- Jackbox Games is a video game developer that makes party games.
- The company is known for the success of its “Party Packs,” or collections of word games like “Quiplash,” “Fibbage,” and the drawing game “Tee K.O.”
- Jackbox players can control the game from their smartphones, which means these games are perfect for virtual parties.
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Jackbox Games is a video game developer from Chicago known for its colorful and sardonic interactive party games that players can control from their smartphone, tablet, or browser.
The company describes itself as the child of classic games like charades, specifically “the child who dropped out of college, then earned the family’s respect by founding a jam company.”
You don’t have to be a gamer to understand how to play Jackbox and, like any party game, the games are as fun as the people you’re playing them with.
In the right crowd, these simple party games bring warmth, laughter, and connection.
What you need to know about Jackbox Games
Jackbox Games is a small studio from Chicago that started as a children’s television production company called Learn Television in 1989.
In 1996, the company rebranded as Jellyvision Games, which developed several versions of the computer quiz game “You Don’t Know Jack,” which is still available on its site. The company rebranded again as Jackbox Games in 2013.
Since then, Jackbox has seen an enormous rise in popularity, first for parties and family gatherings and later at socially distanced video call gatherings. Most Jackbox games are quick to play, easy to understand, and rely on a player’s cleverness and humor to win, rather than reflexes.
How Jackbox games work
You can buy a Party Pack, or a collection of games, for your computer, home console, or streaming stick. Then, as the host, you’ll receive a code when starting any Party Pack game. Players use this code to join the “room” through the Jackbox TV website and play the game.
Jackbox Games can be fiercely competitive and often totally irreverent. A few of the franchise’s most popular games include:
- “Quiplash,” where players compete in a “Mad Libs”-style game by completing prompts like, “A double rainbow doesn’t have gold at the end of it. Instead, it has ___.” This one is great for fans of “Apples to Apples” or “Cards Against Humanity.”
- “Fibbage” is a game where players try to trick their friends into believing fake answers to trivia questions, which the real answer hides in plain sight among a minefield of diversions. You get points both for fooling other players and getting the answer right.
- In “Drawful,” players are given a prompt like “Napoleon riding a squirrel” and attempt to draw it. After that, the drawing is presented to the players, who then try to come up with a fake title. Like “Fibbage,” you get points when you fool players with your answer, while trying to guess the answer yourself.
- “Tee K.O.,” where players create funny T-shirts cobbled together from player-submitted drawings and phrases. The designs then face off in a bracket-style competition. When you’re done, you can order your favorite shirt design.
But this isn’t all — Jackbox Games has created robot rap battles, a game based on wacky product pitches, and more.
Keep in mind that players won’t be able to see the game from their phone because it only functions as a controller for the game. So you’ll either have to play in person (there are also several ways you can set up Jackbox games to play on a TV), or share your screen and audio over Zoom, Skype, Discord, or another video-chatting platform.
This virtual style of play has become popular for workplaces, friends, and families to stay in touch while living or working remotely.
In fact, Jackbox Games saw such an explosion in popularity in 2020 that the company had to seek a new hosting service because the influx in visitors was crashing its website. It even ran out of Steam download codes.
There are now seven Party Packs to choose from and a handful of games are also available a la carte. You can purchase them from the company’s website or on your console.