The Blockbuster Party Game Review

Posted by | Reviews | No Comments

Publisher: Big Potato Games
Age: 12+
Players: 4-8
Game Length: 20 mins
MSRP: $19.99

The category was “movies with superheroes.” My wife and I locked eyes from across the table, hands poised over the buzzer. What followed was a hilariously heated exchange as we realized the incredible amount of superhero films we’ve seen together.

The Blockbuster Party Game combines multiple social party game modes within a delightfully nostalgic package, hearkening back to those 90s days of Friday night runs to the VHS tape emporium, Blockbuster Video.

Be Kind, Please Rewind

In the Blockbuster Party Game, players divide into two teams. Gameplay is divided into two halves, with the first half featuring a head-to-head match between two players on opposing teams. A card is drawn from a deck of 60 category cards, such as “movies set during Christmas,” or “movies by Steven Spielberg.” Both players call out answers while hitting the buzzer to impose a 15-second timer on their opponent, until one of them is stumped.

In the second half of the game, the winner of the head-to-head match draws six cards from a different deck of 200 movie cards, selects three, and gives the other three to the losing player. Both players choose which of their three cards to put in each of the three spots on the board for their team to guess. Depending on the spot that was chosen, the players then take turns using a single word, a single quote, or attempting to act out a scene in the hopes their team guesses each film.

The 200-card movie deck contains a rich assortment of popular films, spread among eight different genres, from Horror and Animation to All-Time Classics. Even if you’re not a cinephile, there’s a solid chance you’ve at least heard of movies like Groundhog Day, Rambo, and Forest Gump. The game ends when one team acquires at least one of each genre movie card by correctly guessing the movie.

For a light party game, there remains a decent level of strategy as players decide which movies and which categories they want to assign them. For Home Alone I could shout “KEVIN!” as my one word clue, or use the classic quote, “Keep the change, ya filthy animal.” The Act It category often becomes the throw-away section, however, as we found it challenging to pantomime any scene of a film within a 30-second window for all three categories. We quickly realized how many action films are just Dude Shooting Gun.

The Rating

The Blockbuster Party Game has a 12+ age rating. The gameplay isn’t tactically complex nor does it contain any objectionable material (unless you count R-rated movie titles). The age rating is due to the decades of movie knowledge that’s recommended, at least on a surface level, to fully enjoy the game.

The Takeaway

The party game goes all-in with the Blockbuster theme, featuring a foldable parking lot board with attachable Blockbuster sign, and VHS tapes as movie cards. The entire package is contained within a rectangular plastic shell, exactly like a VHS box that I’d rent stacks of throughout the 90s. The Blockbuster Party Game effectively balances head-to-head movie trivia with the social enjoyment of remembering, quoting, acting, and referencing popular movies, the perfect party game for nostalgic 80s and 90s kids of a bygone era.

Find The Blockbuster Party Game at Target.

Disney Tsum Tsum Festival Review

Posted by | Reviews, Switch | No Comments

Available On: Switch

The Nintendo Switch has a slew of Mario Party-like mini-game collections, including Mario Party itself. But none bring the inexplicable gush of joy from kids (and some adults) like Tsum Tsum.

Disney Tsum Tsum Festival transforms the mobile puzzle game into a multiplayer party game for up to four players locally or online, starring the adorably chubby and popular Tsum Tsum toys.

Read More

borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 Review

Posted by | PC, PlayStation 4, Reviews, Xbox One | No Comments

Available On: PC (Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4, Xbox One

There are three main pillars for the Borderlands series: co-operative multiplayer, a bombastic and goofy cast of characters, and lots and lots of randomized gun loot. Gearbox may have played it relatively safe with the highly anticipated threequel in Borderlands 3, but they absolutely nailed all the important components that make this such a beloved series.

Read More

Untitled Goose Game Review

Posted by | PC, Reviews, Switch | No Comments

Available On: PC (Epic Games Store), Switch

Over the years and decades playing games I’ve embodied super-soldiers, dragons, cars, knights, aliens, and all kinds of fantastical beasts. In Untitled Goose Game, I’m a goose.

A normal-size, power-less goose sounds like a bit of a downgrade. Yet as I’ve come to learn geese are clever, resourceful, and hilariously aggravating, creating a uniquely light-hearted, memorable experience.

Read More

Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared Review

Posted by | Reviews | No Comments

Publisher: Ravensburger
Age: 10+
Players: 2-3 (the full game supports up to 6)
Game Length: 40-60 minutes
MSRP: $24.99

The second stand-alone expansion to excellent asymmetrical card game Disney Villainous, Evil Comes Prepared, finally adds Scar as a playable villain, along with dark-horse picks Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove and Professor Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective. Scar is mildly disappointing but the others make up for it with unique and interesting play styles, proving that Villainous continues to host an impressive pantheon of Disney favorites.

Circle of Life

By now you should already be familiar with how Disney Villainous plays. Each player selects a Disney villain, which comes with their own deck of villain cards, a fate deck of meddling heroes, a player board with four locations, and a stylized 3D token. Each turn players move their token to a location, performing the limited actions at that location, such as playing cards, gaining power, and vanquishing heroes. Villains can also draw from their opponents’ fate decks to place heroes on their board, partially covering up their actions and thwarting their plans.

Part of the genius of Villainous is its asynchronous gameplay. Each villain has a unique victory condition, as well as their own unique card decks and player boards. No two villains play alike, though with the second expansion Evil Comes Prepared adding the 10th, 11th, and 12th villains to the game, we’re beginning to see some overlaps.

Surprisingly Scar is the weakest of the new additions in Evil Comes Prepared. Scar’s goal is to defeat 15 strength worth of heroes. Eliminating heroes is something most villains do anyway, though Scar has to defeat Mufasa before any defeated heroes count toward his goal. Defeating heroes doesn’t make for an interesting nor engaging goal, and most of Scar’s strength comes from playing a bunch of nameless hyena cards. I also question the theme, as Scar’s goal in The Lion King was to usurp Mufasa and take over the pride lands, not hunt down and kill all the heroes.

Professor Ratigan is much more interesting, featuring a two-in-one goal that changes if his initial plans are thwarted. As in the film, Ratigan’s goal is to replace the queen with a robotic version. The card costs a ton of power, however, which means Ratigan needs to play items and allies that reduce its cost. Once the card is played it needs to be carefully moved from one side of the board to the other. If Basil comes into play, the card is discarded, and Ratigan goes into a rage, physically flipping his goal over to defeating Basil. It’s a brilliant callback to the climax of the film, and often reflects the same playful frustration the Ratigan player is feeling.

Of the three new villains Yzma is the most radically different. Her setup involves separating the fate deck into four different stacks, with each stack at a single location. Yzma needs to spend her time locating Kuzco, then defeating him with Kronk. I’m less familiar with The Emperor’s New Groove than other Disney animated films, but Yzma has to make sure Kronk stays under her control, creating an interesting dynamic while trying to defeat Kuzco. Fating the Yzma player can be a bit of a pain, however, as you have to look through the full stack of cards at a location, and don’t want to give away Kuzco if you find him.

The Rating

Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared has a recommended age of 10+. The gameplay is complex enough to make it more suitable for older kids, teens, and adult Disneyphiles.

The Takeaway

Scar, clearly the marquee new addition, is unfortunately one of the weaker villains of them all, though Ratigan and Yzma provide interesting new ideas and gameplay opportunities. Evil Comes Prepared can coast on how good Villainous plays and the still-excellent production quality of the cards, boards, and tokens (Evil Comes Prepared definitely has the best tokens), but at this point we probably have all the villains we need.

Find Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared at Target.