A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fibbage XL is a trivia game available for download on the Nintendo Switch. A spin-off game from the popular Jackbox series of trivia games, the point of Fibbage XL is to figure out the true statement from a group of lies that the players provide. There isn't any overt violence, drugs, or sex shown in the game, though there can be references to them within questions and user-submitted answers. Similarly, the host can be overheard saying "bitch," though this can be controlled by toggling on a "family friendly" filter for content. The use of phones and tablets to enter responses could be challenging for people who are not used to typing or who are bad spellers. The devices don't always stay connected to the game room or register responses, either, which could frustrate some players.
What's it about?
FIBBAGE XL isn't like many of the traditional trivia games that you've seen or played before. Players will use their computer, phone, or tablet as controllers to play the game instead of the Switch, which acts as the game emcee. The snarky Fibbage XL host, Cookie Masterson, asks players to select a topic before asking a question to you and up to seven other players. But instead of seeing who can get the right answer first, your goal is to come up with a lie that sounds like it could be the right answer to throw off your competitors. If you can't come up with something, you don't have to worry, because the game will offer to make a suggested falsehood for a cut of the total points for that round. Once everyone has entered their "suggestion," it moves onto the next phase, where everyone tries to select the right answer. If you select a fib, the person who wrote it gets points, but the right answer banks a larger number of points. At the end of each question, players get a chance to select which answers they liked the most. Players will go through three rounds before the final winner is decided, but even if you don't take the top spot, you could still win a consolation prize -- the Thumbs Up Cup -- for getting the most likes over the course of the game. Are you the best fibber around? Grab your friends and family and find out!
Is it any good?
You don't need to be strong at trivia if your lies are convincing enough, but you may have a tricky time finishing a game without some technical issue popping up. Fibbage XL turns the concept of trivia games on its head, because the focus isn't on knowing the answer to the trivia question being asked. Instead, it's about misleading and confusing your opponents by providing answers that sound plausible enough that your rivals will think they're correct, earning you lots of points. Of course, you're trying to find the correct response as well, which is tricky, because frequently, the most absurd comment is the right one. Plus, depending on who you're playing with, the responses you'll have to choose from can range from crude to potentially mature (so if you're planning a family night, make sure the family filter is turned on). It's also nice to see that players can give recognition to the lies that are more amusing, allowing people to win the Thumbs Up Cup at the end of the game.
While the majority of the content is dependent upon players to produce good, confusing lies, the game suffers from a big problem: maintaining a connection to devices. Docking the Switch in a television and having it serve as the main source of action works well, but the connection between devices and the Jackbox.tv site isn't always stable. It's annoying to be in the middle of a game with other players, only to have your phone, computer, or tablet disconnect from a match without warning, or to have it freeze and not recognize that an answer was submitted. Refreshing the browser window only occasionally restored control to devices. On top of that, in the rare instance that you manage to enter the right answer during the lie phase, no bonus points are awarded, and only minor acknowledgement shows up on-screen that you were correct. But if you can overlook the tech problems and are interested in a new twist on the trivia format, Fibbage XL could be fun for your next family game session.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about lying to other people in the context of this game. Since the point of Fibbage XL is to lie to other people to be successful, does this kind of bluffing or "bending the truth" show that it's OK to lie at times?
Do you think you could improve on the gameplay with some suggestions? For instance, should players get points for instantly guessing the right answer? Should there be a way to condense suggestions that are virtually the same thing (such as "car" and "vehicle")?
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