The nightmare never ends for Bethesda, the creators of the Elder Scrolls series and Fallout developers. Fallout 76,released almost two years ago, had a bad start back in 2017 — but things got far worse this past week.
Having been vilified for being ‘broken’ at launch, due to missing features and a laundry list of bugs, the one thing keeping the game from complete failure was the promise of no microtransactions, or ‘pay to win’ features.
However, some of these features began to creep into gameplay earlier this year and,despite those initial promises, Bethesda last week announced a ‘Fallout First’ mode where players could pay $100 a year (on top of their existing €60 outlay for the game) to add basic features into the game — features that should have been present at launch.
Not only that, but the advertised Fallout First features launched full of bugs, with player reporting that storage boxes, for example,actually deleted items instead of storing them.
It’s fitting that during Halloween, this launch will surely deliver the final nail into Fallout 76’s coffin, with players moving on to the far superior The Outer Worlds instead.
Some games just pop out at you. Others are a little harder to find. Despite its name, The Jackbox series is one of those hidden gems. But once you start to play, its qualities jump out.
The Jackbox Party Packs are some of the best fun you can have with friends, especially if everyone is together in a room. Jackbox turns your phones or tablets into playing devices, so you can play all manner of party games, using a TV screen as the main dashboard.
It’s the only scenario in which staring at your phone at a party becomes, well, the life of the party.
In Jackbox Party Pack 6, there’s something of a Halloween theme, as the main game on display is Trivia Murder Party 2. The goal of this scenario is to answer trivia questions while ‘escaping’ a haunted house.
The host can set traps (like having a bomb placed around your neck) to add extra tension and hilarity.
The best part of this sequel, however, is the way the players interact with the host and each other. You can work with the host to try and take out other players, for example, and you can even take bets during the game on who will and who will survive. It’s great fun.
Coming in second on the list is Push the Button, a scenario in which a certain portion of players are aliens and the rest are human. The alien players know who is alien, but the humans do not.
Players must take on different challenges, like drawing a picture on their phone or answering a question, with the results displayed on the TV.
The kicker? Aliens are given different prompts to humans, so in theory their drawings and other results should seem at odds with those of the humans.
The ‘humans’ have 15 minutes to unanimously agree on the aliens by calling a voting session to push them out the airlock, but if they can’t agree, the aliens win. (To make matter more fun, the aliens have tools to interfere with the prompts, causing extra confusion).
Less successful is Joke Boat, in which players provide words prompts to the game, which then provides a random sentence or context to make a joke.
In other words, players have to write punchlines based on the set-ups of other players.
This can be pretty hilarious at first, but the hilarity is limited. In our case, most players ended up writing non-related shock lines fora laugh, many involving human body parts,rendering the ‘punchline’ goal obsolete after a while.
Unless you live in a house of professional comedians, Joke Boat won’t go down well. Other games Jackbox Party Pack 6 include Dictionarium, in which players must create new words based on definitions and then use them in a sentence, and Role Models, where you categorize your friends based on your knowledge of them. Both are nice companion pieces to the other three, completing a thoroughly entertaining pack overall.
Jackbox Party Pack 6 is available across pretty much every platform, from consoles to streaming devices like Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
If you’re planning a Halloween party with a group of friends tomorrow night, we recommend springing this on them.