The Jackbox Party Pack 8 Review

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The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is a solid collection of fun mini-games, though this latest entry does have more bugs than fans may be used to dealing with.

Jackbox Games released the original Jackbox Party Pack in 2014, and a new entry in the series has been released every year since. On schedule, The Jackbox Party Pack 8 has arrived but with the franchise now eight entries deep, fans may be wondering if it’s starting to lose its appeal. Luckily, the new Jackbox Party Pack game confirms that the series is nowhere close to running out of steam.

Every new edition of The Jackbox Party Pack features a headline game, and The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is no exception. The fan-favorite Drawful game has evolved into Drawful Animate for The Jackbox Party Pack 8 and is arguably the major selling point of the collection. The basic premise of Drawful is retained with Drawful Animate, but, as its name implies, players are now tasked with animating their drawings.

With Drawful Animate, Jackbox Party Pack 8 players are first given a prompt to draw something on one slide, and then they animate it on a second slide by retracing certain lines and tweaking the image as necessary. This opens the door for new possibilities when it comes to Drawful hilarity, but there are some drawbacks unique to Drawful Animate when compared to previous versions of the mini-game.

The main issue is that turns tend to take longer with Drawful Animate. Players are given three minutes to draw both slides, and since they have to be a bit more careful with their drawings if they want the animations to look good, players will take their time more than they ever have before. Those that do manage to draw fast will find that they’re spending a great deal of time waiting around for the other players to finish their drawings.

Of course, this problem is negated if players are in a group that draws at the same pace, though that seems highly unlikely. In any case, Drawful Animate otherwise provides an experience that should be familiar to Drawful fans, and it gets bonus points for having multiple game modes. Unlike most Jackbox Party Pack mini-games, Drawful Animate has a standard mode along with a Friend Mode that has players animating scenes about the other players in the game (which usually has the funniest results), plus Make Your Own and Featured Content modes as well.

These alternate modes mean players should still get some decent mileage out of Drawful Animate, especially if they find the right group of friends to play with. While many will likely try Drawful Animate out first since it’s at the top of the menu, players might end up having more fun with the four other mini-games available, like Wheel of Enormous Proportions. Wheel of Enormous Proportions is the trivia game representative for The Jackbox Party Pack 8 with some interesting twists to help it stand apart from its predecessors.

Wheel of Enormous Proportions has players answering a variety of questions and if they’re successful, they earn “slices.” These slices can later be used on a wheel that players can spin to earn points. The more slices players collect during the trivia questions, the more chances they have to earn points from the wheel. Players have to physically “spin” the wheel using their mobile device, which makes Wheel of Enormous Proportions a touch more interactive than the trivia offerings in previous Jackbox games.

The titular wheel in the Wheel of Enormous Proportions talks to players throughout the game and in typical Jackbox fashion, has some pretty hilarious things to say. The writing in The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is great, with the game filled with sharp wit and a generally great sense of humor. Besides Wheel of Enormous Proportions, this is also apparent in the new Job Job mini-game.

Job Job is a new mini-game in The Jackbox Party Pack 8, and it has a fairly bizarre concept. The basic premise is that players are interviewing for a job where the boss is a sentient water cooler. Players answer a variety of questions, and then the words used in their answers are shared among the group. Other players then have to use this jumble of words to construct answers to even more questions, and while it may sound tedious on paper, it can be very entertaining. Throw in some satirical takes on corporate culture, old-school motivational posters from the mid-2000s, and an ancient PowerPoint presentation, and Job Job has the makings of a new fan-favorite Jackbox mini-game.

Job Job is a great deal of fun in The Jackbox Party Pack 8, but the star of the show is Poll Mine. Poll Mine is the best game in this new collection of Jackbox mini-games, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it become a heavily-played game by streamers in the near future. In Poll Mine, Jackbox players are tasked with ranking things, like their favorite famous vehicles from movies, for example. Everyone playing the game submits their ratings, though up to 100 audience members can participate as well, which is why this game will likely prove popular with Twitch streamers. It even has a dedicated streamer mode, so the developers are clearly confident that it will catch the eye of the streaming community.

Once Poll Mine players submit their rankings, the game aggregates the results and ranks the items accordingly. The goal then is for players to figure out how the ratings turned out, either by guessing the top three or by having to rank them in order. Unlike other Jackbox games, Poll Mine encourages active discussion between teammates as they attempt to figure out how everyone rated. It may not be as funny as the other games in the collection, but it’s the most fun gameplay-wise.

And finally, the fifth game in The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is Weapons Drawn, which takes inspiration from social deduction games like Among Us. In Weapons Drawn players are tasked with figuring out the identities of killers. It takes longer to play than the other games in the collection and has a lot more to learn about it, so it may not be an immediate go-to for Jackbox players when they pull The Jackbox Party Pack 8 out for game nights.

Like every other game in the series, The Jackbox Party Pack 8 has hits and misses, but one’s enjoyment of any given game really boils down to personal preference. While some may not care for the social deduction gameplay found in Weapons Drawn, it may turn out to be a favorite for those who really like Among Us. However, something that will be a drawback for all Jackbox Party Pack 8 players regardless of their personal opinions on the mini-games is the bugs.

The Jackbox Party Pack 8 on the Nintendo Switch has more bugs than Jackbox fans may be used to, and while none of them will hugely impact one’s enjoyment of the games, they definitely pop up enough that they’re noticeable. Sometimes the bugs come in the form of end-game animations slowing down to a crawl and spitting out distorted audio, but other times they can impact gameplay, like a weird bug in Drawful Animate and Job Job where the game is constantly deletes the text players are trying to type.

Extra bugginess aside, The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is otherwise another solid addition to the franchise and is well worth the investment for anyone looking for a new party game to play. Poll Mine, Job Job, and Wheel of Enormous Proportions are the standout games, though Drawful Animate and Weapons Drawn will likely have their fans as well.