June 3, 2023

Tor Go Devil

No game no life

40 games later, I’m amazed Jackbox Party Packs are still this good

Staff Picks (Image credit: Future) In addition to our main Game of the Year Awards...

Staff Picks

The PC Gamer Game of the Year Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

In addition to our main Game of the Year Awards 2021, each member of the PC Gamer team is shining a spotlight on a game they loved this year. We’ll post new staff picks, alongside our main awards, throughout the rest of the month.

There’s a game in Jackbox Party Pack 8 about drawing weapons. No, it’s not Drawful, because you’re not guessing what each other’s weapons are. In Weapons Drawn, your artwork is a smokescreen for a murder mystery. Hidden within each murder weapon drawing is a letter (a calling card, if you will) from the name of its artist, and identifying it is the only surefire way to know whodunnit. 

You also get to name the party guests that get targeted for murders whatever you want, be it “Pipplebuff Crumblebottom” or “George Pleasedontkillmeton”. During our last game of Weapons Drawn over Thanksgiving, I had to draw a sword and figure out how to hide my telltale “M” within it. I decided to camouflage the spiked consonant as the sword’s hilt. The disguise worked for all of six seconds before my friends noticed the, in retrospect, suspicious hilt shape.

jackbox party pack

A recreation of my sword from memory with the letter highlighted in red. (Image credit: Future)

If you’re keeping track, that makes Weapons Drawn one part art game, one part hidden identity, and one part creative writing. I’ve never played anything like it, and that’s sort of amazing when you consider there have now been a total of 40(!) Jackbox games. By Party Pack 8, you’d think our group would’ve gotten sick of punching in room codes and drawing obscure prompts, but Jackbox manages to surprise us every year.

I think it helps that Jackbox has gotten very good at borrowing concepts from its own games to make new ones. Weapons Drawn, for instance, is a murderized twist on Drawful and Fakin’ It. The Wheel of Enormous Proportions, this pack’s most casual game, has a same trivia format as Trivia Murder Party with a splash of randomization added through wheel spins. Drawful Animate is… well it’s just more Drawful, except now you can draw a few frames to tell a story.

jackbox party pack job job

I, too, cry if clown happens. (Image credit: Jackbox Games)

One of my favorite remixes in Party Pack 8 is Job Job. This one asks players to answer a benign prompt with as many words as they can. Players then have to answer a new prompt, but can only make their answers using a pool of words from previous answers. The results often end up sounding like those autocorrect challenges that are grammatically correct but never really make sense. 

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