With the confirmation of Jackbox Party Pack 8’s release date, we decided to take a fond look back at some of our favorite games from previous entries. However, we all know such a list would rightfully devolve into a Quiplash/Drawful/Trivia Murder Party lovefest, so we’re focusing on the best games to only appear once. Besides highlighting some fun one-hit wonders, maybe this list will entice the Jackbox team to revisit them in future installments. If any of these entries ever gets a “2” next to them, you know who to thank. Instead of ranking these games from best to least best, we’re arranging them in numerical order of the Pack they appeared in.
Creating crude doodles always garners a laugh but Tee K.O. ups the ante by making players pair their terrible art with equally humorous phrases. Players write slogans and draw pictures that are then shuffled and distributed for everyone to pair together on a t-shirt as they see fit. Two shirt designs are pitted against each other and players vote on the best/funniest. In a way, Tee K.O. blends the artistic creativity (or lack thereof) of Drawful with the fill-in-the-blank comedy of Quiplash; pairing a pre-school caliber portrait of Sonic the Hedgehog with the phrase “Sex Symbol” can have parties in stitches. Best of all, the game lets you order any created design as a real shirt – as in one you can wear in real life – to immortalize your favorite responses.
Mad Verse City
Rap battle insults are hilarious because the lyrics are either genuinely witty or so corny that they’re fun to laugh at. Mad Verse City is both by letting players dunk on each other under the guise of robot MCs. Players craft raps via a combination of choosing keywords, with the game generating lines around them, and writing wholly original sentences. Ideally, you want the last word in each to rhyme but being hilarious is more important than being the second coming of Rakim. Hearing an emotionless text-to-speech voice vocalize (and sometimes mispronounce) your absurd freestyle only makes it funnier. Since the game tells you who you’re facing, it’s probably best to play with good sports or friends whose relationships you consider bulletproof. As mean-spirited as it sounds, the game is at its funniest when raps go for the jugular via goofy personal insults.
Do you have a great idea for an invention? Patently Stupid lets you share your “brilliant” ideas with your friends. Players take turns creating a unique problem that everyone else has to solve. You then draw an invention meant to address these dilemmas, including naming it and giving it a tagline. Your ridiculous concoction is probably funny enough to garner some laughs, but the fact that you have to present and justify your dumb invention to the group Steve Jobs-style can send the game over the edge in the best way. If that’s asking too much, the game can do it for you via a nifty presentation tool.
Split The Room
In hindsight, Party Pack 5 is quite a package. Split the Room is an interesting game in that it tasks you with filling the blank of a hypothetical “would you rather” style question to garner the most divisive response possible. Here’s an example: “You’re the President of Pizza and learn that pepperoni will cause _____ to 5% people who eat it. Do you ban pepperoni as a topping forever?” Whatever word you fill that blank with, you want it to “split the room” as evenly as you can. Thus, Split the Room is a much more cerebral game, but that’s what makes it satisfying. It’s also a creative way of learning how your party guests like to think while allowing for plenty of laughs depending on how ludicrous players get with their responses.
Who says PowerPoint presentations can’t be fun? Talking Points divides players into teams of two, with one person in charge of improvising a speech based on slides chosen by their partner. The kick is that the slides are strange, hilariously out-of-context stock photos, but the challenge is to stay on topic while incorporating whatever weird thing pops on screen in a way that makes sense. The audience then votes on how engaging your speech was, with custom-made awards doled out at the end. Talking Points can lead to awkward trainwrecks, but that’s what makes it shine, so does watching someone smoothly think on their feet and deliver a killer presentation. That said, the game isn’t for everyone. Like Patently Stupid, it requires improvising a speech in front of an audience which can be nerve-wracking for some, even if it’s a joke. But when Talking Points lands, it’s a riot.
Which Jackbox game is your favorite? Share your picks in the comments!