Scene It: The Movie Lover’s Game
In recent years, there has been an on-rush of DVD trivia board games whose quality has been questionable at best. In other words, downright horrible. Most of these are really made for fans of particular shows, movies, characters and so on (ex. The Office, Disney, Harry Potter). I suppose this is fine for the particular members of these fandoms, but for board game aficionados it is a nightmare. Yet among this ruin of thrown-together cash grabs, one DVD trivia game shines forth like a diamond in the rough; the all-encompassing movie trivia game Scene It.
I am not a one-dimensional creature; I have many of passions in my life. Two of those particular passions happen to be board games and movies, both of which clash together in the Scene It trivia game. As a result, my love for movies plays tug-a-war with my love of board games as I try to review this particular game which allows me to more easily forgive some of the weaknesses of the game itself. However, even though I may be biased by my cinephilia, I am not so blinded that I cannot accurately declare that Scene It stands head and shoulders above the rest of the DVD board game drivel.
The gameplay is rather devoid of strategy, which is fine since that’s not what this game is about. You are simply moving along a board until you reach the finish, answering movie-based trivia questions along the way. Some of these questions come from cards, reminiscent of Trivial Pursuit, while others come from the DVD itself. The DVD questions may be movie clips which ask questions after words, or game-like questions which everyone playing can join in on, such as putting movies in order of the dates they were released and identifying a movie based on a list of cast members. Once a player reaches the Final Cut area, they must answer a series of special video questions in order to grab the win.
The most enjoyable aspect of this game are the All Play video questions since the nature of the questions are always different. The one glaring problem with this game, as with any trivia game, is the possibility of exhausting these clips and questions. I have already seen the same Princess Bride clip numerous times.
The board is a simple roll-and-move board and nothing worthy of script-treatment. The game pieces however are definitely Oscar-contenders and some of my favourite game components in my board game collection. There are four movie-themed pieces masterfully sculpted out of pewter; a movie camera, a clapperboard, a film reel, and a box of popcorn. They look great and really add to the theme.
The one component which is the major selling point of this game is of course the DVD. Video-based board games have slowly been creeping in since the VHS-based hit Nightmare in the early nineties. The problem with having a DVD included in the Scene It game is that the game is not a self-contained experience in itself. In order to play, the necessity of a television and DVD player is required. This restriction is a major downfall when critiquing this game with my board gamer hat on. Yet when I wear my movie lover hat, I can understand that the DVD is able to add a lot to the game simply because of the ability to play various movie clips.
Many board game snobs may consider Scene It a flop for three major reasons: the minimalistic strategy, the possibility of card and video question exhaustion, and the reliance upon outside equipment because of the DVD component. But as a movie fan I have to give this game blockbuster status. A movie-based trivia games which isn’t restricted by specific films or genres. Scene It is great fun for fans of Hollywood and even for casual movie-goers looking for some board game fun.