There’s no shortage of excellent Jackbox games, but if you’re looking for something different, there are other options available. Here are 10 of the best games like Jackbox, each offering a unique spin on the digital party game format.
It’s worth noting that Jackbox games cover a wide spectrum, from trivia to memory games and beyond. Each of the games below is like Jackbox in one way or another. That said, there’s no real alternative that combines so many different gameplay experiences in a single package.
No one asked for a VR bomb defusal game, but developer Steel Crate Games went ahead and made one anyway. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes puts one player in the role of the bomb defuser and all other players in the role of experts. Using the bomb defusal manual, the experts must communicate with the bomb defuser to disable the various modules placed around the bomb.
“Stressful” doesn’t begin to describe how frantic Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is. Experts will violently rip through pages while the defuser tries to figure out how to communicate what they’re seeing. It’s a breathless experience, but once the dust has settled, your playgroup will quickly realize how much fun they’ve been having.
Overcooked is a cooking game where you and three other players must work together to get orders out accurately and on time. The core gameplay is simple, especially if your group designates players to certain areas of the kitchen. However, it quickly becomes complex as your team struggles to move around increasingly dangerous kitchens with increasingly complex orders.
Overcooked is a game about the journey, not the destination. As you move into later levels, keeping up with the orders can become nearly impossible. The fun comes from trying your best to cook food in ridiculous circumstances.
Super Mario Party is one of the best games on Nintendo Switch. Following the mixed reception of Mario Party 10, Nintendo went back to basics with Super. It’s fun, charming, and endlessly replayable, offering dozens of hours of competitive couch gameplay.
The fact that Super Mario Party is on Switch makes the tired series feel new again. Each player uses a Joy-Con to get around the board, and many of the mini-games are based around the motion controls of the Joy-Con. Because of that, mini-games have a new life to them. Plus, you can prop up your Switch on the kickstand to play while you’re out and about.
Read our Super Mario Party impressions
Moving Out is a lot like Overcooked, which makes sense, considering they both come from the same publisher. However, in Moving Out, you’re moving instead of cooking. It’s a physics-based game where you and up to three other players must move furniture in increasingly difficult circumstances.
Like Overcooked, Moving Out is at its best when you fail. As you and your teammates move furniture around each area, there’s no shortage of hazards waiting to mess up your day. These hazards are usually played for laughs, though, and make the overall experience feel over-the-top in the best way.
If you’ve been itching to buzz in an answer to some niche trivia questions, Jeopardy is for you. Jeopardy is, well, just Jeopardy, minus Alex Trebek. You and three other players will compete to buzz in on time as you work your way toward Final Jeopardy. If you don’t have a full four players, you can always swap in A.I. opponents, too.
It’s not a perfect representation of the game show, as each question has multiple-choice answers. That said, the game does represent the obscure questions of its source material, and rewards those who’ve done their homework.
Pummel Party, a game for four to eight players, is meant to “destroy friendships.” It’s a lot like Fusion Frenzy on the original Xbox, where you’ll compete with your friends across a variety of mini-games. This isn’t Super Mario Party, though.
As you progress through the game board, you’ll be able to pick up items and trigger traps to make your friends explode in a gory display. Everything about Pummel Party is extreme, and we love it for that.
Trivial Pursuit is a classic tabletop game, and now you can play it digitally. You’re still answering trivia questions with three other players, competing for the coveted colored wedges. This time around, though, you’re positioned in a game show arena with questions handed to you.
The questions aren’t especially difficult, and some of the magic is lost with the lack of a board, but Trivial Pursuit Live still gets most of the way there. Plus, it’s a great way to introduce reluctant friends or family to video games.
Our last three entries are all PS4 PlayLink games. Similar to Jackbox games, each player uses their phone to control the game, so no screen peeking. The first is the most directly comparable to Jackbox games, and that’s Knowledge Is Power.
It’s a quiz game where you and up to five other players duke it out over themed trivia questions. Knowledge Is Power makes the experience interesting, though. You can make a Power Play to keep your opponents from answering questions, or even team up to take down a rival. Knowledge Is Power doesn’t pull any punches, and thankfully, it doesn’t need to.
That’s You is another PlayLink game where you and up to five others must answer a series of ridiculous questions. At the beginning of the round, each player will take a selfie with their phone. Once a question is posed, everyone will vote for who they think best fits the situation described (e.g. “whose birthday party would attract the weirdest guests”).
From there, the game gets more and more ridiculous. There are drawing challenges, word challenges, and memory challenges, all based around the players playing the game. For the final round, each player takes a picture and passes it to the other players to draw and embellish in any way they see fit. Although the list of mini-games is the same each time you play, That’s You has different themes, leading to unique challenges for each playthrough.
Hidden Agenda (PS4)
Hidden Agenda for PS4 PlayLink is an excellent option for players who want a mature group-play game that will leave them feeling challenged. In this game, up to five players can connect, collaborate, investigate, and communicate directly from a smartphone. Hidden Agenda’s creators focused heavily on creating a big-picture game; You’ll find that the game’s emphasis is on one long journey and not on mini-games.
Players will have to tap into wit and intellectual skills to steer through this narrative-driven crime thriller, similar to games like Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human. You and your friends will need to make choices at every corner, and every decision could significantly impact the storyline and outcome of the game. Every single player’s decision is taken into account, and everyone is responsible for the outcome.
Throughout several critical points in the game, participants will be asked to vote on particular choices. Each vote essentially creates a fork in the gameplay; The decision could sway the game down one path or another. In the event that the overall vote is tied, a single player could be responsible for making the final choice. If you play in competitive mode, the stakes will be raised. Players could be given secret missions to tackle that could sway the group’s outcome.
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