It’s hard to believe that we’ve now had nine Jackbox Party Packs. Thankfully, the latest release shows that Jackbox Games hasn’t run out of great party game ideas yet.
Containing one old favourite and four brand new games, The Jackbox Party Pack 9 is perhaps the strongest entry of the long-running party game franchise we’ve seen in a while. There’s a great mix of the serious and the not-so, with every game peppered with plenty of the humour and personality that the series is known for. There’s a brand new iteration of Fibbage, a reality TV spoof in Roomerang, a random guessing game in Nonsensory, a comedy Bargain Hunt in Junktopia and the more serious team-based trivia game in Quixort.
The games on offer are nicely varied, and no matter what sort of group you’re with – a family gathering of all ages, or a group of friends who enjoy being inappropriate – there’s something you’ll enjoy. What we particularly like is that two of the games – Quixort and Fibbage 4 – can be played with only two people, which is great when you want to play but don’t have friends available. In fact, you can even play one of Quixort’s modes by yourself.
Let’s take a look at each title by itself.
This is the fourth iteration of Fibbage, and so if you’re familiar with Jackbox, there’s a good chance you’ve come across this one before. Players are given a prompt and have to fill in the blanks, or come up with an answer. The goal is to come up with something that sounds plausible to trick other players into thinking it’s the truth. There’s scope here to be rude and silly, which can be hilarious with the right group of friends, but to truly trick other players you need to think of something obscure but plausible.
This latest version of Fibbage isn’t massively different from those that came before it – its core remains unchanged. But its new presentation and a new final round – tasking players to come up with an answer that could fit with two blanks at once – makes it worthwhile even if you’ve played Fibbage 1, 2 and 3 to death.
Related: The Best Party Games on PS5
Junktopia is a very random addition to the Jackbox Party Pack line-up, but it’s one we had a lot of fun playing. Imagine Bargain Hunt or American Pickers, smothered in classic Jackbox randomness, and you’re part way there. Here, players compete with each other to pick up a bargain item, come up with a backstory for it, and sell it to other players.
Players are asked to come up with two facts about the object they’re trying to sell, which allows some room for creativity. Impress your friends enough with your hilarity or ingenuity and hopefully someone will buy your item. No buyers, no money, and you’ll be taking home a loss.
We’ve had a lot of fun playing Nonsensory, primarily because of how it mixes together drawing and coming up with random answers. It’s all about rating something: look at the image below, for example. The drawer will have been asked to draw a picture that’s looks, say, 80% like Picasso drew the bird. Other players then have to guess how much it looks like it’s drawn by Picasso – and if it matches the prompt, the drawer will get more points.
It sounds complicated on paper, but in practice it’s great fun, and adds a nice spin on the usual task of drawing funny pictures and writing funny answers that Jackbox typically has us doing.
Quixort might be our favourite game from Jackbox Party Pack 9, which is odd because it’s also the most serious, most actual trivia-based game of the set. But that’s perhaps why we like it: it’s a nice diversion from the silliness, and its team-based antics encourage some great co-operation between players.
It’s all about sorting items into an order. You might have to sort films by their release date, for example, or put the lyrics to a song in the right order. The items will drop from above, and players need to move them left or right, hopefully putting them into the right order. As the game progresses, things get a little trickier by false answers being thrown into the mix which players need to correctly trash.
Finally, Roomerang may be the strangest game rounding out The Jackbox Party Pack 9‘s loadout. We think this is going to be one that players are either going to love or hate, but played with the right group of people, it can be a lot of fun. It feels like a videogame version of The Circle in some regards: played like a reality TV show, each player takes on a persona, and answers questions/interacts with others as that persona. Win people over and you’ll go far. Displease your opponents, and you’ll get voted out.
It’s perhaps the longest-winded Jackbox game we’ve played in a while, so you’ll need to set aside 40 minutes or so to see this one through to its end. But keep your identities under cover and fully embrace the wackiness of the game, and there’s fun to be had. It’s different from anything else Jackbox has come up with, though, and so it’s not going to be for everyone.
Overall then, The Jackbox Party Pack 9 is a strong mix of titles, with a nice variety of all sorts of party games. Prefer something that will actually test your general knowledge? There’s Quixort. Want something completely random and silly? Go for Junktopia. Like the idea of pretending to be someone else? Opt for Roomerang. Add to the mix a wonderful presentation, plenty of humour and, of course, Cookie Masterson, and you’ve got one of the best Jackbox collections we’ve played in some time.