Cineplexity Review
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Players: 4-10
Playing Time: 20-30 minutes

How could I resist a game about movies? When I first opened the Cineplexity box, I was thrilled—because I figured it was a game that I could finally win. But, as I soon discovered, winning this game isn’t as easy as it looks.

When playing Cineplexity, players take turns acting as the director. The director’s job is to keep the game under control. To begin, the director takes the Director’s Card Tray, draws one card, reads it aloud, and places it face-up on the table. He or she then does the same with a second card.

The cards feature specific movie elements grouped into nine different categories. For instance, the first card the director draws could be a Production card, with the movie element “Released During the 1960s or 1970s.” And the second card could be an Actors card, with the movie element “Harrison Ford, Chevy Chase, or Tom Cruise.” The rest of the players then race against one another to think of a movie that features both elements and call out the movie’s title. (How about Star Wars?)

The director decides which player was the first to call out a correct answer—then he or she awards that player one of the two cards (which counts as one point). The Director’s Card Tray then moves counterclockwise around the table to the next director, who draws two more cards. Play continues until one player earns the designated number of points (it varies, depending on the number of players) and wins the game.

Easy, right? Think again. And don’t be fooled by my ridiculously simple example. Try this one instead: a movie with a theme of bribery or blackmail, starring an actor who’s better known as a dancer. Or how about a biography featuring obvious product placement?

Unless you’re a stickler for the tiniest of details (all the way down to the props), you’ll find that Cineplexity is a seriously challenging game. And it doesn’t really matter how many movies you’ve seen—in fact, I found that the more movies you’ve seen, the longer it takes to sort through them all in your mind. Once you’re under pressure to come up with the title of a specific movie featuring specific elements as quickly as possible, you’re likely to draw a blank.

Cineplexity is like Scrabble for movie buffs (best played with a copy of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide instead of a dictionary nearby). If you love movies, this game is a must—as long as you’ve got a whole bunch of movie buff friends to play it with you. Then again, if you have a hard time finding four or more movie lovers who are willing to give the game a try, you can always modify the rules a bit to make a two-player game (or you can play it alone—just to test your movie memory). And if you’re throwing a party (say…an Oscar party), it might be a little less intimidating if it’s played in teams. No matter how you play Cineplexity, though, you’re in for a real cinematic challenge.

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