Jackbox Games

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Jackbox Games, Inc.
Formerly called
Jellyvision Games, Inc.
Industry Video game industry
Founded 1992; 25 years ago (1992)
Founder Harry Gottlieb
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Mike Bilder (CEO)
Products You Don't Know Jack
Website jackboxgames.com

Jackbox Games, Inc. (formerly Jellyvision Games, Inc.) is a Chicago-based video game developer, known for the You Don't Know Jack series (YDKJ) of trivia quiz-based video games. As a subsidiary of Jellyvision, the company was previously incorporated as Jellyvision Games, until the formal separation of the games development unit from interactive video advertising division. The company was reincorporated as Jackbox Games in June 2013.


From 1995 to 1998, Jellyvision published numerous versions of YDKJ for personal computers,[1] and attempted to enter the marketplace with console-based versions of the game, but found these to be unsuccessful.[2] Jellyvision became Jellyvision Labs, working on communication software for business clients.[3]

In 2008, as the popularity of networked consoles and mobile devices became popular, Jellyvision Labs opted to spin out a games division, naming it Jellyvision Games, LLC, headed by Mike Bilder.[4] The new division looked to revitalize YDKJ for these new systems, subsequently releasing an iOS application and, in partnership with THQ, a console version in 2011. Near the end of 2011, the company was incorporated as Jellyvision Games, Inc. Since then, the company has developed a Facebook version of the game, allowing them to continuously provide new trivia; later the product expanded to include a standalone mobile application that allows data sharing and competition with the Facebook version. The game was awarded the "Social Game of the Year" at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards.

The studio was rebranded as Jackbox Games in June 2013, and announced that it would continue to focus on developing social games for current platforms including mobile devices and home entertainment devices like Roku and Ouya.[5] Versions of YDKJ were subsequently released on both Roku and Ouya, then later on the Amazon Fire TV. During this time, the company introduced a unique feature that allowed the game to be played using smartphones and tablets as controllers, rather than actual game controllers.

Jackbox released more apps including Clone Booth (a humorous photo-manipulation app) and the games Lie Swatter (a find-the-lies game of wacky facts) and Word Puttz (a mini-golf themed word game), before turning its attention back to consoles with its 2014 release of Fibbage: The Hilarious Bluffing Party Game. Fibbage first appeared on the Amazon Fire TV but soon after was released as a digital-only title on Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in September 2014. Fibbage also uses the phones-as-controllers technology, allowing players to type in bluffs to fool other players, and allowing up to 8 players to play in one room (no actual physical controllers are used to play the game). Fibbage is hosted by YOU DON'T KNOW JACK's familiar host, Cookie Masterson.

Games developed[edit]

You Don't Know Jack[edit]

Lie Swatter (2013)[edit]

Lie Swatter presents the player with a number of statements which may be true or false, and the player is required to determine which ones are lies and "swat" them. The player earns points for correctly-guessed answers (e.g. not swatting true statements and swatting false ones).

Clone Booth (2013)[edit]

Clone Booth is a photo app for mobile devices that allows one to take a photo and then have that digitally manipulated into a number of stock historical images which then can be shared via mobile devices.

Word Puttz (2013)[edit]

Word Puttz is a single player game for mobile devices. On each level, the player is presented with a miniature golf hole, including a tee and a cup; other obstacles may also be present. The objective is to create words using a given set of letter tiles to create a path from the tee to the hole, in the manner of Scrabble. The player is scored based on how few words they use, as well as point values of those letters in the words.

Fibbage (2014)[edit]

Fibbage is a party game played by up to eight players and up to one hundred audience members via a streaming channel. It is broken into three rounds. In the first two rounds, each player has an opportunity to pick one of five randomly selected categories, and then all players are presented with an obscure fact with a missing word or phrase. Each player secretly provides the answer to the missing phrase, trying to craft an answer that appears legitimate. If players enter the correct answer, they are told of this and encouraged to enter a false answer. The game then presents all players' answers and the correct answer randomly. Players must then select the correct answer. If the player selected the correct answer, they score points, while if other players have selected that player's fake answer, they also score points for each player that selected their answer. In the final round, the game provides one last question for all players to answer. The player with the most points at the end wins. Following each question, players including the audience members have the opportunity to mark one or more answers as favorites, and the player with the most favorites is shown at the end of the game.

The Jackbox Party Pack (2014)[edit]

The Jackbox Party Pack contains You Don't Know Jack 2015, Fibbage XL (introducing more questions than the original release), Drawful, Lie Swatter and Word Spud.

Drawful is a party game played by up to eight players and up to one hundred audience members via a streaming channel, similar to Fibbage. The game has two rounds. Each round, each player is initially presented with a unique phrase, and they must use a simple drawing interface to draw out that phrase without using words. Once the drawings are all completed, the game presents a player's pictures to the other players, and they must enter what phrase the drawing is showing. If they get this correct, they are told this and encouraged to enter another phrase. All the possible phrases, including the correct one, are presented to the players, and they then must select which one they think is correct. If a player selects the correct one, both they and the drawer get points, while the creator of a fake answer gets points if their answer is selected. The winner is the player with the most points at the end. Like Fibbage, the players' guesses can be voted on as favorites by players and audience members.

Lie Swatter is a party game that can be play by 1 to 100 players based on iOS games of the developer, In each round there is 7 facts that the players must find if it's lie or truth to make points. The final round contain facts about the same category.

Word Spud is a party game for eight players. An initial word is selected by the game, and then a player is randomly selected to enter a second word that logically follows the first; the remaining players award points, if any, for the response, and the next player then must follow onto the entered word with their own entry.

Quiplash (2015)[edit]

Quiplash is a party game that is played by up to eight active players and any number of audience members such as over a streaming channel; the game uses a special website that allows all players to participate from a web browser window, requiring only the streamer to own the game to play. The game includes three rounds. In the first two rounds, the active players are given two humorous questions they secretly supply a funny answer to, arranged so that each question gets two answers. In the resolution of that round, the questions are presented with both answers (though not the players that supplied that answer), and all remaining players can vote on which answer they think is better; those in the audience can also vote. The player receives points for each vote their answer gets from active players as well as if they win the audience vote. If they get all these votes, they score a "Quiplash" bonus score. In the third round, there is one question that all active players provide an answer for. Then, the active players get to place three votes for the other answers when presented; audience players get one vote for this. Players earn additional points for every vote their answer gets, and the winner is the one with the most points at the end. The host of the game is Josh "Schmitty" Schmistinstein of the You Don't know Jack series.

Quiplash was developed by Jackbox Games with the intent as a game designed for streaming and enabling the audience to be an active participant, working from their previous success with a similar model of play from Fibbage and Drawful.[6] Jackbox used a Kickstarter approach to fund development of the game, with the March 2015 campaign seeking US$15,000 and finishing with over US$30,000 from over 1,600 backers.[7][8]

The Jackbox Party Pack 2 (2015)[edit]

The Jackbox Party Pack 2 contains Fibbage 2, Quiplash XL, Bidiots, Earwax and Bomb Corp.

Earwax is played by up to seven players. One player is selected as the judge and are given a choice of two categories. The category is presented to the other players, and these players are each given six random sound effects. Each player then selects two of the sound effects, in order, as a reply to the category. The judge player selects which combined sounds make the most humorous or fitting answer, and that selected player wins a point. The first player to three points wins the game.

Bidiots is described as a spiritual successor to Drawful, playable by up to 6 people. At the start of the game, each player draws two simple pieces of art according to randomly selected categories, though these categories may be thematically related and result in similar visuals (for example, "going to the beach", "getting a tan", and "sunburn"). During the game, each player has a starting pool of in-game money which is used in an auction-style format to purchase the art. During the auction, each work is randomly assigned a secret monetary value based on the category, with those works drawn for that category having the highest value; the game will randomly send hints to players on the nature of this information. Players attempt to bid and purchase the art that matches the given category name while trying to use the auction format to goad other bidders to purchase the art they made in the wrong category. Players have "screws" as in YDKJ to force another player to bid, and if a player runs low on money, they can take out a predatory loan that will cost points at the end of the game. At the end of the game, the player with the most money, gained by buying low and selling high, wins.

Bomb Corp has one player as an employee of a bomb factory that must deactivate inadvertently-started bombs as they come off the assembly lines, while other players are given different sets of instructions to help deactivate it. The instructions are specifically obtuse and potentially conflicting, requiring careful communication between players.

Drawful 2 (2016)[edit]

Drawful 2 is a standalone game released on June 21, 2016 for Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.[9] It follows the same format of Drawful from The Jackbox Party Pack with added features, such as allowing players to use two colors for their drawings.[10] The game will also include support for user-generated phrases which are created in a similar party-oriented manner as the game itself, which then can be shared with other players via a code.[11]

The Jackbox Party Pack 3 (2016)[edit]

The Jackbox Party Pack 3 was released on October 18, 2016 (for PC/Mac/PS4/Amazon Fire family, October 21, 2016 for Xbox One) and contains four new games in addition to Quiplash 2.[12][13] It was released on the Nintendo Switch on April 13, 2017.[14]

Quiplash 2 follows from the original Quiplash, where each player attempts to complete a statement in a humorous way, and the other players vote the best answer. Quiplash 2 introduces new prompts, the ability of the hosting player to create new prompts, the ability of the host to censor players, and new final rounds that either requires players to come up with the meaning of a given acronym, complete a caption in a comic strip, or come up with something clever using a given word in a prompt, unlike the previous game's final round, medals determine the points distributed to the players.[15]

Guesspionage has each player, in turn, guess what percentage of people have a certain quality or do a certain activity, such as texting while driving. If there are more than 5 audience members, they are surveyed prior to the turns to get these percentages, otherwise earlier survey results by Jackbox Games are used. Once the current player makes their guess, the other active players can consider if they are higher or lower than the actual value, including opining if they are off by more than a certain amount. Points are scored by the current player based on how close they are (providing that they are 30% or closer to the answer), and by the other players if they guessed correctly in which direction they were off. In the final round, one question with 9 choices is given and the players all have to pick what they think are three most popular answers, with points awarded based on the answer's popularity, the player with the most points after that wins.

Trivia Murder Party is played out in a lighthearted theme of a horror thriller (like the series of Saw movies in the franchise). The game presents multiple choice trivia questions to players, with $1,000 awarded to anyone who guesses correctly. If one or more players gets a question wrong, they participate in a mini-game known as "The Killing Floor", which determines if none, any, or all the players get "killed" (becoming a ghost character for the remainder of the game), should the losers survive they may also be awarded bonus cash. These games vary from random luck, challenges against themselves and the other players, or psychological games like a Prisoner's dilemma choice. One minigame however, will not kill any players but will affect that player for the rest of the game (unless they refuse to do so), as such they must cut off one of their four virtual fingers, which prevents them from selecting that option in further questions. Ghost players still participate in answering questions, and participating in minigames. When only one player is still alive (not a ghost), and at least five questions have been asked, the final round starts, in which that player attempts to escape by properly categorizing two answers into a given category moving one space towards the exit for each right answer, while the other players attempt to catch them by also categorizing answers, though while they start farther back, they are given three answers to categorize. As the round progresses, the darkness creeps closer, those who get caught up by the darkness is instantly eliminated from the game. The first person to escape with their body, wins. If there is an audience involved, then they get a chance to earn money, however they earn $10 for each percentage of the audience who guesses/predicts correctly, and at the end of the game, the audience either lives or dies depending on if they earn more money than the player who wins. If the game reaches question 10 and at least two players remain, the final round is determined by having all but one player killed by spinning the Loser Wheel.

Tee K.O. is a drawing-based game. Each player draws three images of anything they want, though the game provides suggestions to help. Then each player has a chance to enter several short sayings or slogan. Subsequently, each player is then given two or more random drawings and two or more random sayings, and selects the pair that best fits together as printed on a tee-shirt. These designs are then put into a one-on-one voting battle with all other players and audience members as to determine the best voted shirt design and the design that had the longest voting streak. A second round of drawing, slogan writing, pairing, and voting is performed. The winning designs from each round are then put against each other to determine the ultimate winning design. Players are able to have their designs printed to custom-print tee-shirts if desired.

Fakin' It is a local play game where each player has their own connected device. In each round one player is randomly selected to be the Faker, and all players except the Faker are given instructions that involve some type of physical action, such as raising a hand or making a face; the Faker is not given this information but instead must figure out from the other players what to do. Each player then attempts to guess who the Faker by their actions, with the round ending if the Faker is guessed correctly by all other players, or successfully escaping, after which points are awarded for if at least one player guesses the Faker correctly, everyone guesses correctly, and/or if the Faker escapes capture in each task out of the number allotted (3 for 4-6 players, 2 for 3 players). After the first round, players may select any action they like. The final round is always "Text You Up", where each player answers a number of open-ended questions, while the Faker is given different questions which can have overlapping answers with the questions given to the players (for example, the other players may be asked about a positive trait about themselves, while the Faker would be asks what traits they would look for in a companion. Either the Faker or the other players win if the other they can or cannot figure out which answers came from the Faker.) The player with the most points by the end of the game wins.

The Jackbox Party Pack 4 (2017)[edit]

A fourth installment of the Party Pack, The Jackbox Party Pack 4, is planned for later in 2017. The full contents are not yet revealed, but it will include Fibbage 3, Survive the Internet and 3 other original games. "Fibbage 3" was announced on June 8, and "Survive the Internet" was announced a week later.[16][17]


  1. ^ Teti, John (February 14, 2011). "You Don’t Know Jack". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ Smith, Ryan (February 9, 2011). "Interview: Chicago's Jellyvision Speaks With GameSmith About New "You Don't Know Jack" Game". Chicago Now. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ Schiesel, Seth (February 9, 2011). "Where Challenges Abound for Fans of Trivia". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ McElroy, Justin (August 19, 2008). "Jellyvision getting back into the games biz". Joystiq. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (June 5, 2013). "Jellyvision changes name to Jackbox Games" (Press release). Gameindustry.biz. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ Conditt, Jessica (June 30, 2015). "'Quiplash,' a streaming party game for 10,000 people". Engadget. 
  7. ^ Marchiafava, Jeff (March 16, 2015). "Quiplash". Game Informer. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  8. ^ Jackbox Games (April 13, 2015). "Quiplash - An Outrageous New Party Game". Kickstarter. Retrieved February 15, 2016. 
  9. ^ Sarkar, Samit (June 21, 2016). "Drawful 2 now available with special launch-day discounts". Polygon. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  10. ^ Rowen, Nic (March 22, 2016). "DRAWFUL 2 WILL FINALLY REALIZE THE DREAM OF DRAWING WITH TWO COLORS AT ONCE". Destructoid. Retrieved March 22, 2016. 
  11. ^ Sarkar, Samit (April 15, 2016). "Drawful 2 will let you create and share your own question packs". Polygon. Retrieved April 15, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Guesspionage Coming to The Jackbox Party Pack 3". Jackbox Games. June 1, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ McKlusky, Kevin (October 17, 2016). "Review: The Jackbox Party Pack 3". Destructoid. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 
  14. ^ McWhertor, Michael (February 1, 2017). "Snake Pass and Jackbox Party Pack 3 coming to Nintendo Switch". Polygon. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  15. ^ "So, Yeah, We’re Making Quiplash 2". Jackbox Games. June 7, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  16. ^ Glagowski, Peter (April 23, 2017). "The Jackbox Party Pack 4 will be hitting digital marketplaces later this year". Destructoid. Retrieved April 23, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Announcing Survive the Internet". YouTube. Retrieved June 27, 2017. 

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