Party games are going to be essential this holiday season. After all, what are you going to do otherwise? Sit around and talk? Ain't nobody got time for that. And while it's fairly easy to pull out a deck like Cards Against Humanity (or, if the kiddies are around, Apples to Apples), Jackbox Games, the creators of You Don't Know Jack, have another offering in mind that's likely to make your holidays go down smoother than spiked egg nog.
The Jackbox Party Pack 2 is a follow-up to last year's package offering, which included a new Jack, alongside Fibbage and other interesting components. This time around, there are some new offerings like Bidiots and Bomb Corp, along with an XL sized version of Quiplash and Fibbage 2.
Here's a breakdown of each game that's included, and where you should get your start when it comes to partying on…
In this game, you basically work alongside fellow players to disarm bombs and file papers in filing cabinets, which, ironically enough, also have the ability to explode. You can probably guess that this company doesn't have a great health insurance plan.
Anyway, it's all done in turns, as different players have to cut different wires, and you'll have to communicate with one another to prevent the wrong thing from being filed. It's a bit manic and repetitive, and not even close to what real bomb defusing is like, but that's the idea.
It's not a bad game, but Bomb Corp is probably the least appealing of the package, mainly because of its limited nature. Still, if you want a game where you frantically scream (comically) at one another, this is for you.
In This game, you'll draw items that essentially go up for bid, while letting certain players know just what the item is worth. Each buyer has approximately $3,000 to spend on items, wondering just how much each item is worth. Then they go through the auction bidding like crazy, trying to bid the right value for items, even the ones they don't know about.
Confusing? Yeah, it can be, but it's interesting for two artists to be given the same idea and see what they come up with, as they can be drastically different. The rest, though, comes down to frantic bidding, and there are times that it can be a little bit tedious.
Still, for those that live and breathe games like Pictionary – or want to show off with others when they try to buy the equivalent of a dead fish for a few hundred dollars – it's worth a try.
Probably the best new entry of the bunch, Earwax is absolutely hilarious, as you attempt to pair together sound samples to answer scenarios provided by the host at hand. So, for instance, if they ask "The Craziest Football Halftime Show Ever", of course you can pair together a bleating sheep, followed by a large fart noise. Or worse, if you prefer.
Of course, this game can get raunchy, but that's the point, really, as the more ridiculous your answers get, the funnier it ends up being. And it's so easy to put together answers here, even if they make no sense, that the results always provide something unpredictable and new. Stupid, maybe, but regardless…
Earwax is easily one of the must plays in the Party Pack 2, and you should bring a few friends along for the ride. They can also play online via cell phone, in case you feel like streaming the game and seeing what lunatics are out there. (Remember, though, it is the Internet…)
Easily one of the best games of the first pack, Fibbage set the standard with players trying to set up lies based on questions answered, then getting people to believe said lies. Fibbage 2 doesn't change much from this, providing a number of new questions to take on, and giving players more opportunities to lie like madmen.
It's silly, yes, but it's also incredibly engaging, and it, too, can be played online via streaming or sessions with your friends, using their own cell phones. It's still a hilariously good time, and a vital part of the Party Pack-age.
Finally, there's the crown jewel of the pack, an advanced version of the party game Quiplash with more questions thrown in. The goal here is to be given a question and provide the best answer possible. Two potential answers are given, and the audience votes for the best one. Whoever has the most points at the end of three rounds wins.
It's quite silly at times, thanks to the variety of answers that can be given, and with the right group of people, its interaction is nothing short of brilliant. Plus, it was custom built for streaming, so if you can get a group of online friends together, there's nothing like it.
Quiplash XL also has more questions than the original game that was released last year, so if you're a fan of it, that makes Party Pack even more of a must-buy.