The Jackbox Party Pack 6 review: Spooky, scary aliens

Jackbox Games
Jackbox Games /

Finding a balance between social deduction, social interaction, silliness and gameplay, The Jackbox Party Pack 6 provides a more robust collection this year.

Title: The Jackbox Party Pack 6
Developer: Jackbox Games
Publisher: Jackbox Games
Platforms: PC (version reviewed), PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Comcast Xfinity, Android TV, Mac App Store
Release Date: October 17, 2019 (PC + consoles)

It seems like churning out a collection of minigames each year as a full release (at half the price of a standard, packaged retail game) seems like a recipe for inevitable disaster. However, Jackbox Games has been cranking out collections each year to remarkable success. In fact, I’d say The Jackbox Party Pack 6 is one of the best collections overall.

If there’s a singular game that helps push the envelope forward, it’s Push the Button. This game sees 4-10 players complete a series of tasks within a time limit to find out who among the group are aliens. Humans see regular drawing, opinion, and deliberation prompts while aliens’ prompts are altered or not even present. However, they can hack people to give themselves correct prompts or give humans alien prompts, and if you don’t guess them all correctly at once, they win.

Social deduction games haven’t quite driven the series so far, but to me, this minigame is Jackbox Party Pack 6’s best. It’s fairly straightforward yet the variety of tasks provided and the leeway provided in opinionated, personalized content makes each game fresh. I would suggest playing with as many as possible, as there is only one alien with four players. However, it’s still an infinitely replayable experience my testing group wants to throw in the rotation.

Jackbox Party Pack 6 Push the Button
Jackbox Games /

Joke Boat is this year’s “Mad Verse City” in that 3-8 players have to go out of their comfort zone by coming up with Mad Libs-like topics, insert them into a standup comic joke setup and finish with an individually-written punchline. After a round of jokes with two players matching up against each other is performed (two rounds if there are few enough players), a final round sees players try to take another player’s setup and try to out-joke them. The audience determines who wins each joke-off.

This minigame is very group-dependent, and you might find that if people go for gross-out factors, non-descript swearing or don’t try to form comic-like jokes, the comedy falls flat. However, even with groups that keep things straight edge, the rush of having to come up with an adequate one-liner is thrilling and pushes creative boundaries for players.

Back once again is Trivia Murder Party 2; a multiple-choice trivia game where 1-8 players accumulate funds by correctly solving questions. Get them wrong and you are thrown into a Saw-like microgame where you fight with everyone else who got the question wrong to “survive” the task.

After there is only one player left “alive,” it goes to a final round where you have to correctly pick which options in a group of multiple-choice options belong to that category. Dead players surpassing you with correct answers can overtake the alive person in the lead and escape to victory.

This is a mostly straightforward update of the game first found in Jackbox Party Pack 3, although this time there are items given to some players in minigames that can alter the course of who’s selected to die or for player mitigation. It’s a solid, reliable minigame that performs workmanlike in the fact you could cycle through if you’re a trivia fan.

Jackbox Party Pack 6 Role Models
Jackbox Games /

Hearing the description of Role Models does a disservice to the fun wrinkles it provides 3-6 players. You pick categories as a group like “Fibbage” topics, however, as a group, you must decide which option listed represents the other players in each category. For example, if the category was “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” my group (and I) picked me to be Donatello. As you pick more roles, there are discrepancies between players that creates more fun mini-tests.

This is a very opinionated game that works best if played with a group of people that know each other. Playing it with strangers on streams or at a party where everyone playing doesn’t know each other makes it close to impossible to work. However, figuring out which people amongst you thinks they’re Han Solo of the Star Wars options available provides some laughs, and embodying the roles is funny and fun.

Each collection of games has at least one stinker, and Dictionarium fits the bill for Jackbox Party Pack 6. This game sees 3-8 players come up with the definition of a fake word that was provided by the game, with others selecting which definition should fit that word. The next round sees players creating their own unique synonym (followed by voting in the best word), and the final round sees players try to come up with the best usage in a sentence to fill out the fake word’s dictionary entry.

Whether you’re doing this with a word or slang phrase (both starting options), there’s really nowhere to go with this game. Players are given strict parameters and are told to basically create the entirety of the game’s content from scratch on their own without others’ input. It’s like you’re competing with yourself against others in the room.

Jackbox Party Pack 6 Joke Boat
Jackbox Games /

With just one relative dud in the bunch, Jackbox Party Pack 6 is resoundingly consistent and has multiple games that will want you coming back for more time and time again. The jokes are well-written, the game concepts are refreshing, and I can’t think of a time where I was annoyed or confused on a topic.

Most importantly, these games offer a variety of different creative outlets that don’t require a large group or live stream audience like a “Split the Room” would in previous games. Jackbox Party Pack 6 is built for everyone, and it’s that mindset which blossoms laughter and joy.

8.5. <em>The Jackbox Party Pack 6</em> pushes the franchise forward in the right direction with a variety of refreshing, exciting minigames. Whether it’s socially deducing aliens among humans, working on your stand-up craft, discovering new roles for you and your group, creating brand new words, or escaping a ghoulishly menacing ghost hotel, there’s an exceptional time to be had for all.. Jackbox Games. . The Jackbox Party Pack 6

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 incrementsClick here to learn more about our Review Policy.