The Jackbox Party Pack 1 (Switch) Review

Publisher:  Jackbox Games Inc.

Developer:  Jackbox Games Inc.

MSRP: $24.99

Rated: Teen

Release Date: August 17th, 2017

Platforms:  Nintendo Switch

Rating: ★★★★☆

Just when you thought it was safe to stop partying on your Switch, The Jackbox Party Pack 1 has arrived.  In it you will find five party games that will keep your get together going no matter where you maybe considering the portable side of the Switch.  For us this is are third go around for this pack since we’ve bought it for everything else we owned.  We even reviewed this when it originally came out in 2014.  Our two main thoughts diving back in where how is it for the Switch and has it held up over the last several years.  Beyond a missed opportunity bringing it over to this unique console, there is still more than enough good times to be had here.

The first game included in the collection originally was one of our biggest disappointments.  The trivia game is hilarious as ever, featuring up to date references on pop culture.  The lovable host Cookie Masterson is back bring you to stitches with some of the old style rounds we know and love as well as new ones.  With fifty episodes to play through, it will give you plenty of questions to come back for.  Now what originally bothered us at initial release was the final round, Jack Attack.  It’s all about buzzing in the fastest as the correct answer pops up on-screen.  We noticed that an original, very frustrating lag we encountered buzzing in has been fixed where someone would definitely hit their phone first, but someone else would register as getting it first.

Without that problem, You Don’t Know Jack is back to pure form here as easily our favorite game in the collection.  The only thing we really would have loved to see would have been Joy-Con support.  While it would have taken things much further than just making it a port, it would have been amazing to be able to use your Joy-Cons as the buzzers instead of your phone.  They really would be a perfect fit, but since we didn’t have any issues using our phones this time around, that’s just wishful thinking.

Drawful, the next game in the compilation finds you and your friends using your phone or tablet to draw a word or phrase that the game specifically gives each person at the start of the round.  Once everyone has drawn what they were asked for, the game starts by showing one of the pictures.  Everyone but the artist of the picture types either what they think the picture is, or a good enough lie to fool everyone else.  You are then given the choice to choose from the lies and the correct answer.  If you guess correctly, you and the artist get points.  If a person picks someones lie, the person who wrote the lie gets points.  The game was a lot of fun, having a unique take on Pictionary of sorts.  The words or phrases  are always going to be very bizarre and hard to draw, which is a big part of what will make you laugh;  looking at whatever terrible picture your friend made to draw human chess or telekinesis.  The only negative we had for the game is the host, who unfortunately is just not very funny, even though she tries to crack jokes throughout.  Not everyone can be Cookie Masterson after all.

The absolute worst game of the compilation is Word Spud.  You and your friends are given a word on the screen and then one person types in something to finish that word.  As an example, someone is given the word ‘rough’.  They can type in morning to make ‘rough morning’.  The next person has to create something from morning, so on and so on.  After someone enters their submission, everyone else has the choice to either like or dislike it.  Each like nets the person a point, each dislike takes a point away from them.  For half of one game we were laughing at some of the words we created.  Soon, however, it became apparent that there was nothing else to this as most answers got likes and the dislike button was really never used.  The timer moves very slowly and we found ourselves wondering when the game would come to an end.

Lie Swatter is one of the more simple games in the pack, which is still really fun, though pretty hard at the same time.  The game, boasting that 100 people can play at once, goes through three rounds.  In the first two rounds, it will give you 7 “facts” from random categories.  You simply use your phone to tap whether the “fact” is true or false.  Get it correct, earn points;  be the fastest to get it right, earn a little bit of extra points.  The final round is basically the same thing, as it will give you 7 “facts,” but all from the same category.  What makes the game tough is many of the facts are fairly obscure from even the best trivia players.  What makes it a fantastic party game is that sometimes what is you find out to be true is much more outrageous than what they came up as a lie.  The categories themselves will sometimes be normal enough, such as being about water beds, but then wait until you get to a final round all with “facts” about buttholes, at least in our case, we were near in tears from laughing so hard.

The final game of the compilation happens to be one of the best on the compilation.  Fibbage XL is Fibbage, which you may have played on the consoles already, but with 50% more questions.  In Fibbage, you will be presented with a fact, such as “The Mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky is a ___.”  Everyone playing will submit one lie, something that they think could fool everyone else playing.  After everyone has submitted their lie, the game collects those on the screen with the correct answer.  If someone chooses your lie, you get points from each person that does.  If anyone actually chooses th correct answer, they get points.  The statements you get will sometimes be so crazy that you will laugh from those alone, but wait untill you see the les your friends create.  It might be morally wrong, but there is no better feeling than getting a room full of your friends to fall for your lies.  You Don’t Know Jack’s host Cookie Masterson comes over to host here as well, though unfortunately his hosting duties are cut back much more than in the trivia game.

The best thing about having the Jackbox Party Packs coming to the Switch is that you can bring it with you wherever you are.  Try bringing it to a bar for a great time (our suggestion for those old enough to drink.)  Kinks we had previously seen while using your phone as a controller appear to be gone which allows you to sit back and enjoy without worry.  While it would have been nice to see some Switch specific features brought to the table, such as with You Don’t Know Jack using Joy-Cons, this is still one of our favorites of all of the Jackbox Party Packs and a must have for a hilarious time.

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