Few things are as iconic about the '90s as the video and video game rental chain Blockbuster, which, at one point, was the only place you could get movies, tv shows, and games without buying them. Unfortunately, there is only one of those stores still operating, but Big Potato Games and Spin Master Games have themed their latest board game around the movie staple, and trust me when I say it will quickly become one of your favorite tabletop experiences for family game night.
The Blockbuster Party Game goes all out with its premise, as Spin Master nails the aesthetic by making the box of the game just like Blockbuster's old VCR tape covers. Everything else in the box is also themed, including question cards that look like videotapes, a buzzer with the Blockbuster logo, and even a tiny version of the Blockbuster sign.
The only hump you'll have to get over is explaining the game's shift in gameplay midway through. Each turn consists of two halves, with the first being a Challenge between one player from your team and one from the other team. You'll hit the buzzer to start the timer after reading the category on the card, which will be based around a theme. For example, it might say "movies based around superheroes," and then you'll trade off naming movies until the timer runs out and one player can't name any more.
That part is easy and you'll quickly find yourselves having a ball, especially if you're around movie fans. The next part is a bit more complicated, and it can bring your gameplay session to a halt as you figure out the rules. That said, once you do, you'll find the second half just as enjoyable as the first, but it requires a few more steps.
The second half requires you to choose three film cards from the deck, with one player of the team in charge of reading them off to the other team members. One card gets acted out, while another gets quoted, and another gets described with one word. This ends up being the most chaotic part of the game, and you'll need to take a risk or two with some cards as you have to have a collection of every type of movie card to win the game (which themselves are based on movie genres).
As we quickly learned, sometimes this means going out on a limb with a movie you know absolutely nothing about, and while you might not get the win, you will get plenty of laughs. This became a family favorite around the table almost instantly, and it was hit not just amongst the adults but also with the younger crowd playing, which ranged from college-aged to high school to grade school in our playthroughs.
The main drawback to the game is the cheapness in the buzzer, as it stopped working after several playthroughs and we ended up just using our phones to time things. The only other possible negative is that you'll likely go through all the cards included pretty quickly if it's as addicting for you as it was for us, so, hopefully, an expansion set is something that's coming down the pike.
The Blockbuster Party Game utilizes its premise perfectly and delivers a fun and easy-to-learn experience that will appeal to movie fans of any age. Those looking for something with a bit more complexity will need to look elsewhere, but those who just want to have a good time with some '90s nostalgia cannot do better than this.0comments
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Blockbuster Party Game is available in stores now.