‘Let’s play! Oink Games’ is no Jackbox, but it’s a worthy collection of party games

Every year I try to keep a small “holiday game cafe” in my apartment, where I invite friends over to play board and card games. While last year’s party was understandably canceled, this year I invited a small group past, and we indulged in tabletop titles such as We are doomed and . Inevitably, we reached the point in the evening where people’s attention began to diverge, so it seemed like a good idea to switch to party video games. But instead of the old standby Jackbox, I remembered that Oink Games had just released a board game collection and decided to give it a go.

We discovered that Let’s play! Oink game was not like Jackbox party packages at all, as it did not work with phones and required separate copies of the game on separate consoles. Pass by. So we turned off the switch, plugged in my laptop and booted up Jackbox Party Pack 8 instead.

If you live in a friendless cave and are not familiar with Jackbox, it’s a pretty good series: Each “Party Pack” has five party games that anyone can join in with their phone (or any web browser) by going to Jackbox.tv and entering the special room code. The narrator explains how to play and lead the group through each round – which makes it pretty good for those guests who are not attentive or are super, super drunk. Most of the games involve drawing, trivia or writing stupid words. (My particular favorite is ‘Mad Verse City’ from Jackbox Party Pack 5, a rap game.)

After everyone was gone, I decided to give Let’s play! Oink game another attempt. And even though it’s not an alternative to Jackbox (it’s more like Clubhouse games, if anything), it’s still a bit of a fun experience, even though it’s not worth the $ 22 I spent.

There are only four games included in the set: Startups, Deep Sea Adventures, A fake artist goes to New York, and‘Moon adventure. They are all computerized versions of Oink’s board games, which come in small boxes the size of card decks and usually cost $ 20 each. In that sense, the video game version seems like a good deal. You can choose to play online with either people you know or strangers, offline with people you know, or offline with CPU opponents.

Let's play!  Oink Games: A Fake Artist Goes to New York

Let’s play! Oink Games: A Fake Artist Goes to New York

Offline with friends did not take place as you, as I pointed out earlier, all need your own copy of the game and a console. I was trying to find an online match, only to find that nothing was going on. So my only choice was offline with CPU opponents.

Unfortunately, A fake artist goes to New York can not be played with CPU opponents as it is a drawing game where all players except one get a prompt and you have to find out who the “fake” artist is. I discovered that too Moon adventure may have multiple players, but the user has the task of playing them all, as it is a co-op game. So it’s really a struggle with resource management when you’re trying to gather supplies before your oxygen runs out. I found this the hardest of all, even after looking at the useful instructions and videos that the game is built into. Despite all my concerns with the title, the instructions are really well executed.

Let's play!  Oink Games: Startup Game

Let’s play! Oink Games: Startup Game

However, the instructions did not get me any closer to winning Startups, one of the two games where CPU players can participate. And man, are they merciless. The idea is to gather as many “shares” in a company as possible, but if you do not have most, you end up having to pay out to the one who has. It’s like a modern version of Monopoly, where you land on the Boardwalk all the time. At least this one plays much faster.

The last game, Deep Sea Adventures, is my favorite. It is a kind of competitive and cooperative, as all players must share the same oxygen supply, and diving too deep will quickly deplete it. When I got into the rhythm of collecting treasures and running back to the sub as fast as possible, I mastered the game and kicked CPU ass regularly.

Although it might have been unfair of me to expect Let’s play: Oink Games to be one Jackbox replacement, there is still a lot of room for growth in what they have. I would like to see a state where users who do not own the game can play on their own systems with someone who does, just like Mario Kart used to work on DS. And I hope they add more games, if only because it’s an easier way to learn to play instead of trying to jigsaw poorly translated print instructions from Japanese, which is what you’re dealing with in the physical versions.

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