Paige FTW: An Ode To Jackbox

I’m not one to play online games with other people, but I keep a stock of local party games to play with friends — the old-school method of multiplayer gaming, really. It remains a viable social option even as I stare down the big 30 this year.

And while we love our Mario Party and Super Smash Bros., there is something to be said about the viability of the Jackbox series of games.

These stylized little trivia or drawing or rapping or what have you games are somehow perfect for a party. Some of the games are admittedly weird, but nearly all have some kind of appeal in a group setting.

It really hit home for me when I picked up Jackbox Party Pack 5 (on sale on PlayStation for the holidays) and a group of friends came over and played it. We were befuddled by Zeeble Dome (a rare actually-like-a-video-game entry), confused by Split the Room (where you present … divisive opinions?) and You Don’t Know Jack (weirder trivia), but literal hysteria ensued at Patently Stupid (where we all came up with stupid problems, drew terrible pictures and then presented them to the group as a whole). We were crying with laughter.

Like, it’s not a challenging game or an infuriating game (as Mario Party tends to be). It doesn’t really require skill like a shooter or a fighting game. Some of the minigames suck, and some of them are gems.

But it’s just … a nice game to play with friends. And somehow that’s a rarer thing than you think it would be.

On that note, I have to say that my favorite Jackbox is probably the fourth incarnation, as I quite like that game’s iteration of the trivia game.