Jackbox Party Pack 9 preview (Gamescom)

The Jackbox Party Pack releases have been team favorites here for a few years now, so when we got the opportunity to meet with part of the team behind them for a look at Party Pack 9, we couldn’t resist. Here’s a closer look.

What we know

It’s hard to get around Jackbox Games and their Party Pack releases these days, as they enjoyed a massive surge in popularity during all the lockdowns we went through. As people learned how to stream and play their games online with friends and family, the Jackbox games brought people together and became one of the gaming trends that defined this Covid period we’re still going through.

Now, they’re getting ready to release the ninth version of their Party Pack series, with five brand new games – four of which are completely original creations while the fifth is the fourth iteration of the massive popular Fibbage. The other games are called Junktopia, Nonsensory, Roomerang and Quixort, promising a nice amount of diversity between them. Party Pack 9 will launch for all major systems in the not too distant future.

jackbox9a

What we saw

We recently had the opportunity to meet with Jackbox’s Andy Kniaz and Allard Laban, who is their Chief Creative Officer. Having made the long journey to Gamescom in Germany, they walked us through the five new games they’re getting ready to launch before letting us dive into a game of Quixort for our first hands on experience with the game. Quixort was the last of the five games that the developer announced back in July, so we were excited to already play it a few weeks later.

What we thought

In Quixort, you play a unique combination of Tetris and trivia, as you try to sort answers that all belong to a different category. These can (as an example) be on a timeline, where you have to sort video game consoles from old to new – covering the width of the screen. Because you don’t know what’s coming next, you might end up quickly running out of space as you discover that the console you started with is actually much older (or newer) than the ones you’re being asked to play next.

jackbox9b

You can stack answers in a way where they hang slightly off to the left or right of the answer below them, but you can’t do this indefinitely as you’ll run out of space at the top or might want to fit an answer inbetween that you can squeeze in there anymore. This kind of stressful situation will be especially relevant in the included ‘Forever’ mode, which is where you’ll see how long you can keep adding answers before reaching that line at the top.

For us, it felt like Quixort is a fresh new take on how we first got to know Jackbox games – through the trivia-based You Don’t Know Jack titles. The mechanics that require you to sort your answers and do so in a Tetris-like stacking kind of way add a new spin to this as well, so we’re looking forward to having more time with it in the future and trying our hand at the other four games as well. As every year, this Party Pack is one we’ll probably play a ton during the final few weeks of the year.

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