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You Don’t Know Jack – The Jackbox Party Park PS4 Review

By Jon Ireson in Post-Mortem Review

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The classic from Windows PC days which spawned its own standalone device (working off of hundreds of paper cue cards and flash cards as well as built-in buzzers, voice speaking, and sound effects makes its way to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. You Don’t Know Jack is a classic form of trivia game show where the host is a straight up comedic act that plays on the cruel and foul nature of dark humor and smack talking among friends. In the middle of a party, it was easy to boot this up immediately and three people in the room joined me from their smartphones in what ended up becoming the center of attention. This is done from the mobile browser, so no need for annoying install / update of apps just gaming, everybody shouting out answers at the people who were playing, while those safeguarded their phones from each other’s sight. The various game modes that go from simple multiple choice, multiple contestants buzzing in modes to bizarre word relation examinations with twitch control or modes geared to one player while the rest tried to sabotage the event through other means given by the game.

You Don’t Know Jack 2015 is the version of this game that comes included, but that’s not all players get. Another set of games is included for once players run through the You Don’t Know Jack 2015 material. Admittedly, once you’ve played through most of it one time – you know all of the answers and have an unfair advantage of your friends. Of course, you don’t have to tell them that – and you could still let them win. I would love to see this series expanded on in a more meaningful way, perhaps by allowing online players to make their own questions – or just by constantly updating more for free and / or cheap.

Fibbage is a game included in the Party Pack which emotes players based on lies and deception. This is the Fibbage XL version of the game included with this party pack. A room full of people can bust out laughing at each other as they try to keep a straight face while others know they are full of it. The mobile support works great, but if people don’t have a compatible device they might get left out. Luckily, during our testing of these games – we happened to be around a fun environment with friends which is exactly what You Don’t Know Jack Party Pack thrives best at. Of course, if you’re just solo you can use a controller instead. In the past, games with tons of accessories like custom buzzers have done well in the market place and could also be an option for this franchise to consider while of course keeping the awesome new mobile phone features.

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Lie Swatter is a more simple and straight forward game but still very fun. Silly “did you know?” style facts appear on the screen and players have to quickly swat down the ones that are completely fake. Anything that is swatted but turns out to be true hurts the one who swatted it instead. Many people can join in together for this activity and it is fast paced with lots of false trivia. In fact, I get a headache after just a short time looking at all the bull that they came up with. Pretty hilarious concept, but this one just wasn’t that interesting for me.

You Don’t Know Jack Party Pack also comes with Drawful, now this is more of a wider appealing game. Unfortunately it’s confusing and throws things a bit too far over the edge from hilarious to just down right nonsensical. Everyone wants to play some sort of drawing game that lets players jump in together from their phones at a party and laugh about who drew what, what it all means within the rules of the game, and who’s guessing, punching buttons, etc. just like You Don’t Know Jack dynamics but with a drawing game? Nope. This is just insanity. I personally found it enjoyable but a lot of people do not and although it can give some of my friends a serious case of the giggles it’s just not explanatory enough to hold everyone in the room’s attention the way You Don’t Know Jack is.

Word Spud is a compulsory sort of toss-in to even the pile into a 5 game offer in my opinion. I see so much potential and promise in this game, but yet it’s as thin as air to me. Why do I want to sit around and vote on words with my friends which they themselves just made up? It was attempted to have all of the names the same so nobody knew who each other was when voting on the words. This helped somewhat legitimize the gameplay and avoid a sort-of odd, pointless social gesture.

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Final Verdict:

All in all, it seems the team behind You Don’t Know Jack Party Pack is genius, does great work, and needs to continue creating. Some of the games included in this bundle are less than impressive, but instead seem like experimental ideas that can evolve into amazing titles. Word Spud, Drawful, and Lie Swatter are silly fun that feels a bit incomplete and gets stale fast.

Fibbage and You Don’t Know Jack 2015 make the Party Pack worth the asking price on their own though, with entertainment value in spades. Unfortunately, the replay value is debatable since the host of the party would have already heard a lot of the same material over and over again. In the end, this product serves its purpose and is a great family or party event style product. For die hard fans of trivia, it’s another bold entry into the genre from the folks who have been bringing you the You Don’t Know Jack brand of humor since 1995.

As for the flagship title itself, I’ve been a fan of the You Don’t Know Jack games for a long time now, since before Windows XP and PlayStation 2 came out – and I’d have to say this latest You Don’t Know Jack 2015 version holds up the values of the franchise and experience very well. It was awesome to be able to bring this on PlayStation 4 to a room full of people enjoying a lively atmosphere and actually see the game capture all of us again the way the original did. Whether you have played You Don’t Know Jack games or not, the You Don’t Know Jack Party Pack for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is a must have piece to add to the collection.

Included in The Jackbox Party Pack :

  • Lie Swatter (1-100 players)
  • Word Spud (2-8 players)
  • Drawful (3-8 players)
  • Fibbage XL (2-8 players)
  • YOU DON’T NOW JACK 2015 (1-4 players)

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 7 / 10

RGN Rating : Bronze Game

Developer/ Publisher: Jackbox Games

Available On: PS4 | XO | PC | PS3 | Amazon Fire TV

Played On: Sony PlayStation 4

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.

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