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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.