5 slots I have for Jackbox games
I remember when I found out Jack Box Games. It was the summer of 2019 and I was cast for the set of Disney’s Beauty & The Beast at a regional theater located at a Catholic college in Pennsylvania. After a long day of rehearsal, one of our teammates pulled out his PS4 and lit up a Jackbox Party Pack in the dorm room.
After playing a trick, I was in love. The games were hilarious and the smartphone controls were so accessible. I loved the idea that anyone could enter a four letter code and join the party anywhere. I bought all the party packs soon after and always took them out for game night. So, I thought it would be fun to imagine games I’d like to see Jackbox tackle in the future!
5 Quiplash: wordless editing
Of all the Jackbox games that grace our TV screens and eat up our phone battery, quiplash is arguably a fan favorite. After all, the game combines simple rules with wacky prompts and answers bound by the limits of the imagination. It turns out that “saying the funniest thing” is an ageless pastime.
Yet, after three iterations, we will need new ideas to revitalize the Quiplash series. Like other board games that rely on humor, Quiplash is sometimes defined by its laziest answers. (For example, we all know the friend who upvotes any answer that contains a rude word that would get me fired if typed in total.)
Jackbox has already tried new formats of the popular one-line board game. For example, Earwax asks players to respond to prompts using only sound effects. Still, he didn’t have the same stamina for some reason.
As I reimagined the Quiplash brand, I wondered what would change the game most radically. First, I thought, “what if the jokes were silent?” Pantomime jokes came to mind but made the game too close to charades. Then I discovered a simpler option: funny faces.
I opted for two methods of gameplay for this new version of Quiplash. The first method would ask players to choose emojis in response to the prompt. However, the second method would require players to take selfies with funny faces. Of course, anonymity would be lost in the second method, so voting would have to be handled by an honor code. Still, the wacky possibilities would be endless!
Plus, the facial expressions are reactionary! So you won’t have to worry about creating the perfect joke before the time runs out. Isn’t that a huge relief?
Be careful not to get hit in the back of the head making a funny face. It will remain so.
4 Drawful: Dance Edition
Typing on your phone is all well and good, but the Jackbox Gaming experience can get mixed up after a while. I think the solution to this board game monotony syndrome (BMS, for short) is more engagement and movement. It’s time for game night to get physical without becoming Twister. (Seriously, why do I want to stretch for a red dot and end up with my cousin’s ass in my face? Bleh!)
Attractive is one of the most popular offerings from Jackbox Games. Players draw pictures based on other players’ captions. Then everyone tries to trick themselves into having them vote for their own captions rather than the correct one. Think of it like Balderdash for drawing.
This version of Drawful that I concocted deviates considerably from the series. In the first phase, everyone would submit designs which would be combined into a dance routine. These designs can be literal, like stick figure movements, or metaphorical, like a single rose.
In the second phase, each player performs their own dance incorporating three random designs from the sketches created in the first phase. Everyone takes turns applauding or booing each dancer. The dancer with the most applause wins the round.
I sincerely believe in the potential of this artistic groove festival! The laughs that these dances will bring will be many. Plus, creating improvised dances adds a layer of creativity never seen before in a Jackbox title.
One of my favorite new board games is the recently launched, RiffTrax: the game, which has player redub dialogue from old B and C movies. Players vote for their favorite dubs, and the player with the most votes wins. This game made me and my friends laugh with joy on game night resulting in hours of play.
One of the cool things about Rifftrax is the combination of seeing your own written dialogue played over a video clip. It hits very differently from reading a quip on Quiplash. Plus, these dubs get even funnier when the movements of the redub and the mouth line up perfectly!
Therefore, when brainstorming new Jackbox games, my mind immediately went to this title. Still, how could I add the original Jackbox spin to it? Then it hit me: the music videos! The music videos are filled with crazy metaphors that are taken out of context. Plus, the parody lyrics are hilarious when done right.
I thought that the exchanges of words could be revealed in two ways. First, an automated voice could recite the new lyrics for those who are nervous. Or, for an added fun twist, players would sing each other’s new lyrics. In this case, players can earn points for how well they perform other players’ rewrites and points for their own rewrites!
Karaoke, step aside! There’s an embarrassing new music event in town!
Trivia Rom-Com Party is my spin-off proposal from another fan-favorite trivia game, murder party. Trivia Murder Party is hugely popular, having launched a sequel in Jackbox Party Pack 7. Both iterations combine tricky trivia with hilarious send-ups of horror movie tropes. Unfortunately, only one player manages to make it out of the game alive after a barrage of tough questions and suspenseful elimination challenges!
A killer trivia game is great fun! Still, I think a reimagining should bridge the gap between Trivia Murder Party 2 and a possible TMP3. What other movie genres would work well with trivia? Maybe a romantic comedy would be a breath of fresh air.
A romantic comedy would be a huge twist on the encyclopedic hack and slashing question-solving that Jackbox players have grown accustomed to. Plus, the mockery that could be made of classic rom-com tropes is plentiful. Yet this game needs one defining feature that makes it more than a trivia game with a Bridget Jones Diary coat of paint.
After considering the possibilities, I asked myself, “what if the goal isn’t to get the right answer?” That’s when I had the idea of creating a game where players try to match answers without consulting each other. Whether the corresponding answer is right or wrong does not matter. However, if two or more players match the correct answer, bonus points could be awarded. The player with the most matching points wins!
I like this idea for a reason: you have to ask yourself if your friends are smart enough to choose the right answer. Also, if not, which answer would your friends choose? And in addition to these factors, what if your friend underestimates you and picks another wrong answer? In short, Trivia Rom-Com Party is a mind game about measuring the potential of other players. And it looks even more diabolical than a serial killer asking me about geometry!
1 You don’t know Jack 2022
As for Jackbox Games, we wouldn’t have any of our favorite titles without the signature quiz series, You don’t know Jack. This Q&A series combined terrific Q&As with hilarious antics to create one of the most unique board game experiences of the 90s. Plus, YDKJ’s persistence has helped it thrive for ages. decades.
Still, it’s been a hot minute since the last YDKJ headline. The last entry in the series, YDKJ: full stream, launched in 2018. Since then, pop culture has changed enormously! I mean, think about it, 2020 has arrived. This year alone has given us plenty of new zingers for Cookie Masterson to throw at us! That’s why I’m using my last roster entry as an opportunity to beg Jackbox Games to bring back the GOAT!
Come on, Jackbox, it’s time for You Don’t Know Jack: Unmasked Edition!
Next: TheGamer’s Favorite Jackbox Games