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Review

Jackbox Party Pack 7 Review

The Jackbox Party Pack series is back for round seven. Asking each player to utilise their phone as a controller, these collections of wacky party games have become a regular staple for many at social gatherings. Some of the novelty may be starting to wear off, but this pack is still an enjoyable offering that is bound to bring the laughs.

And a fair bit of shouting. 

Quiplash 3

The fan favourite Quiplash returns for a third go and the premise remains one of the simplest and most accessible of all Jackbox games. Players are provided with a prompt on their device for which they must think up a witty response. Your answer will be pitted against somebody else who had the same prompt, with the rest of the group deciding which of you is the comedy genius and which is painfully unfunny. 

The three in the title also comes into play with a new Thriplash final round, which requires three responses. Depending on the prompt, these can either be tricky or allow for some hilarious setups. You can also create custom prompts if you’re playing with a familiar group of friends and want to make things a little more personal. Quiplash 3 is a solid choice for a game where you don’t want to spend ages explaining the rules, and the ability to have dozens of players makes it great for parties. 

The Devils and the Details

Chaos. Loud, noisy chaos. That’s what playing The Devils and the Details devolves into. It’s a game that requires cooperation, communication and a little bit of responsible selfishness. Each player is allocated a role (parent, teenager or kid) in this suburban devilish family just trying to blend in. A deluge of chores will display on your device which are completed via simple touch and swipe controls. Some are only accessible by family members of a certain role, and others require multiple people to complete simultaneously. For these, players will have to shout over each other and give the other(s) instructions on how to complete the objective. The trickier and lengthier the task, the more points you get. Complete as many tasks as you can to contribute towards the family score. Achieve enough points together and hopefully your neighbours won’t notice the tail sticking out the back of your pants. 

The twist comes in the form of selfish devil tasks that will earn the individual huge bonus points. You’ll need to be swift and sneaky though, as other family members can block your efforts if they notice what you’re up to. Too many selfish tasks being attempted will send a “selfish metre” soaring and cause the family score to plummet. Fail to reach the family score too many times and it’s back to hell for everyone.

Whilst this type of game is unfortunately pretty much unplayable over Twitch like some others, its enjoyably chaotic with a bunch of friends in the same room (if it’s safe for you to do so). The tensions rise as the clock ticks down, and the shouting that ensues as people warn of selfish shenanigans makes for a raucously good time. It’s the most unique Jackbox game in quite some time and is undoubtedly the highlight of this year’s collection. 

Champ’d Up

It wouldn’t be a Jackbox pack without a drawing game, and this year’s contribution is Champ’d Up.  Half of the group will need to draw and name something that would be a worthy “champion” of their given prompt. Those creations will then be pitted against that of someone else who had to create a challenger based solely off their champion opponent. The more colourful and ridiculous your monstrosity, the better.  

The prompts can make for some amusing moments, but it’s not the most inspired of Jackbox drawing games. I don’t see myself returning to this one too often. It’s also worth mentioning that there’s an unusual bug where layers of your drawings don’t show up on the TV, leading to some strange half-finished abominations facing off. Hopefully this gets patched up soon.

Talking Points

Now, this is better. One of my favourite Jackbox titles from previous years was Patently Stupid, a game where you needed to present a product you invented. The idea of having to stand up and present to the room is back in Talking Points. Each player has a turn at giving a talk based on the slides of text and pictures on the screen. The kicker here is that the speaker has no idea what’s coming their way.

That responsibility falls to an assistant, who must line up the following slides for the speaker. The speaker is then judged by their peers based on their engagement and sentiment. The assistant can either be a great help by giving a slide that perfectly ties into the current direction of the speech or just as easily steer the presentation towards of a cliff by throwing a complete curveball just to see if the presenter can adapt on the fly.

It usually leads to some absolute nonsense, but it’s undoubtedly entertaining even when things don’t make sense. Watching the sentiment needle take a bomb dive when you lose the crowd is disheartening, but in my experience leads to some hilarious swings as the presenter tries to win them back over in the face of the adversity their assistant throws them. It’s a refreshing game that feels unique amongst the series. Highly recommended. 

Blather ‘Round

Lastly, we gather around for Blather ‘Round. The first player selects a prompt and gives hints based on a limited range of options on your device to fill out a sentence. As other players make guesses, you can latch onto those attempts to incorporate the guesses into your next set of clues. The concept is as simple as it sounds but it makes for an easy and accessible option for newcomers to get into. 

Jackbox Party Pack 7 is another solid mix of games to through into rotation for your next social gathering. Quiplash 3 and Blather ‘Round are quick and simple options that anyone can pick up, and The Devil and the Details along with Talking Points are more complex games with plenty of replay value. Champ’d Up fails to live up to previous entertaining drawing games and has a pretty frustrating bug preventing full drawings from showing up properly. Overall, it’s a good collection of games that will please fans of the series, but I’m hoping that we soon get an option to export every pack into one collection for the ultimate party pack.  

Rating: 3.5/5

The Good

+ The Devils and the Details is great
+ So is Talking Points
+ Good collection of pick up and play hits

The Bad

- Champ’d Up is underwhelming and has a serious bug
- Lacking an A+ classic found in many other Jackbox packs

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Final Thoughts

Jackbox Party Pack 7 is another solid mix of games to through into rotation for your next social gathering. Quiplash 3 and Blather ‘Round are quick and simple options that anyone can pick up, and The Devil and the Details along with Talking Points are more complex games with plenty of replay value. Champ’d Up fails to live up to previous entertaining drawing games and has a pretty frustrating bug preventing full drawings from showing up properly. Overall, it’s a good collection of games that will please fans of the series, but I’m hoping that we soon get an option to export every pack into one collection for the ultimate party pack.

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About The Author
Andrew Searles
I like to write. I do reviews and other bits for @vooksdotnet. Still playing Pokemon Go. Will probably buy Resident Evil 4 again when they release it on my fridge.

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