Sometimes, there’s nothing like gathering a group of people together to spur up some magical moments through the wonders of JackBox Party Packs. I did this with JackBox Party Pack 3 last college semester, and it was a hoot! I am intending to do the same thing with Party Packs 1 & 2 now that they recently arrived on Switch, but there just so happens to be one other game on the console that utilizes a similar game formula as those titles. Enter Use Your Words, a party game that involves smartphones and typing in punchlines.
As can be expected from a JackBox-inspired affair, the visuals aren’t anything special per se; everything onscreen consists of stylized images and the like. The most animation you’ll get out of the screen would be from the movie clips that play during one of the minigames. That isn’t to say it’s a bad thing, of course. It works perfectly fine for this type of game. One thing that annoyed me was that I couldn’t take screenshots with the Capture button on my Switch. Why can’t I do that? I know it’s a minor thing, but I like to take screenshots of my JackBox sessions because I can always look back on them to laugh. Plus, I’m trying to write a review here! I usually supply my own screenshots for a game review, but I can’t do that here because the game wouldn’t let me.
It can be hard to judge this category at times, what with everyone around me talking and laughing at/with the prompt responses and all. What did stick out to me, though, is how much straighter the sound plays out. The JackBox games have a bouncy sound design consisting of upbeat background music and random stock sound effects representing the players. While I do appreciate the silliness of it, I think Use Your Words has the upper hand since its calmer sound mixing is far less obnoxious. This even applies to the game’s announcer, who is delightfully snarky instead of a combination of snarky and forcefully goofy.
The most obvious thing going into Use Your Words is that this isn’t a collection of five games. This is one single game, and how much you’ll get out of it will depend on how much you will want to keep playing it. Since my friends would immediately want to play Quiplash or Tee K.O. rather than anything else in the Jackboxes, however, it’s safe to say this is feasible. Use Your Words does split itself up into four minigames, at least; all of them have the same basic idea, but each of them are themed differently.
Basically, players are given either a movie clip, picture, prompt, or unfinished sentence. The movie clip lacks a subtitle, the picture lacks a headline, the prompt needs an answer, and the sentence needs to be completed. The overall goal is to provide the funniest possible entries for other players to vote on. Being that this is a game that is primarily built around a multiplayer experience, the big question is how it would hold up with a group of individuals sitting around to join in on the fun. The result is a game that fits right in with its inspiration.
Use Your Words provides its own template for texting shenanigans, and it works really well! It’s simply ripe with material that can be used for in-jokes and laughs aplenty. That’s exactly what happened when our play sessions occurred. Just like Quiplash and Tee K.O., we’re destined to come back to play more despite a typical playthrough lasting shorter amounts of time than other games under the $15 price tag. I can easily recommend picking this one up if you’re looking for a great party game or are a JackBox fan craving more like it.