One of the highlights from the latest Jackbox Party Pack - the series of digital party games that includes Quiplash, Drawful and Fibbage - is becoming a real-life card game.
Champ’d Up appeared in last year’s Jackbox Party Pack 7 and is arguably one of the best offerings in the most recent collection, alongside the excellent Blather Round. Like all of the Jackbox games, the party game is played using the video game running on a main screen, while all the players use a free browser-based companion app on their phones to control their own inputs.
Champ’d Up plays a little like all-time Jackbox great Tee K.O., with players using their phone to draw a contender based on a prompt, such as “The Champion of Cat People”. They must then doodle a second contender to challenge someone else’s drawing, but without seeing the original prompt - requiring them to try and guess what the prompt may have been. Once all the drawings have been submitted, the prompts and matchups are revealed and the group votes on the best creation.
Just as Tee K.O. provided players the chance to order a custom T-shirt featuring their nightmarish/hilarious (select as appropriate) creations, Champ’d Up will now allow players to order a set of cards personalised with the champions from their playthrough of the video game.
Champ’d Up: Slam Down is a new game in its own right, with two players using the deck of 18 cards featuring their characters to compete in a Pokémon-style battle against each other. The card game was designed by Sam Strick, who previously created Shift - an experimental collectible card game played using a single card and a coin - and co-designed micro-deckbuilder 100 Swords.
As one of three different trainers, players spend energy to recruit champions, use their cards’ unique abilities to fight and aim to whittle down their opponent’s deck to zero in order to win. Slam Down typically plays in around 10 to 15 minutes.
Players can order a Champ’d Up: Slam Down set based on the most popular characters from their own session using the Jackbox companion app after they finish a playthrough. Multiple packs can be combined together for a bigger roster of champions and trainers.
A pre-made Champ’d Up: Slam Down set including creations from Jackbox Games developers and staff, the Designer’s Pack, is also available for $7.99 (although it's currently 25% off as part of a launch promotion) from the studio’s online store.