If you’re looking to play a fun-filled game at a party or need to spice up family game night (sorry, Monopoly), look no further than Jackbox Games. The Jackbox Party Pack series first launched in 2014 with just a handful of games. There has been a new Party Pack annually ever since, and the game library has evolved significantly. All of the games are pretty simple to pick up without too much explanation, and players participate by using their phones. Setup is straightforward — even your least tech-savvy friends will be able to join in without much trouble.
All you need to play is a copy of the game on your gaming platform of choice, a handful of friends with smartphones, and an appetite for creativity. Unable to actually get together to play games? No problem — Jackbox games are simple to play remotely over services like Zoom.
While each game is entertaining in its own right, there are certainly some duds and gems. This list will direct you to the best Jackbox games, and let you know which Party Pack you have to own to play them.
The Jackbox Party Pack
Drawful is one of the most simple Jackbox games, and also one of the most fun. Each round starts with every player receiving an interesting drawing prompt, like “I hate that lamp” or “cell phone,” and a short amount of time to draw out that phrase. One by one, each drawing is presented without explanation to the audience, who then guess what the prompt might’ve been. Then, all players vote to try and guess the correct prompt. Players get points if someone chooses their bogus answer, and the artists get points if anyone guesses the correct title.
Anyone with a larger phone screen has a bit of an advantage drawing-wise, but that doesn’t mean they’ll win. You don’t have a lot of time to throw together a drawing, and the prompts can be tricky — “face with arrow pointing at nose” is a lot easier to manage than “throwing.” If you’re not artistically inclined, don’t worry. No one is making a masterpiece here, and there are side-votes for fan-favorite drawings.
The Jackbox Party Pack 2
Like Cards Against Humanity, Quiplash is a party game where the wittiest player usually comes out on top. To kick off the first couple rounds, each player is given two prompts that they must write in a funny response to. Each prompt is given to two players, so their responses are put on display and everyone else votes for the response they like the most. For example, the prompt could be “The saddest thing to say with a voice full of helium” — one player could write “someone’s last rites” and the other “reading my diary.” In the final round, or The Last Laugh, everyone is given the same prompt and everyone has three votes, allowing players who have fallen behind a chance to steal the game.
The quality of this game definitely depends on the quality of the responses, so playing with like-minded folks is always the way to go. Like similar games, the key to winning is reading the room. Are you playing with folks who will vote for the most shocking or vulgar responses? Will inside jokes get you points? Figure that out and you’ll have an advantage over your friends.
Fibbage is all about being the most convincing liar. Each round, a player selects from one of five random categories and an obscure fact is presented to all players with a missing word or phrase to complete it. Each player must fill in the blank with the answer that sounds true, but is actually completely fabricated. Everyone votes on which answer they think is the real deal. Players get points for guessing the correct phrase or having other players pick their lie. Sometimes players will enter the actual answer when coming up with a lie — the game will tell you to write a new answer, but you get some bonus points for guessing correctly.
Not many of the prompts have simple answers, so the key is toeing the line between believable and ridiculous. While you might think you’re writing a truly wild answer, the truth is sometimes even weirder.
The Jackbox Party Pack 3
Tee K.O. is another drawing game, but this one is all about designing a wild T-shirt. Each player draws three images of anything they want and also creates a handful of short phrases or slogans. All of these drawings and designs go into a pool and are randomly assigned to new players, who pair them together. Then, those T-shirts are displayed head-to-head, and players vote on their favorites. There are a few rounds and then the final round consists of all the top picks — players will choose the ultimate T-shirt design to take the top spot.
This game is hit or miss, and its entertainment value largely depends on the audience. This may not be the best game to play stand-alone, but it can be a fun piece of a game night if you’re tackling other Jackbox games as well. If you absolutely love one of the weird shirts to come out of this game, Jackbox Games will slap the design on a real T-shirt and ship it to you for a charge.
Guesspionage has each player, in turn, guess what percentage of people have a certain quality or do a certain activity, such as texting while driving or liking mustard on hot dogs. Results are pulled from surveys conducted by Jackbox Games. Once the chosen players make their guess, the other active players pick whether or not they think the guess is higher or lower than the actual value. The first players get points based on how close they were to the actual figure (if they’re within 30%) and other players get points for guessing the right direction of the actual figure.
This a fun game where people who know people thrive. That being said, you’ll definitely run into survey results that will surprise you and lead to some interesting conversations.
Quiplash 2 follows the same formula as previous installments, but this version gives players the option to create new prompts. With this feature, you can customize the game for your audience, writing prompts geared toward your family or friend group or building games around certain topics. The final round of the game has also been changed in this version as well. New final rounds require players to come up with the meaning of a given acronym, complete a caption in a comic strip, or come up with something clever using a given word in a prompt.
Trivia Murder Party
If you’re a general fan of trivia games but need a little twist, Trivia Murder Party may be the game for you. In a horror house setting with a Jigsaw-esque narrator, players must answer multiple-choice trivia questions correctly to move their creepy characters forward and ultimately out of the building. Get a question wrong and players play a mini-game on the Killing Floor — fail that and you’re killed off. Players may keep participating as a ghost though, and even have the chance to come back to life and steal a victory toward the end of the game.
The mechanics of this game are a little odd, and the person with the most trivia knowledge doesn’t always come out on top, so this might not be the best choice for folks looking for a straightforward game. But it’s a blast with the right people if you’re a fan of trivia-based games.
Think digital Simon Says but the instructions are kept from one person — that’s Fakin’ It. Each round, one player is randomly selected to be the Faker. All players, except the Faker, are given instructions that involve some type of physical action, such as raising a hand or making a specific face. This instruction is kept secret from the Faker, so they have to casually figure out the action based on what other people are doing without getting called out. Everyone votes on who they think is the Faker — getting points if they guess correctly.
The final round switches things up with “Text You Up.” Each player answers a number of open-ended questions, while the Faker is given a different, but similar question that could have overlapping answers. For example, players may be asked to name a positive trait about themselves, while the Faker would be asked what traits they would look for in a companion. Like in the previous rounds, folks vote on who they think is the oddball out.
The Jackbox Party Pack 4
Civic Doodle is a mash-up of Drawful and Quiplash. Two players are given the same drawing prompt, and the others vote on which one they think is better. The next duo is given the winning doodle and is tasked with adding on to it. The audience then votes on the new drawing, the winning picture is given to another duo, they add yet another layer, and so on for a couple of rounds. In the end, everyone will have built a pretty crazy-looking doodle together.
While this game can drag on a bit long and isn’t exactly filled with back-to-back jokes, it can be a lot of fun if you’ve got a group playing that’s remotely artistic.
Survive the Internet
Survive the Internet is all about twisting the words of your friends to make them sound ridiculous. Everyone is given an opinion-based question like, “How do you feel about cats?” That answer is sent to another player, who rewrites the original prompt to make the answer sound silly, offensive, or totally weird. Everyone votes on which now out-of-context answer is the funniest. Players are awarded points for rewriting the funniest prompt and getting embarrassed if their answer winds up winning.
The best version of this game is played with clever folks who know each other well.
Fibbage 3 plays similarly to its predecessors, but players are now given the option to add their own lies to the mix. There’s also a new mode called “Enough About You” that makes the game a bit more personal. Players enter truths about themselves, everyone enters lies about everyone else, and the goal is to guess the truth for each person. Obviously, this mode is a blast played with groups of people who know each other well. But it can also be a good ice-breaker game for people less familiar with each other, similar to Two Truths and a Lie.
The Jackbox Party Pack 5
Wannabe inventors will thrive playing Patently Stupid. Each player submits two problems that need solving. Those prompts are shuffled around and given to other players, who are now tasked with drawing a solution to said problem. Those solutions have tag lines generated as well. The voting round is set up like a pitch meeting — every player must convince others to fund their wacky inventions.
While other games are focused only on drawing or only on writing clever quips, Patently Stupid gives everyone a chance to shine at the same time. Who knows — you might come up with a worthwhile invention out of this game. Next stop, Shark Tank!
Split the Room
Split the Room is a game hosted by an omnipresent cat who delivers hypothetical questions with a piece missing. The player’s job is to fill in the blank. Unlike other games where the goal is to beat out another player and get the audience to vote for you, the goal here is to get an even 50-50 vote from your friends. The more divisive the vote is, the more points you get.
The final round, known as the “Decisive Dimension,” gives prompts with two options where the first is already completed. Players complete the second answer and everyone else picks the option. Players can earn extra points if they can predict what a certain player chooses beforehand.
Mad Verse City
In Mad Verse City, players take on the role of giant robots competing in a rap battle. Players are given nonsensical rap lyrics and must come up with the next rhyme. Then, two players go up head-to-head in a rap battle, and everyone else votes on who had the better lyrics. Like any game that requires a lot of user-generated content, the quality of this futuristic rap battle totally depends on how into it the audience is.
Think of it as Quiplash with longer answers that need to rhyme — you’ve gotta be quick to deliver a sick line within the short time limit.
The Jackbox Party Pack 6
In Role Models, you and your friends become guinea pigs for a mad scientist studying human nature. A category is chosen and players must vote on roles under the category for everyone playing. For example, the category could be Star Wars — you have to decide which of your friends is Luke Skywalker, Yoda, R2D2, etc. Players are awarded points for voting along with the majority. If there’s a tie, the two players up for a specific role perform a tiebreaker experiment tailored specifically to that role to determine who truly deserves the title.
This is more of a novelty game and obviously isn’t as competitive as some of the other Jackbox games. One of the most fun pieces of this game is a final, master role assigned to each player at the end of the game that is cumulative of all the previous assigned roles. If you got Captain America, Pikachu, and “slept through my alarm,” you might be crowned the “Lazy Electric Patriot.”
In Joke Boat, players take on the role of amateur comics competing in a talent show on a fourth-rate cruise ship. At the beginning of each round, players are given the start of a joke prompt with a missing word they select from a random selection of the brainstormed words. They then finish the joke. Like other Jackbox games, two jokes are put head-to-head and other players vote for their favorite. Anyone who is a fan of one-liners and is quick on their feet will have an advantage.
In the final round, previous winning jokes are back in play and everyone is given the opportunity to improve them. At this point, the ship is sinking and the winner of the game gets a life vest.
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