The Jackbox Party Pack 8 PS5 Review: Who Is This ‘Jack’ Fellow?

It's another one of those compilation games, this time of the Jackbox variety: The Jackbox Party Pack 8 for PS5 - out now.

In a somewhat maverick way of reviewing the latest The Jackbox Party Pack 8, I’ve decided to break down this series of party games based on the actual mini-games in question, as some are stronger than others. Still, you get access to them all regardless.

Devised by the quizmasters Jackbox Games, this is the 8th successive pack to be released. That’s your first fact, and anyone who knows number sequences will know that The Jackbox Party Pack 7 was the predecessor. Yep, I’m stalling. Let’s break this review structure with some partying.

Job Job

In Job Job, you and your fellow players attend an interview screening of three rounds, supplying your answers to some interview questions, then vote on the responses you like best. However, your submission gets thrown into a pile so that other contestants can answer new questions using a mish-mash of what was previously supplied.

The Jackbox Party Pack 8 PS5 Review - Job Job
Job Job. Source: Steam

It will depend on your audience, but our results ended up with some pigeon English and generic toilet humour from either myself or my eldest daughter. But truth be told, Job Job has the potential to be one of the better games here, but in my experience (blaming friends and family), it was one of the weaker games.

One of the flaws was how dragged out it felt. Job Job featured more cutscenes than the other titles, and as pleasant as the watercooler animations are, these little interludes and sketchy wordplay was more of a miss than a hit.

The Poll Mine

UK folk might remember Family Fortunes (Family Feud in the US?). In this primetime gameshow, a poll is taken, and contestants have to choose the top responses to secure points. For instance, ‘The most popular ice cream flavours’ would feature vanilla relatively high, but buttered baguette ice cream wouldn’t (shouldn’t) feature. That’s The Poll Mine.

You’ll choose from a pre-arranged list and rank the top four, later rounds switching it up to five, then listing all eight in reverse order. Then, in two teams, you will select from the provided lists and determine the most popular responses. If you choose correctly, you’ll open a door and earn a torch to travel further down the mine, chose incorrectly, and you’ll burn in hell. I kid.

The Jackbox Party Pack 8 PS5 Review - The Poll Mine
The Poll Mine. Source: Steam

This was the most sociable of the The Jackbox Party Pack 8 bunch as you’re allowed to confer with your teammates. Once you get over that ‘they’re the enemy’ as in past games, it’s a lot of fun helping them out then apologising for your poor advice. I haven’t played anything like this, and if I have, it’s probably some old forgettable cover disc from the 90s (ask your folks). The Poll Mine was the surprise of the group.

Drawful: Animate

Easily the best game for a household of artists/creative types, we already have Drawful on the Switch, and it’s our favourite party game when we have the numbers and try to seduce our non-gamer acquaintances to play mind-numbing video games. What do they know?!

The key difference with this version of Drawful in the The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is your artwork is animated over two frames. That sounds a bit redundant for most non-animators, but the limitation here is creativity as we’ve mustered up some fun animatics in the process.

You needn’t be a good artist, but drawing on your phone can be tricky, so I cheat and use my iPad with a pen or the MacBook with the trackpad – much easier than you expect. It’s the same rules as before – you get a phrase or scenario, then the other contestants jot down their answers. Whoever gets theirs selected earns the points.

The Jackbox Party Pack 8 PS5 Review - Drawful Animate
Drawful Animate. Source: Steam

Another addition to Drawful: Animate is the number of customisations. Arguably Jackbox Games’ flagship title alongside Quip, there’s a bit more on offer here where you can create custom games using your own phrases and even indulging your fellow players by including them in the ‘objectives’. By far our favourite game here, but we’re big fans of its predecessor.

The Wheel of Enormous Proportions

This was mildly confusing as my wife got trigger happy and skipped the instructions the first time around, the announcer immediately calling her out on it in classic self-awareness.

The Wheel of Enormous Proportions is a bit like the Wheel of Fortune with a fantasy-like quest thrown in for good measure split between Trivial Pursuit and said spinning title. This one is a bit like Marmite as those who are good at the trivia sections might feel a little deflated as you can lose last minute to the spin of the wheel.

Jackbox Party Games 8
Source: PR

Overall, the more answers you get in the trivia sections allow for more places on the board, thus a higher chance of earning points. That said, anybody feeling flustered with the questions still get a chance at winning with a spin. It’s a game of luck more than one of knowledge, so read into that how you will. It’s still fun.

Weapons Drawn

The weakest of all the games in The Jackbox Party Pack 8, primarily because of how drawn out the game actually is. It’s a whodunnit type game where you play one of the world’s greatest detectives (not Basil), but also moonlight as one of the killers.

Before you begin, you’ll be told to draw two images and concealing your signature (a letter) within the picture. It’s like Drawful, but you can initially resize and position the letter to try and put off your fellow players by the time of the climax. Once this section is complete, you name an accomplice then go for the kill.

The Jackbox Party Pack 8 PS5 Review - Weapons Drawn
Weapons Drawn. Source: Steam

You’ll select a person to kill, then each player will vote on which murder to solve and finger(!) who they believe the culprit is. Being on the receiving end when often innocent seemed frustrating at first but allowed me to eventually get away with the murders I did commit, as everyone is a suspect.

The problem was the rules, the pacing and overall interest in the game. Weapons Drawn was the only game we switched on the subtitles to stay up-to-speed, plus it was the only game that crashed on two separate occasions with a network error. It threw us all out of the game, and rather than starting again, we played Drawful: Animate.

The Verdict

There’s a fair amount of features in The Jackbox Party Pack 8. From removing countdowns, adjusting the content so that it’s suitable for family, or maybe uncensored so that your grandad can feel at ease, there’s a lot on offer. The same applies to the number of players per game and the vast audiences that can get involved and essentially rank your game.

These are common in the party packs, so is this one worth adding to your list? For Drawful: Animate alone, yes, but the full asking price for the one game is a bit much. Therefore, the full price for said arty party game, The Poll Mine and Job Job (as I’m sure it’s better with a different mix of friends!), then yes, it’s one worth getting.