PuzzleNation Product Review: Schmovie

Galactic Sneeze is a relative newcomer to the puzzle/board game scene — they describe themselves as a “fun stuff think tank,” rather than a company — but if their game Schmovie is any example, they definitely live up to that name.

Schmovie is the brainchild of Galactic Sneeze co-founders Bryan Wilson and Sara Farber. (Check out Sara’s session of 5 Questions here!) Schmovie challenges players to conjure up the funniest movie title for a given scenario, based on a roll of the die (to determine the genre of the film) and a card from each of two decks, the “who” deck and the “what” deck.

[So, in this case, we need a drama about a hypersensitive granny.
Can you come up with a better title than “Irritable Mrs. Howell Syndrome”?
My friend suggests “The Slow and the Furious.”]

Each round, one player is the Schmovie Producer. This person rolls the die and flips over the Who and What cards. Every other player writes down their movie titles on their erasable boards, and then turns them in to the Schmovie Producer face down. The Producer shuffles the boards to keep the players anonymous, then reads each title aloud. The Producer then chooses a favorite, and that player earns a Schquid Trophy.

The first player (or team) to earn 5 Schquids wins the game.

This is a terrific game for puzzlers, because creativity and wordplay are such a key component. (Considering how many crossword puzzle clues are puns or plays on words, a facility with groaners is something most puzzlers already have in their skill sets.)

You can write anything as your film title, whether it’s your own creation or a pun based on an established film — whatever gets a bigger laugh or best shows off your cleverness.

And you can even try out Schmovie from the comfort of your own phone or computer. There are frequent rounds of Schmovie played on Twitter and Facebook by the game’s creators, complete with electronic Schquid trophies!

With plenty of replayability and enough cards to keep your wordplay muscles in fighting trim for a long time to come, Schmovie is punderful fun for all.

[Glenn’s note: For anyone who has noticed the similarity between Schmovie’s play mechanic and the @midnight television show’s game #HashtagWars, it seems to be a happy accident that both emerged on the pop culture scene in late 2013. @midnight debuted in October, weeks after Schmovie started hitting stores.]

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