In 2014, the world was greeted by the Jackbox Party Packs, a series of simple games that offered tons of fun for game nights, and recently, streamers and remote get-togethers worldwide. But now, in 2022, you are certainly flush with choices, with eight mainline packs spanning over forty games. And that’s not even counting the standalone games, which can lead to one question: Where does one even begin to choose a pack?
And that’s where the Party Starter comes in. Grabbing the best titles from many packs and updating them to be streamer and remote-play friendly, this is a package recommended for people who want to get their hands dirty with Jackbox. A true “starter pack”, if you will. Featuring fan-favorite titles in one singular package, and localization in seven different languages with brand-new regional prompts available, depending on the language you choose.
Let’s start with the first game on the package: Quiplash 3, the threequel to the highly popular joking game series, hailing from Pack 7. In this game, players write a funny response according to the random prompt that is given to them. The player with the most votes at the end of three total rounds wins.
In general, while Quiplash is doable with three players, it’s really more recommended if you can get a full room together. Especially when the Audience can just tip the scales and cause an uproar in the scores.
Next, we have Tee K.O., the “oldest” game of the selection, as it is from Pack 3. In Tee K.O. you must make funny drawings and write quirky slogans and combine them to make the ultimate T-shirt.
Being the oldest game, many new features had to be added in order to make it streamer friendly, such as adding moderation, subtitles for those who can’t hear the host, and also a way for drawings to get submitted, even if time runs out and a player has yet to finish it. You can also order your “masterpieces” online via the Jackbox controller menu. So if you want to go to a convention with an unique shirt made by you, be my guest.
Lastly, the trivia game of the package, which is Trivia Murder Party 2, which comes from Pack 6. This is the sequel to Pack 3‘s Trivia Murder Party, but with different minigames, and much more variation when it comes to the questions. The idea is simple: Answer questions correctly, and try not to die as the host hurls all sorts of punishments trying to end your life.
The player who manages to escape wins the game. This also happens to be the only title in the package that allows for “solo runs”, or rather, runs with just one singular player. This is definitely not the best way to experience it, but hey, if you wanted to get that trivia bone tickled.
That’s it? Yeah, there are only three games in this package. In my opinion, I think adding two more would’ve been beneficial, because while all of the games I talked about are very high-quality and can offer decent amount of fun, I kept wondering as to why not make this a 5-pack like all other Jackbox Party Packs?
There were many other games out of the 40+ that could’ve also made the cut, such as Mad Verse City, and even older titles such as Survive the Internet would’ve benefited a lot from moderation, Many people love those games, but due to their lack of moderation options, they’re often ill-suited to streaming, as you cannot really block the foul language that might get you in trouble with your audience.
This pack also felt, to me at least, a bit rushed compared to the others during its release. There were many animation bugs, such as the wrong voice being played for the read-aloud function on Trivia Murder 2 and also, the unnerving silence during the Moderation phase in Tee K.O., with no comment whatsoever from the host or even music playing.
Quiplash 3 is the only one which doesn’t suffer from these issues, which might be because it’s from a more modern pack. It feels as though as if they crammed some of the older games in this new framework but didn’t account for the possible conflicts, and I hope that future patches can address all of those issues.
The Jackbox Party Starter is a very compelling package, but I feel I can’t recommend it unless you’re looking to play updated versions of older games that you already know and love. The general consensus was to always get the latest pack, as that offers a wider selection of games to choose from, and while this combination of three games does offer fun in its own right, I’d rather just get the latest packs, because there’s bound to be a higher chance to have something for everyone.
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