Chairman of the Board: Seen it

ARTS_Chairman sceneit

‘Scene it?’ game review

By Ed Appleby, Illustrator

Scene it? is a movie-themed, DVD-based trivia game for two or more players published by Mattel in 2002. Individuals or teams of players move their piece around a board and either answer trivia questions or play DVD-based games to keep moving. First one to the goal wins.

There are a few fun aspects to the gameplay. It has a light tone and is a very easy game for beginners. However, there are some major issues that I have with its two biggest features: the DVD and the trivia.

The DVD aspect can take people out of the game. It’s one thing to have a social game where people can chat, but having to stop the conversation every time you need to watch a scene leads to an inconsistent and non-immersive experience.

Games based on trivia have a few inherent problems. First, they can quickly become outdated. Scene it? thrives on highlighting more recent films, giving its players more of an equal footing. But this means editions of the game can become outdated within just a few years. The second problem with any game based on trivial knowledge is that some players are at a distinct advantage. If you know something you know it, and if you don’t you don’t.

Scene it? is a huge cash cow for Mattel. With constantly updated versions, aimed at specific audiences from Star Trek to Glee, they have flooded every market niche they can. They have also expended into video games for most major platforms and mobile devices, which may solve the one issue of keeping the trivia current.

So the next time Grandma comes over, feel free to play a game of Scene it?—maybe a version withcat videos. For regular gamers, there are better games out there.