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SHOUT ABOUT MOVIES

Reviewed by Herb Levy

(Parker Brothers, 2 or more players or team, ages 13 and up, about 45 minutes; Disc 1, 2, 3 and 4; $19.99 each)

 

Success breeds success. Think about TV series like Law and Order and CSI and the flood of spin-offs that flowed from those sources. In gaming, a recent big success was the marriage of movies, DVDs and game play pioneered by Scene It? (featured back in the Summer 2003 GA REPORT). Now Parker Brothers has unveiled their spin on that combination with Shout About Movies.

Shout About Movies comes packaged like your typical DVD disc. Four discs are available but you can use one without necessarily buying the others(although if you like one, I suspect you will soon add the others to the fold).

Shout About Movies was created by Norman Beil and what separates it from other games about movies, is it streamlines play by getting right to the heart of the matter. No gameboard here, no moving tokens, no chance cards. It’s all about the clips, the scenes, the dialogue of the movies.shoutmovies

Each disc contains three games and each game is played in 8 rounds. Players divide themselves into two teams – the red and the blue. (Although the game suggests that two can play – and they can – the fun multiplies geometrically with more players.) Even better for those who dislike having to pour through instructions, the host on the disc will guide you through everything step by step. No reading required. Simply pop the disc into your DVD player and you’re ready to go.

Three types of questioning are sprinkled through the game. Some of the rounds require players to shout out the answers (hence the name of the game). The first team to say the correct answer gets credit for it. An interesting difference here: there is no penalty for a wrong answer! This encourages a freewheeling style of play.

A second form of challenge requires teams to confer and be able to determine in what order important events related to film happened. For this phase, play shifts back and forth between the two teams whenever one side misses an answer. As the rounds continue, points for correct answers rise from 1 to 2 to 3 points each. The game itself will keep score for you (with a little help by pushing buttons on your DVD control) so paper and pencil are unnecessary.

The final phase of play allows teams to bet 5, 10, 15 or ALL of their points on the last question. Even teams being beaten by a considerable margin still have a real chance to win.

The game draws upon audio and video clips from movies from more than 60 years although, understandably, emphasis is placed on more recent releases. The only real drawback to the game is that there are only three games per disc. Twenty bucks divided by 3 is still less than what you might pay for a ticket to the local cinema but, as the game is fun, more games per disc would have been very welcome.

The approach used in Shout About Movies works well. It’s not buried in obscure trivia which often sucks the life out of a game. No heavy handed instructions and no penalties for guessing wrong. This prevents any “dampening of enthusiasm” and prompts those of us “not quite sure” to take a crack at an answer anyway. All of this makes the 45 minutes of game time, fly by very quickly. Bottom line: Shout About Movies, like so many of the faces it shows on the screen, has that certain star quality.- – – – – – – – – Herb Levy


 

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Winter 2005 GA Report Articles

 

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