Version Played: Xbox One (also available on PC, PS4 and Switch)
Use Your Words really does hew very closely to the Jackbox template, though it only focuses on a single game concept, where each Jackbox Party Pack has multiple, varied game types included. Exacerbating the issue, there’s also a distinct lack of round types here, but each round – despite there not being many of them – is very entertaining and well thought out.
So, what’s the deal here? When you start a game (handily being able to change to family friendly settings in the options menu, if playing with younger or more easily offended players), each player uses a web browser on their phone in order to access wordsgame.lol. There, everyone enters the room code displayed on screen, followed by the name they want to use in game. And that’s it – set up done!
The object of the game is to have the most points after each round has been played. Rounds take the form of different, word-based minigames where, for example, players enter their own suggestion for a subtitle after watching a short film clip, adding a newspaper headline to a photo or filling in blanks in a series of phrases. Players then choose the answer they like best, with everyone’s answers being displayed in turn – along with a House Decoy that’s will cause players to lose points if they choose it. If players struggle to think of an answer, they can use the ‘House Decoy’ button – but they won’t get any points if that answer is chosen.
It’s fun and – with the right group – can be a great laugh. The problem is that the game being so close in feel to a Jackbox Party Pack title means that comparison is inevitable. Unfortunately, it does suffer from that comparison, as Use Your Words doesn’t cost much less at full RRP than a Jackbox Party Pack – which would usually contain a varied selection of five games.
That said, there’s an awful lot to like here. The commentator is just on the right side of annoying (thankfully) and the House Decoy answers are cleverly spelled wrong or have imperfect grammar on occasion, to make them more believable as a ‘real’ answer. The rounds are pretty inventive and can be absolutely hilarious (not to mention as NSFW as the players want it to be) in the right company – my favourite being the subtitled movie clips round – but it just feels like there’s not quite enough to justify a full price purchase. A fun and amusing game then, but perhaps one to pick up on sale.
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