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Can you name a film taking place over the holidays that also features a character in a uniform? Then Cineplexity is the movie game for you! Each round, players race to name a movie that matches the descriptions on two different Cineplexity Cards.
Out of the Box Publishing
Players: 4 - 10
Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Ages: 12 and up
Est. time to learn: 5-10 minutes
Weight: 1,642 grams
Language Requirements: Game components are printed in English. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is a domestic item.
- 504 cineplexity cards
- 2 director's trays
- Quick play rules
Average Rating: 3 in 2 reviews
I first heard of Cineplexity (Out of the Box Publishing, 2007 – Jon Michael Rasmus and John Sams and Sean Weitner) on John Kovalic’s blog, in which he literally raved about how fantastic the game was. Others compared it to the immensely popular Apples to Apples from the same company, so I certainly was intrigued! Apples to Apples worked because it was very simple yet had immediate appeal to almost every person that I’ve introduced it to. Could Cineplexity have the same charm?
Well, it may not launch the same forest fire of excitement that Apples did, but Cineplexity has the same spark and may even be a greater hit amongst those who adore movies. Game play is simple; it can be played in large groups, and even those who don’t have a plethora of movie trivia stored in their heads will have an enjoyable time with the game. Our games have led to further discussion, arguments, and laughter, leading me to believe that Out of the Box has a real winner on their hands here!
The game simply consists of 504 Cineplexity cards, which are mixed into two groups, placed face down on the table. One player is chosen to be the first “director”, and the game begins. The director draws one card from one pile, reading it aloud to the other players, and then does the same with the second stack. Cards fall into several categories:
- Scenes: such as “A Natural Disaster” or “In the Rain”
- Setting: such as “New York City” or “Up North”
- Production: such as “Big Budget” or “Contains Foreshadowing”
- Actors: such as “Former cast member of Saturday Night Live” or Kevin Bacon, Kevin Costner, or Kevin Kline”
- Critiques: such as “Notably Controversial” or “Had the Audience in Tears”
- Props: such as “Noteworthy Shoes or Boots” or “Bells or Whistles”
- Characters: such as “Bloody or Cold-Blooded” or “Writer or Reporter”
- Theme: such as “A Fish out of Water” or “Parent-Child Relationship”
- Genre: such as “Historical Drama” or “Horror or Suspense”
Players now quickly hurry to shout out a movie title that has an element from both cards. They continue to do this until the director hears a movie that meets the requirements. This decision is basically up to the director who has the final decision as to whether a movie “fits” or not. Players may challenge the director, argue, cajole, etc.; but it’s all up to the director for that final decision.
Several times nobody will be able to think up the name of a movie, in which case a third card is turned over. Players then must think of a movie that matches any two of the three face-up cards. Regardless, the player who is picked by the director receives one of the cards used. The other card is left on the table for the next round, and the player to the left of the director becomes the new director. Play continues until one player has a certain amount of points (depending on the number of players). That person is declared the winner!
Some comments on the game…
- Components: The box is rather heavy – packed full with the quite large cards. Each category is a different color, and the font is extremely easy to read for all seated at the table. Trays are included to pull the nice quality cards from, and everything fits snuggly in the nicely designed box.
- Rules: Well, it’s Out of the Box Publishing. This means that the single sheet of rules is simple, easy to navigate, and a breeze to explain. Once again, OOTB comes out with a game that can be literally explained in twenty seconds. There is a section devoted to what exactly an “allowable title” is, but that’s pretty much determined by the group.
- Movies: One of my big problems with any game that involves outside trivia is that the player who knows the most will dominate other players. There is certainly a chance of that happening here, if the biggest couch potato has an immense amount of movie knowledge. Now I haven’t run into this personally, although from our games it’s obvious that some people have certainly seen more movies than others – although you may be surprised at exactly who does the best each time! On the flip side, I can certainly see that this may be a problem in some groups, although the simple fix would be to have the person who wins the round be the “director” for the following round. This would keep a person with incredible knowledge to a slightly lower score – and even the playing field. My groups didn’t want to play this way, however, and it didn’t affect our enjoyment at all.
- Categories: I can’t emphasize how diverse and fulfilling the categories of cards are. Movies that fit the categories range from old black and white classics to cheesy TV movies that are shouted out, and often the game devolves into discussion about a certain movie, or “I can’t believe you’ve never seen that movie!” arguments. I suppose there may be expansions for the game in the future, but I don’t see the need – there is a great variety and diversity amongst the cards in the game now, with almost limitless combinations (at least a quarter million!).
- Fun Factor: Cineplexity is a party game, but not one that dwells on the stupid trivia part of the game that tends to turn people away. It’s one that allows players to think of titles that match a random pairing of cards. The laughter, discussion, and friendly arguments about movies make this an enjoyable game for parties. The box caps the limit with ten players, but I can see up to fifteen easily enjoying themselves with the game.
Unlike Apples to Apples, I can see a slightly limited appeal to this game. Some people don’t like movies, or rarely watch them, while others might be frustrated at the capriciousness the judges have in Cineplexity. But for those who are even casual fans of movies (and that’s most people) this game allows you to show your tastes in cinema, have a good time with a party game that rewards ingenuity in thought, and doesn’t emphasize a large memory of trivial minutia. Cineplexity is a game that will be happily greeted in many households, and I see it becoming a big hit at parties for years to come.
“Real men play board games”
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’ve 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’m in the minority in this regards, and fully expect Cineplexity to be well-received by the general public.