to create a rival underdog to compete against them. Then they’re pitted against each other and people vote for which one best suits the category.
Round 2 starts off the same, but after each match there’s a second round with a new, previously unknown category. Players can swap out their character with one of their previous ones, or keep the current one for potential bonus points.
It’s incredibly good fun, and results in some fun designs. My personal best pick for Jackbox drawing games.
8. Survive the Internet (Pack 4 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
A game of twisting people’s comments. Each round, the game will ask you a question about something fairly random, someone’s response could be something like “I like it”. You will then be given someone else’s response and create something bad that this could be a response two (such as “Family burn in house fire”).
It has different rounds based on different social media, which mixes things up a bit. One round has you adding a hashtag to the statement, while another a LinkedIn profile that a comment would be a recommendation for.
Quite often, the game resolves into rude, insulting or offensive stuff, making it a ton of fun when played with friendly but awful people.
7. The Devils and the Details (Pack 7 / 3-8 + Audience)
A co-op game that goes up to 8 people. You are all playing as a family of devils trying to live in surburbia. The goal is to score a minimum number of points between you all by completing tasks.
Simple tasks can be completed on your own, completing basic minigames by tapping/swiping/rotation objects on your screen. Team tasks take more effort, such as driving to a location where one player has to read directions and a second player does the driving, or where someone has a list of ingredients and has to read them out while the other players find the ingredients and tick them off.
However, it’s not all about working together. You also want to score the most points yourself. One way to get lots of points is to complete a selfish task. The catch is that if too many selfish tasks are done, it will cause an emergency that people have to quickly compete as the family score goes down.
Lots of shouting at each other, lots of hectic fun.
6. Blather ‘Round (Pack 7 / 2-6 Players + Audience)
You are given a selection of prompt that you need to describe: a place, thing, person or story. You select which you think you can describe the best.
You then complete a sentence about it by filling in blanks with a very limited selection of words, while other people try to guess what it is. You create new sentences as quickly as you are able, even using other peoples answers to let them know if they’re on the right track or nothing like it. sometimes it can take many sentences before it becomes clear, other times the opening sentence can make it obvious (such as “it’s about a series of metamorphosis mechanisms”).
It’s an extremely fun game, sadly limited to only six players.
5. Fibbage Enough About You (Pack 4 / 2-8 Players + Audience)
Technically it’s a mode witching Fibbage 3, but I think it deserves recognition as its own game. This is a version of Fibbage about the players. Players will be sent questions to answer truthfully. Players then have to create other answers for other people’s questions to try and trick everyone before picking which answer they thing is right.
In the second round, players have to come up with one truth and one lie about themselves. Personally, the second round isn’t great (I would prefer more questions), but the first round is so good that it’s worth playing repeatedly for that.
4. Push The Button (Pack 6 / 4-10 Players)
A game based on Mafia/Werewolf/Avalon, where a few players in the group are secretly aliens and everyone has to figure out which players these aliens are within a time limit.
To do this, players take turns as the captain and assign players to a task. This can be answering an agree/disagree prompt, answering a text question, making a drawing or responding to a hypothetical situation.
Players will be shown the right prompt, while aliens will get something different. If their answer seems suspicious, they have to try to defend their choice. However, the aliens have a small number of “hacks” that they can use to reverse this – so an alien will receive a good prompt, or a human will get the wrong one.
At any point, a player can pause the timer and select who they thing the aliens are to throw them out of the airlock. People’s responses have to be unanimous, so if someone says no, it’s back to the game. Each person can only “Push The Button” once, so try not to run out of presses.
When players agree, then the chosen players are thrown out of the airlock. If any humans remain, then the remaining alien(s) will kill them all and win the game. Aliens also win if time runs out or all presses are used up.
3. Quiplash 3 (Pack 7 / 3-8 Players + Audience)
A game simply about being funny. You will be given prompts, questions or blanks to fill in and you have to come up something that you think the other players will like.
Your answer will be pitted against another and players will vote on which they like more. In Quiplash 3, the final round is a “Thriplash”, which requires a three part answer.
Sometimes simple is best, and the simplicity works wonders for Quiplash. The game also has a custom mode where you can create your own prompts for a personal touch.
2. Trivia Murder Party 2 (Pack 6 / 1-8 Players + Audience)
A triva game with a lot more fun attached. Taking up a fun horror theme, you have to answer lots of general knowledge questions. Get a question right, you get lots of points, get a question wrong? Then it’s time for punishment.
After each question, any players that get an answer wrong has to take place in a minigame. This can be a big range of things, like picking a chalice and hoping it’s not poison (other players select which ones are), completing a round of Quiplash, drawing a tattoo, doing maths, cutting off a finger (which eliminates on of the choices on future questions). Sometimes it’s up to chance, sometimes they compete against each other, sometimes against the players who aren’t in the challenge.
Lose these challenges and you die. But you’re not out of the game, you become a ghost and still answer questions. This first round is all about determining your position in the second round, which triggers when only one player is left alive.
The second round is a race. The living player is placed in front, with all the ghosts behind them (their position based on how many points they have). The game will then list a category along with three answers, you have to select which are correct (and not select which are wrong. For each correct answer, you will move a space closer to the goal.
The living player, however, only gets two of these, giving the ghosts a chance to catch up and steal their “life force” (this player will then only get the two choices). It’s a brilliantly fun trivia game.
1. Fibbage 3 (Pack 4 / 2-8 Players + Audience)
Still the ultimate Jackbox game. This should be everyone’s first game as it’s a great introduction to how these games work, and how to create funny (but believable) responses.
Each round, there will be an interesting but strange fact with a blank. You have to create a fake answer for this that you think will trick other players. All fake answers (and one real one) are shown and you make your guess. Points are awarded for getting the correct answer, or for other players picking your answer.
You can be rude, silly, serious – the game has questions that fit all of these, meaning that multiple styles of answers work.