Jackbox Party Pack 6 Review
Reviewed on Nintendo SwitchAlso available on Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and PC
Jackbox Party Pack 6 feels like a slight divergence for the series; it still has the quirky humour and improvisational formula that has always been at the core of Jackbox games, but this entry seems to be targeting a more mature audience of young adults.
Whether that’s a positive will likely depend on the age and maturity of your immediate family or group of friends, but that doesn’t mean that a larger audience can’t have fun with it. To get the most out of Jackbox Party Pack 6, though, your group of players should have quick fingers and even quicker wits.
Take Joke Boat for instance, which is a longer, more involved version of the Quiplash games from previous Jackbox Party Packs, often to its own detriment. Joke Boat has you write out prompts and select a topic, setup, and finally enter a punchline, whereas Quiplash just has you write punchlines to premade setups.
For the comedically-minded, the chance to construct your own jokes from start to finish is an excellent embellishment on the original formula, but it definitely feels like it will attract a niche-r audience. Young players and slow typers will have trouble constructing two jokes even with the extended timers.
That said, the opportunity for comedy is still there, even if your group quickly devolves into toilet humour or lizard-based jokes that inexplicably bring the house down.
Dictionarium is similarly intricate, prompting players to think up imaginative descriptions for made-up words and phrases before using them cleverly in a sentence. It isn’t the fastest Jackbox game, nor the funniest, but there’s ample opportunity for some fun if you find a group of wordies.
Even the headline game in the pack follows this trend; Trivia Murder Party 2 tests your general knowledge and logical reasoning in a series of tough minigames. It’s also the only title in Party Pack 6 without a “family friendly” option – understandably so, given the dark murderous theme – while the other games will restrict dirty language or suggestive prompts if this option is selected.
It isn’t all dictionaries and crosswords, though, with Role Models providing some much-needed casual fun. This game is best played in a group that knows each other well and don’t take themselves too seriously, as the objective is to assign players to words or categories that best suit their personalities.
There’s a brilliant sense of harsh truth about Role Models confidently labelling you as a “Slightly Childlike Mega-Diva”. The categories are vast and numerous, too, so there’s a great deal of replay value in Role Models, especially if you’re only looking for a light-hearted party game.
Role Models – and, to a lesser extent, Joke Boat – fill that requirement of titles that a younger or more casual audience can enjoy, while the remaining games often need a sharper wit or intelligence to enjoy (scoring 0 in a trivia game would be understandably demoralising for young players.)
The final game, Push The Button, sits somewhere in the middle, though. It randomly selects one of up to ten players to be an alien imposter on a spaceship full of humans, and tasks the group with correctly identifying the intruder. On the surface it’s a fairly simple game, but the alien has a bag of tricks that can make it far more complex than it seems.
As ever, Jackbox Party Pack 6 maintains the high production value of the series, with loud and vibrant visuals and animated narrators for each game. At its regular price of approximately £20, and with 5 playable minigames, it’s still one of the most cost-friendly party games available, needing only a single controller for your platform of choice and a smartphone for each player.
You do need an internet connection to connect to the jackbox.tv servers, but we’ve never had any issue with server availability – if anything, the battery life of your phones may be the real limiting factor if your group gets hooked and wishes to play late into the night!
Jackbox Party Pack 6 is a solid offering in the long-running series of party games by Jackbox Games. It isn’t the strongest entry if you’re looking for cold, hard comedy, but there’s a good variety of content here to keep fans interested. I wouldn’t recommend it as an entry point to the series, nor for a family of predominantly younger gamers, but it certainly earns its place alongside the other great party packs.