iPad Game Review: Scene It? Comedy Movies HD Reviewed by Guy Dayen
The well-known DVD game series Scene It? goes HD and comes to the iPad with this new game focused on movie comedies, as indicated by the title. Questions concentrate on movies from the 70s on to contemporary comedies. If you're a film buff and enjoy casual games, you will be pleased with this offering. Occasional moviegoers will also be fine playing the game, as every movie in here has been in wide circulation in movie houses or on television. You won't find obscure references to movies that only a handful of people saw at in that art house theatre in Milwaukee that one time...and that's a good thing. Some trivia games rely way too much on minutiae, and it results in nothing but frustration for all but the most rabid trivia masters. This game offers a good balance of difficulty and casual fun.
Anyone who?s played one of the Scene It? games will be in familiar territory, but for those players who have never tried the game, here?s a short summary. The game consists of a series of sixteen mini-games, all testing your knowledge of modern comedy movies. Some of these mini-games use short movie clips, others use animated sequences, and still others use stills and posters, mostly culled from movies that came out in the last four decades. There is also a hidden-object mini-game of sorts, in which you must find an image from a movie hidden among a large grid of movie stills.
Some mini-games are closer to traditional trivia; for example, some ask you to complete movie quotes, and others ask you to associate factoids or lines of dialogue to the correct movie. There is a good variety of questions, and the mini-games are different enough to keep players interested over the course of a few games.
You can play in Single Player mode, simply answering questions and accumulating points. There is also a Pass-and-Play group mode where everyone plays on the same iPad, or a Multiplayer head-to-head mode over local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
All of the mini-games are timed, and the faster an answer is given, the more points are earned. You can post high scores on Facebook to challenge your friends. These Facebook scores can also be converted to Glitz points to accumulate even more bragging rights. One thing to keep in mind is that there are about 100 movie clips in the game, so the file size is a hefty 555 MB!
The graphic design of Scene It? Comedy Movies HD is well-done (and suitably enough) is movie-themed in everything from the main menu to game screens to the Facebook score screen. The movie clips play very well on the iPad, and are near-DVD quality. The animated clips might seem a little crude compared to the rest of the graphics in the game, as they are done in a retro pixel-art style, but it doesn?t detract from the gameplay. The controls are very simple, and very responsive. The timer is a bomb, with its burning fuse indicating the time ticking away. Everything feels very natural on the iPad; it?s much less cumbersome and much easier to play than the DVD version, and you don?t need all that external equipment to play.
The music and sound effects in Scene It? Comedy Movies are very reminiscent of a game show experience. The overall sound design, with its bouncy music and fun sounds contribute greatly to the party atmosphere of the game. However, it would have been much better (considering this app is already so massive anyway) to have a different song for every match in the game so there would be a sense of variety from session to session. 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. For some of the mini-games, you have to listen to the dialogue in the movie clips to be able to answer the questions correctly. For other types of games, you have to pay attention and concentrate, and since the games are timed, there?s no time to listen to your favorite chorus. Get with it, or the points will melt away like butter on a baked potato.
This is a fun game to play by yourself, but it?s even better against an opponent or when you play in a group. There are many trivia apps in the iTunes store, and this is definitely one of the better ones. The game has a broad appeal, even casual moviegoers will stand a good chance in the game, so it is suitable for everyone who likes movie comedies. It?s appropriate for all ages as well, so it is a perfect game to play as a family.
One big problem trivia type of games some times has is their lack of replay value, and Scene It? certainly is no exception but deepens the problem further. Each match in the game is exactly the same every time you play it. This means that once you have played a match, you?ve seen all the questions and you know all the answers (assuming you have anything approaching average memory capacity); there is no random gameplay at all, and that is quite a drawback to a trivia game of this size.
Please don?t get me wrong, this is a quality game, it?s lots of fun, and granted, there are many different matches to play. Also, the game is much cheaper than the standard Scene It? editions, so this is still a very good value, but there really should be a way to customize and randomize gameplay for added replay value. There is also an iPhone/iPod touch version that costs even less.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Quite well-done graphic design overall; good supply of movie clips that look great on the iPad, but the animated sequences lack polish and feel cheap compared to the rest of the game Sound: - 4 - A lively soundtrack contributes to a fun game show atmosphere, especially when playing with a group. However, a lack of variety in the music lends a bit of sameness to every match. Controls: - 5 - Very simple and responsive controls make this game a breeze to pick up. Gameplay: - 4 - An enjoyable experience for any movie buff, but the fact that each game can only be played once due to question repetition means that there is very little replay value to this game.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Answer as fast as possible, as the point count drops fairly quickly.
- In Multiple Choice answers, go with your guts; it will often be the right answer.
- Don?t forget the zoom function when searching for movie stills in the image grid game.
- This game is more fun with a plentiful supply of popcorn on hand!