Jackbox 2

Party games are brilliant. No matter what they are, whether they’re bands in boxes, virtual gameshows, or sing-along titles, they all do the same thing, they encourage people to get together and do something. The Jack Box Party Pack 2 is the second in a series of bundled party games from Jackbox, and it’s probably just as good as the first, if not better.

For those unfamiliar with Jackbox, they’re the developer of such games as You Don’t Know Jack and Fibbage. This new bundled party box comes with a total of five games for you to play. However, only two of those five can be played by two people – not a big deal, but for couples who like to play games together, you’re left out of 60 per cent of the game.

Anyway, of these games there’s Fibbage 2, the sequel to their popular lying game Fibbage; EarWax, a hilarious game based on sound effects; Bidiots, think Pictionary, but at an auction; Quiplash XL, see who can come up with the funniest response to a situation; and finally Bomb Corp., a game which relies communication… constantly.

Of the five games, the two, two player games are my personal favourites, that’s Fibbage 2 and Bomb Corp., the other games on the other hand, are a little hit or miss, though I imagine with more people the games are pretty fantastic.

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One thing I will note with the Jackbox Party Pack 2 is that despite each game lasting for a little under 30 minutes at most, the game has an incredible amount of replayability thanks to each game being totally different, no matter how much you play. Having played the game with four people at most, there are a few noticeable flaws which would be easily overcome with more people, but as a whole the game is incredibly fun.

Probably the best part of the Jackbox Party Pack 2 is the game’s ability to utilise something almost everyone has, and that’s a smartphone, tablet, or PC. See, you don’t actually have to be in the same room to play the games due to how the game utilises its own servers to have players join. This also makes the game incredibly accessible as anyone can jump in. Like party games of the past, take Buzz for example, players had to at least own the Buzz buzzers in order to play. With Party Pack 2, all you need is access to a web browser and you’re in.

However, this isn’t without its problems either. A number of times we’ve found the game’s web companion to become non-responsive on occasion while it works perfectly fine for everyone else. This did cause some frustrating moments, but it somehow resolves itself after a game or two.

Speaking of being able to play wherever you are, we actually attempted a game of Fibbage 2 via Twitch which actually went surprisingly well. We had two members of the team join the game from various points in the UK and despite the slight stream delay, we had a pretty great time with the title. Other games on the other hand, I can imagine it being pretty impossible.

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The Jackbox Party Pack 2 is incredibly funny, especially if you find toilet humour and poo something to laugh at. If however you’ve got a more refined sense of humour, the game really isn’t for you. Throughout most of the games, specifically Fibbage, Quiplash, and EarWax opens the door to insane amounts of poo and fart jokes. In fact, EarWax, which relies heavily on sound effects, often offers the chance for users to select noises made from bodily functions.

There are however more poop-less games available such as Bidiots, a new game which requires players to draw pictures, then bid on those pictures based on prompts from virtual “buyers”. Bomb Corp. also requires less poo and more concentration, perfect for those who’d rather work together than against each other, but you’ve got to be quick.

So what are the games all about? Fibbage and Quiplash XL are likely ones you’re familiar with, the first being a game where players must think of convincing (or silly) lies in order to fool their opponents, while trying to discover the correct answer to the conundrum. The latter is a game where the judge chooses a situation in which the other players must come up with a witty answer. Much like Cards Against Humanity the judge then chooses a winner and the one with the most votes at the end of the game is a winner.

In a similar vein, EarWax is much the same as Quiplash XL except this time the players are required to choose sounds as a reaction to the chosen situation, then the judge chooses the most hilarious or clever responses.

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Bomb Corp. another new game, is a game of co-operation where players receive different clues to successfully disarm the bomb. Communication is key as one incorrect snip means game over. This particular game has both a campaign and a quick-fire mode adding to the game’s replayability.

Overall, Jackbox Party Pack 2 is a pretty all round brilliant game. There’s something for everyone with many people preferring one game over another allowing for a multitude of games to be played in one session. It never gets boring either as the game’s randomised questions always offer a different outcome. And so far we’re yet to actually come across a repeated question or situation which is great.

If you’ve got the friends or family to play with, I’d recommend getting the Jackbox Party Pack 2 for sure. If not, find some, it’s definitely worth it.

This review is based on the Xbox One version of the Jackbox Party Pack 2 provided to us by the developer.

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