Fibbage: ‘YDKJ’ devs help separate liars from losers

September 22, 2014


Jackbox Games is no stranger to the party genre: the company’s largest success, You Don’t Know Jack, has persisted for years in various formats, jumping from PC to consoles to Facebook as times changed but still delivering a very specific sort of trivia experience. And it’s just that: lots of people can make trivia games, but it’s the Jackbox style and sense of pace and humor that makes it stand out. With Fibbage, the company’s latest creation, it seeks to apply that knowledge to a similarly well-worn party game idea: trying to fool your friends.

Fibbage is, at its heart, a very simple game. There’s only one mode, there’s no online or solo play and, once you launch the game, you don’t even use your controller. Up to eight players can join in by using phones or various other Internet-connected devices, and the group plays a few rounds attempting to attain the highest score.

You do this in two ways: by getting your friends to pick your fake answer to a prompt instead of the real one, and by picking the real answer yourself. It’s deceptively simple, but something that wouldn’t be possible in a traditional console game; you need the proliferation of modern connected devices to let everyone submit text answers in secret. You can also “like” answers that are particularly funny for a special award at the end of the game, but those don’t affect points. Then again, the points don’t matter that much; this game is about the fun of playing much more than it is about who ends up the victor.


The presentation is signature Jackbox, with You Don’t Know Jack‘s Cookie Masterson once again serving as host and everything on screen being suitably large and irrelevant. Fibbage manages to avoid Jack‘s biggest headache, the frustratingly long preludes to questions, and delivers things to you nice and quickly. It helps that there’s actually not a lot here to show, but the team understands how best to use the space, especially in a context that has players looking up and down at phones constantly.

Fibbage‘s biggest issue is exactly what you’d expect: there are sometimes kinks in the process of connecting to the game through a site, and while they’re not big or common, having one player knocked out of the game for a while because a phone went to sleep and is having trouble reconnecting can really take the wind out of the sails of any party. It seems like something that could be fixed with time, thankfully, and we hope that it will before too long.

An interesting development as a result of Fibbage‘s connect-through-the-Internet controls is a niche the game’s already carving out: the ability to play along with a streaming player remotely. The game shows enough information on your phone that any stream delays are manageable, and while actual online multiplayer with strangers isn’t particularly appealing, interacting over a social medium like a stream is actually quite cool. It may be a good idea for Jackbox to embrace this further, showing even more to remote players to make that even better, but I bet there’s a line between console game and mobile title that it’s trying not to cross.


As with any party game like this, the true staying power lies in the variety of the game itself, and that’s not something that’s easily tested. From what we’ve seen, though, Fibbage could be Jackbox’s next big thing, a very good version of a time-tested idea that (when everything works) feels so ideal that it’s surprising that it hadn’t already existed.

Pros: Fresh take on party games, nice use of phones and tablets
Cons: Occasional connection issues can be frustrating

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.