Posted by: gschloesser | July 29, 2011

Cineplexity

Design by:  JonMichael  Rasmus, John Sams and Sean Weitner
Published by:  Out of the Box
4 – 10 Players, 20 – 30 minutes
Review by:  Greg J. Schloesser 

Lately, I have been re-discovering party-style games.  These are games that are generally played at social gatherings, where the emphasis is placed on group involvement and fun, and often involve team play.  Games such as Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Cranium, Taboo, Time’s Up, Scattergories, Eye to Eye, etc. – all are good examples of party games that are well suited for parties and other social gatherings.  

I was intrigued when I heard about Cineplexity, a new party game from Out of the Box that possesses a movie theme.  I am a fan of movies, generally preferring to watch them as opposed to television series or other programs.  I have been known to go to the cinema alone in order to catch a movie that my wife isn’t too keen to see.  So, a game that requires players to recall names of movies that fit certain criteria seemed to be just my style.

The concept is very simple:  two cards from the massive deck of 500+ cards are revealed, each listing one or more elements.  These can include settings, scenes, actors, locations, props, theme, genres, characters, etc.  For example, one card might say “Playing Golf”, while the second card says “French, Italian or Caesar”.  The object is to be the first player or team to correctly shout the name of a film that contains these elements.  If players are unable to recall a film containing those elements, a third card is revealed, and players must identify a film containing elements from two of the three cards.  A correct answer is rewarded by receiving one of the two (or three) cards, each of which is worth one point.  

Each turn, one player serves as the Director, and he must judge whether the answer given is correct.  Of course, if he is not aware of the film named, he must either believe the player giving the answer, or decline the answer.  Thus, players who have a greater knowledge of movies will have a distinct advantage – but only if the director is aware of the movies they name.  Otherwise, they can be constantly shot-down, even though they know they are correct.  This can be quite frustrating.  It is equally frustrating to be involved in a game wherein one or two players are movie buffs and dominate the proceedings. 

The game continues in this fashion until one player or team collects the required number of points, which ranges from 6 – 10, depending upon the number of players.  Fortunately, this is usually a quick exercise, taking 20 – 30 minutes to accomplish.  Much longer would have left me begging for an intermission or an early exit. 

Clearly the game is designed to invoke discussions and debates over the movies named, with players arguing back and forth whether particular elements are indeed present in the movie named.  Players often respond in shock that their opponents or teammates have not seen a movie they consider a classic.  This does occur, but in my experience, it was usually short, quick comments, with no lengthy and entertaining discussions.  The game just failed to evoke the response and reaction it appears designed to accomplish. 

Sadly, I was HUGELY disappointed by the game.  It is an exercise in quick recall, and it just lacks fun.  I played with groups who generally enjoy movies, and it fell completely flat.  There was little excitement, and we were often stumped by the strange combination of elements.  Every now and then a clever answer would be offered, resulting in some congratulatory remarks.  For the most part, however, the game lacked the excitement and tension present in many other top party games.  

In spite of my personal “thumbs-down”, I can see the game having fairly wide appeal, particularly amongst those who enjoy Out of the Box’s mega-hit Apples-to-Apples.  Unlike Apples-to-Apples, which can be played by anyone without any specific knowledge of a particular field, Cineplexity does require a decent knowledge of movies.  This alone will somewhat limit its appeal.  Still, it does seem to have many of the elements that some folks seem to seek in party games, particularly the ability to serve as a conversation starter.  I, on the other hand, seek more from the games I play – even party games.  I want the game to be engaging in-and-of-itself, and not simply a catalyst for initiating conversations.  However, I believe I am in the minority in this regards, and fully expect Cineplexity to be well-received by the general public.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: