The Jackbox Party Starter review (PS4)

The Jackbox Party Starter is a new collection of previously released Jackbox games that works like a “greatest hits” type of compilation. If you’ve heard good things about these games, then it’s a brilliant starting point. Here’s a look at the PS4 version.

Because the Party Starter features a trio of previously released games, it’s probably not going to draw in the crowd that’s already regularly playing the developer’s “bring your own device” titles. They’ll likely already own several “Party Pack” releases, and because this collection contains a ‘best of’ selection you’re not getting some of the more obscure titles that you previously overlooked either. If you were on the fence, however, then this is about as good a starting point as you’ll be able to find. It’s filler-free, with three top quality titles to play.

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Included are Trivia Murder Party 2, Quiplash 3, and Tee K.O, which together are being sold at roughly two thirds of the price point of a regular release. All three have also been improved somewhat, mostly with things like additional (content) filters, but these improvements will feel like things that can just be patched in and won’t be a reason for veterans to double dip and buy these again.

Quiplash 3 was previously featured in Party Pack 7, Trivia Murder Party 2 can be found in Party Pack 6 and Tee K.O. is the oldest of the bunch, originally launched as part of the Party Pack 3. What’s interesting is that these aren’t just all popular titles, they’re also quite different from one another, so you can switch things up during a game night and get a completely different feel from one game to the next.

Quiplash is a Jackbox classic that’s all about delivering clever answers in order to win rounds, and with the right crowd it’s a hilarious good time that never grows old. Trivia Murder Party is more akin to the old Jackbox series “You don’t know Jack” in that it provides a trivia experience, but the murder party theme is a great twist where players have to fight and compete to stay alive as well. It’s a bit darker than your standard round of Trivial Pursuit, but its thematic approach gives it an almost narrative-driven feel each time you play. We don’t think it’s a game you can keep playing all night, but it’s a great choice that’s a solid fit for any game night if you need a change of pace.

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Finally, Tee K.O. represents a third well-known game type from the Jackbox universe: the drawing game. Here, you draw t-shirts and write captions and vote for the best/funniest ones. There’s even an option to have your drawing printed on an actual shirt, though we didn’t try that out yet. Most Jackbox Party Packs have a drawing title, and Tee K.O. is one of the best (though you’ll want to check out Drawful as well).

If you’re interested in Jackbox but find the price of entry a bit too high, having to buy multiple of the previous releases to get the best party games available, then this is a great collection. With the next party pack appearing on the horizon as well, we’re hoping this draws in an ever larger crowd to play the new collection of games come the holiday season.

Score: 7.8/10

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