ESH | Three is the Jackbox Charm

Rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing local mul­ti­player by allow­ing smart­phones to be used as con­trollers, The Jack­box Party Pack has been a sta­ple for nearly every party I’ve thrown since it came out. None of the col­lec­tions had been per­fect yet though, as there were always a few duds in each pack. Sport­ing the best selec­tion of games yet, The Jack­box Party Pack 3 is now avail­able and might just be the selec­tion I boot up here on out when­ever I have folks over. Sport­ing four brand new games along­side my per­sonal favorite return­ing game, let’s break each of them down one by one in no par­tic­u­lar order.

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ESH | King’s Quest Ep. 5 ‘The Good Knight’

Wrap­ping up an episodic nar­ra­tive game game be tricky, as we have seen from many Tell­tale sea­sons. King’s Quest has been both a tri­umphant trib­ute to the series of the past and an incred­i­ble story in its own right. Suc­cess­fully tow­ing the line between fan­ci­ful humor and gen­uinely emo­tional moments, King’s Quest has been one of my favorite games of the year thus far. Episode 5, titled “The Good Knight” wraps up the series by tying up any of the loose ends left and recount­ing many moments of your jour­ney. The end result is a final episode that pro­vided some of the best nos­tal­gia, not just for the older games, but even for moments from ear­lier episodes.

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ESH | Come Hang at the ‘Sports Bar VR

Vir­tual real­ity is still a brand new addi­tion to my home and thus nearly any­thing feels pretty novel. Bar­rel­ing down the lanes of Thumper and rid­ing the ter­ror roller­coaster of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood are things that just can’t hap­pen in the real world. What about things that can exist in the real world then? Tack­ling this sub­ject, Sports Bar VR sticks you into a vir­tual drink­ing hole filled with the stan­dard fare of games you might find in one of those loca­tions. There isn’t a ton there, but the charm of Sports Bar VR is found in a slightly dif­fer­ent kind of interaction.

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PSVR Quickie Review | Thumper

Thank­fully, I’ve never taken drugs or had any kind of psy­che­delic trip that’s gone ter­ri­bly wrong. From how it has been depicted in movies, I can’t imag­ine you could get much closer than, what is prob­a­bly my favorite PSVR launch title, Thumper. A game that is aptly described as “rhythm vio­lence” has you bar­rel­ing down a path as a scarab bee­tle mak­ing sharp turns and bust­ing through bar­ri­ers in a world that is made all the more ter­ri­fy­ing when you strap a VR head­set around your face. In an inter­est­ing twist, Thumper does not require VR to play, yet from my expe­ri­ence immers­ing your­self in the visu­als via PSVR gives you a mas­sive advan­tage towards nail­ing though cues.

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PSVR Quickie Review | The Playroom VR

Local mul­ti­player is not some­thing I would have thought to be talk­ing about in rela­tion to VR. When the pri­mary player is strap­ping a head­set onto them­selves and div­ing into a vir­tual world, it’s dif­fi­cult to imag­ine oth­ers being able to play along. Thanks to the social screen and The Play­room VR, this con­cept has been thor­oughly explored and it turns out to be a lot of fun. The Play­room VR, devel­oped by the same folks who made the similarly-titled launch game for PS4, is a free col­lec­tion of games that fea­ture fun and clever asym­met­ric mul­ti­player. Rang­ing from a haunted house to a shootout in a saloon, there’s plenty of vari­ety and fun times to be had here.

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PSVR Quickie Review | Batman: Arkham VR

Let’s face it, we’ve all wanted to step into the badass boots of the Dark Knight at some point. Vir­tual real­ity can finally make this pos­si­ble with Bat­man: Arkham VR. Rock­steady, mak­ers of the best Bat­man games out there, have crafted a short but sweet expe­ri­ence that throws you into the series and focuses on the crime-solving aspects of the series. The expe­ri­ence doesn’t last quite long enough to be be some­thing you’ll come back to fre­quently, but what is there has been pol­ished to a high shine and it will cer­tainly be one of the first things I’ll use to show off the tech­nol­ogy to my fam­ily and friends.

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ESH | King’s Quest Ep.4: ‘Snow Place Like Home’

Con­tin­u­ing along its streak as the best episodic adven­ture game going on now, King’s Quest has a stel­lar addi­tion with Snow Place Like Home which is the fourth episode in the sea­son. After a rel­a­tively light third episode, Snow Place Like Home tugs at your heart strings right from the start and doesn’t let up through­out. The stel­lar vari­a­tion of the series also holds up in this lat­est episode offer­ing yet another spin on how the game is played. If you’ve enjoyed King’s Quest thus far, there is a lot to appre­ci­ate in Snow Place Like Home and it left me ready for the final chap­ter to come.

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