Blockbuster Party Game

Blockbuster Party Game

The VHS styled cover for Blockbuster!

As Conan said about the best things in life,’ pick your movies, see them in the comfort of your home, and hear the amazing stereo sound!’… well, he said SOMETHING like that.

Tragically, the days of the video shop have passed, and I have to say, even though I prefer to buy my physical media rather than rent them, I do miss walking up and down the aisles of my local Videoezy, Videomonde, Blockbuster or even the good ol’ smaller solo video stores, though I was usually there to raid their ex-rentals.

Blockbuster is the name that everyone remembers more than any, I’m sure, and this game appears to be a trivia game, which can unfortunately squeeze out people who aren’t big movie fans, but it’s not.

The Blockbuster Party Game is a party game for 4 to 10 people, who in my family’s experience, plays best with 8, and it’s not a trivia game, but it is about movies.

The game is played in 2 teams, in 2 rounds. In the first round, a card is drawn from a deck titled ‘Head to Head’ and from each team, a representative is chosen to play in this round. On the face of each Head to Head card is a description of a movie, like ‘Movies with a Dragon’ or ‘Movies with a Dog’ or ‘Movies with a Giant Monster’ etc, and over the course of 15 seconds, timed with a supplied timer, each representative has to give an example of a movie that fits the description. For example, in that last example, King Kong, Godzilla, Gamera and their Kaiju comrades. The two go back and forth with titles, and the person who hasn’t answered when timer goes off is the loser.

Examples of the head to head cards

The winner of the round now draws 6 Movie cards, which are quite simply, coloured-coded by genre cards with the names of movies on them. The winner then picks the 3 cards that they think will be the easiest for them to communicate to their team, each card being picked to reveal in three different ways:

One Word – where you can only describe the film with a single word.

Quote It – describe the movie with a single quote from the film.

Act It – you have to perform a charade of the movie title.

Examples of the movie cards

The winner then has 30 seconds to perform those actions on the cards, flipping them over if the team guess correctly. If they do it in LESS than the 30 seconds, they can then attempt the opponents cards!

It’s then the opposing teams turn, and they have the same rules. If they finish quick enough and the opposing team still have face down movie titles, they can attempt to steal them.

There is also a special rule where once per turn, if one side has three of any colour genre, they can steal an opponents card for their collection.

These rounds continue back and forth until one side has collected a full set of the 8 coloured genre cards.

Ready to play!

The game is fun, and as it’s not a trivia game, an average to below average knowledge of movies is enough. The films picked are blockbusters (geddit) or well-known films so there’s very few opportunities of someone not knowing the answer.

The design of the game is quite thematic with the board being the car park outside a Blockbuster, there’s a street sign that performs no purpose other than to represent the theme more. The supplied timer is a clever gadget that runs for 15 seconds with a single touch, and 30 seconds when held down to activate.

The whole thing is quite gimmicky in its presentation but it also has problems. The replica video case doesn’t close completely, the car park board doesn’t lay completely flat and the cards are not great quality.

Also, it being a party game, it will sit in your games cupboard until you have enough people to play it, which is a minimum of 4! I consistently only have 3 players playing so it’s hard for me to get it to the table.

It’s a fun game and there are heaps of options (200 hundred movie cards!) so the game has quite a fair bit of longevity, especially if not played over and over with the same group. There is also two different music versions of the game: a UK version called Top of the Pops and a U.S. one called MTV: The Throwback Music Party Game. All three were published by Big Potato Games in 2020.

Score: ***

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