iPad Game Review: Scene It? Movies 2 HD Reviewed by Guy Dayen
Screenlife's Scene It? franchise returns yet again to the iPad, with an updated version of the Scene It experience. In essence, it is a return to its roots, since the game now allows for game play on your television, thanks to AirPlay. This makes for a much more fun and satisfying group experience, which Screenlife dubs Party Play. Indeed, it is a great party game; let's face it, who doesn't love the movies? After spending an evening playing the game, I can attest that it is a really amusing way to spend a few hours in competition with friends and family.
Of course, the game can also be played right on the iPad, for those who prefer a solo, or more intimate mode of play.
Another big difference in this game is the availability of extra question packs, which can be downloaded for a dollar through in-app purchase. This is a wonderful development, since the original games for the iPad and iPhone suffered from a limited amount of questions. The option of expanding your bank of questions, and of customizing the game to tailor the experience to your favorite kind of film, adds much-needed replay value to the game!
After so many years, and so many variations, most people are very familiar with Scene It? games. For the few who are still unaware of this phenomenon, here?s a brief run-down: the game consists of a series of mini-games, all testing your knowledge of contemporary movies, culled from popular movies from the 80?s onwards. Some of the mini-games make use of short movie clips, others are based on animated sequences, and still others utilize stills and posters.
Some mini-games are more akin to traditional trivia; for example, some ask you to complete movie quotes, while others ask you to associate factoids or lines of dialogue to the correct movie. There is a good mix of questions, and the selection of movie genres is extensive enough to keep a wide variety of players interested in the game over the course of a few matches. Another new addition to this version of the game is the possibility of collecting a set of unlockable scenes if your score is good enough; it?s a feature that worked very well in the Movie Cat iOS games, and it is welcome here as well. (And they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, don?t they ?)
You can play Scene It? 2 Movies HD in Single Player mode on the iPad, simply answering questions as quickly as possible to accumulate points. And of course, there is the new Party Play group mode where everyone plays on a television set. Frankly, I think this is the only way to go. It is a quintessential party game, and really is best when played in a group.
Scene It? 2 Movies HD also makes use of Apple?s Game Center, so you can challenge your friends and compete with them for higher rankings on the leaderboards. There are achievements to unlock and brag about. Screenlife has done a much better job of integrating social gaming with this version of Scene It?, and it adds a welcome new dimension to the game.
Keep in mind when downloading this game that the file size is a hefty 866 MB! Once expanded, and with the addition of extra question packs, the game takes up about a gig of iPad real estate. It truly is a great trivia game, but it?s a real space hog. Another aspect that some people find annoying is the less-than-subtle push to buy the movies featured in the game. Some would say that a paid game such as this has no business being loaded with ads, but we must admit that we now live in a world rife with product placement. I simply ignore the ads, but it can be a deal-breaker for gaming purists
The graphic design of Scene It? 2 Movies HD continues to delight. As befits a franchise centered on cinema, everything is movie-themed, from the main menu to game screens, etc. As was the case with previous versions of Scene It?, movie clips play very well on the iPad, and are near-DVD quality. The rest of the materials are on par with the clips, and make for a high-quality visual experience.
The controls are very simple, and very responsive. Gameplay is very smooth. Everything feels very natural on the iPad; passing it around the room is the easiest thing in the world. The game feels much less cumbersome and much easier to play than the DVD version. Once you?re connected with AirPlay, there?s no fussing about with remotes and DVD players the way there was with the original game of ten years ago. You?ve got everything you need right there in your hand.
The music and sound effects in Scene It? 2 Movies HD continue to be reminiscent of a game show experience. The overall sound design, with its bright music and fun sounds contribute greatly to the party atmosphere of the game, especially with the new Party Play.
The only sound options are to control the volume of the music and effects. You cannot use your iPad?s music, but this is not the kind of game where you want your music anyway. Some of the mini-games have to listen to dialogue in movie clips to be able to answer questions correctly. In other games, you really have to pay attention and concentrate to get the answer. Since the games are timed, there?s no time to groove to your favorite playlist. Get with it, or the points will melt away like butter on popcorn.
Scene It? Movies 2 HD is one of the best trivia apps on iTunes. If course, most people might ask, and with good reason, if they need yet another version of Scene It? After all, there is the original iPad game, and the many variations (Comedy, Romantic Movies, Horror, Harry Potter) that have come along since. My answer is a resounding yes. The new Party Play makes this a vastly better Scene It? experience. The other factor is price. The app is only a dollar, which is a great price point. It?s low enough to dip into the old iTunes account once more if you already own one of the Scene It? apps, and it?s very enticing for people new to the game. Extra question packs are also a dollar, so you can have a full complement of questions for around five bucks. That expanded variety of questions make a great trivia game even more enticing. I look forward to many more fun evening with friends (and maybe a few solo matches so I can practice and give myself a bit more of a competitive edge, no ?)
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5): 5
Graphics: 5 Beautiful graphic design overall; good supply of movie clips and high-def photos that look great on the iPad and on television. Sound: 5 A bright and lively soundtrack contributes to a fun game show atmosphere, especially when playing with a group of friends using Party Play. Controls: 5 Smooth and responsive controls make this game easy to use for everyone in your group, no matter what their age or experience with an iPad. Gameplay: 5 Scene It? Movies 2 HD is a great solo game, but it is much more enjoyable played in a group. Party Play hikes up the fun tenfold. It?s Scene It? as it was really meant to be played, with an extended bunch of family and friends.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Answer as quickly as you can, as the point count drops the longer you take to answer. - In Multiple Choice answers, don't second-guess yourself. Go with your first instinct; it will often be the right answer. - This game is way more fun when played with a plentiful supply of popcorn and movie snacks on hand!