The Jackbox Party Pack 10 succeeds or fails based on the number of local players you have at the ready (up to 9). If you’ve been following the series since the early days of the Switch (or even before), this may not come as a surprise. It might also not be surprising to learn that you are the target audience for this latest release.

If you’re a new player, you might wonder if this is a good starting point. After all, there are nine previous entries on Switch (plus a starter bundle) to consider. If that’s the case, this review may be worth extra consideration, as I am also a new player, at least on Switch. I do recall one of the early PC games from over 20 years ago, plus a DS version over 10 years ago. Those were known as “You Don’t Know Jack,” and trivia-focused.

Trivia is still in this Jackbox Party Pack, but it shares space with four other games of mixed entertainment quality. We’ll briefly touch on each (in no particular order), but you should know from the outset that if you have a party of one, there’s very little for the solo gamer. The same applies to couples, as most of these games require three of four players at a minimum.

As mentioned, trivia is still present,  which makes sense as that’s what the series is known for. It’s been given a time-travel twist under the moniker Timejinx, which has you answering questions about what year an event took place and such. It maintains the classic style, is humorous, and better than I’m making it sound; it’s the game we revisited the most. Also, this game’s smooth credit song, by Elise Wattman, deserves at least triple digits in Shazam.

Another game is Tee K.O. 2, which challenges 3-8 players to “Make weird shirts…and LET ‘EM FIGHT!” The 2 in the title made me suspect (and later confirm) that this was a sequel to an earlier Jackbox Party game. Though I haven’t played it, I can’t help but wonder if series fans would rather see something unique instead of 20% of this package being familiar. Anyway, as someone whose least favorite task was designing t-shirts in Animal Crossing, you can imagine this design-focused Jackbox entry wasn’t the first game to jump out at me. However, more creative types who like to draw should find entertainment here. In fact, creativity is more the rule than the exception with this package.

FixyText channels your creativity and reminds me somewhat of the group game Circle Story. This is also the game where I feel compelled to remind you that the JackBox Party 10 is teen-rated. If “risky texts” aren’t your thing, be grateful that this package has family-friendly settings and profanity filters. I’m unsure of the legs this has, as I’d be more inclined to bust out pens and paper but remember, I’m a middle-aged gamer.

Dodo Re Mi is a rhythm game. While I like rhythm games more often than not, this one has yet to resonate with me. I see it being one of those love-it-or-hate-it types, with our group leaning closer to the latter. It doesn’t feel cohesive among these other games, and after a couple of plays, it was left to “two and through” status. Chalk it up to the Rock Band vibe, except substituting plastic instruments for cell phones. I like using ’80s synth or cowbells as much as the next guy, but questionable difficulty claims and song selection issues are too much. Seriously, while classical tunes are always great, is “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” near the top of most party playlists? Plus, providing you only single-digit choices initially with 30+ needing to be unlocked? Boo!

Hypnotarius might need more time in the oven. It requires four players minimum, and you may want even more (creative types) to realize its full potential. I find this game subpar on a conceptual level, as players get hypnotized to new identities. While the core gameplay can intrigue, you better get a character you can connect with. Finding the outlier amongst the group necessitates frank answers, and the temptation to be funny might be too strong.

I factor in the mixed bag of games, some long load times, limits for smaller groups, and even solo players still needing to log in on a separate device. Online limits are very much in place too, with “joining a video call happy hour with coworkers” being a clunky, limited-appeal setup in 2023. Add fewer options for less creative types, and my friend groups will be reaching for RiffTrax: The Game.

The Jackbox Party Pack 10 lacks the broad appeal of other party games, with too many of its games dependent on specific types of players. While it will probably find an audience during holiday vacations, kids on winter break, and so forth, fans who didn’t grab this release at launch might consider waiting for the right sale. Meanwhile, new players should check out one of the earlier entries. The original is less than half the price of this entry on sale, with more game options for smaller groups.