Jackbox recently released their Party Starter pack, which immediately asks the question: is this a good place to start your Jackbox journey?
If you already know you enjoy Jackbox games then I’d recommend our Jackbox Party Pack Buyers Guide to pick out the best Pack(s) for your gaming needs. Though if you’re not sure whether you enjoy Jackbox games yet, is the Party Starter the right place to… start?
The Party Starter comes with three of Jackbox’s “most beloved games”, compared to the usual five games you get in a standard Party Pack. At approximately 65% of the price, getting 60% of the games isn’t a bad trade-off if they truly are three of Jackbox’s better games. It’s fair to say that most Party Packs come with one or two games which are rarely replayed, so this seems like a decent price-point if all three games will see regular action.
Onto the games themselves, Jackbox have selected Quiplash 3, Trivia Murder Party 2, and Tee K.O. for the Party Starter. The most notable exclusions from this list are Fibbage and Drawful, which are arguably the games that really put Jackbox on the map.
Quiplash 3 is the purest form of the “choose the best answer” format which a lot of Jackbox games are based on. This usually involves trying to be the funniest, though the game doesn’t enforce that in any way. Quiplash 3 is a great pick for the Party Starter being both very simple and an excellent litmus test: if you enjoy Quiplash 3, you will enjoy a lot of the Jackbox catalogue.
Trivia Murder Part 2 is an interesting include in the Starter Pack, as the Jackbox trivia games tend to be more miss than hit. That said, Trivia Murder Party combines trivia with minigames in a way that keeps everyone involved and feels like anyone could win until the very end. I think that Trivia Murder Party 2 is less of a litmus test but is one of Jackbox’s better produced games. If this is the only game in the Starter Pack which you enjoy, you’ll probably do well to only buy the Starter Pack.
Tee K.O. is one of the least competitive games that Jackbox have ever produced, making it quite unique among the Jackbox catalogue. A competition is loosely thrown in, but it’s mainly about chilling out and making fun T-shirt designs. Most of the Jackbox drawing games include competitive elements similar to Quiplash or Fibbage, so if you enjoy both Quiplash and Tee K.O then it’s likely you’ll enjoy most of the drawing games in the other Jackbox Party Packs. Each Party Pack typically includes one drawing game, though Drawful 2 is available as a standalone product, which could allow you to test the waters further.
Jackbox have also updated the games in the Party Starter with the latest settings, including moderation and language options. While these won’t impact the gameplay too much, they are great options to have and will likely smooth out the experience that little bit more.
Overall, I’d say these three games are a decent selection for the Party Starter, being both a diverse selection as well as three of the better Jackbox games. As mentioned previously, the exclusion of both Fibbage and Drawful makes The Party Starter significantly weaker, particularly since this means The Party Starter lacks a “trick your friends” scoring game, which is a core mechanic of many of their games. That said, these three games will give you a good idea as to whether you will enjoy most Jackbox games.
If you are already familiar with Jackbox games I would say you are better off buying the Pack(s) which have the most games you will enjoy, based on your experience. That may end up being the Party Starter, though probably not simply because you get more games in the Party Packs.
If you are new to Jackbox and want to try a selection of their games before buying any of the Party Packs, then the Party Starter is a great way to get a feel for the kind of Jackbox games you would enjoy. After which, you can refer to our Buyers Guide to see which Pack(s) would suit you best!
If you can’t get all your friends in one room, Jackbox games also work great over voice call!
Or you could check out the time we played the Jackbox Party Pack 8 (shortly after its release) on our YouTube channel.
And if you’re looking for more traditional local multiplayer games, we’ve also got you covered there!
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