Jackbox Games may have accidentally created a fall tradition. Around pumpkin-spice season, the minds behind You Don’t Know Jack release a new bundle of party games. Most of those individual games are great. A few kind of stink. But one constant remains: If you want to have a great time with friends, firing up one of the Jackbox Party Packs is an easy way to do so. Jackbox Party Pack 5 keeps the fun rolling, with a mix of five eclectic group-oriented games. And only one of them kind of stinks!
The marquee game is You Don’t Know Jack: Full Stream, a new installment in that well-known series. It’s basically the same trivia contest as before, but with new questions and a fun wrapper that pokes fun of streaming video services. As players answer questions on their handheld devices, phony shows from Binjpipe like “Too Much Dust” and “Oh Samantha” pop up in a list of recommendations. The tone is as snarky as ever, and new ways to sabotage your opponents (by obscuring their text, requiring a password input, and more) keep the gameplay fresh.
I have to give Jackbox credit for trying something new with Zeeple Dome, but its co-op take on an Angry Birds experience is the weak spot in the collection. The pull-back controls work well, but there’s nothing particularly engaging about the action. If you’re looking for a way to clear the house party but don’t want to flick the lights on and off repeatedly, Zeeple Dome will get people yawning and looking for their coats in no time.
Even with that clunker, Jackbox Party Pack 5 is another great bundle. Solo partiers won’t find much to do here (playing You Don’t Know Jack against A.I. is a heartbreaking thought experiment), but scrounge up a group and you’re good to go.
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