Although I dabble in the business of creating tabletop content—to the tune of 169 articles in 2022—it doesn’t scratch the surface of my movie junkie bonafides.
In 2013, the year before my first child was born, I watched 160 films in theaters. Technically, this was every single “wide release” film that year. That means I have a problem; that also means I sat through the likes of Smurfs 2, RIPD, and the only Die Hard film to be legitimately terrible, A Good Day to Die Hard.
I regularly see 75-100 movies in theaters each year. I refuse to talk to other human beings during the Oscars broadcast. I’ve seen Indian films in India. I went to see movies in theaters, alone, during COVID. I’ve been to the Sundance Film Festival and watched 19 movies in just four days. I used to wait outside of theaters in all weather conditions to be the first person in line for midnight premieres. I read Deadline, and yes, I know that the writing is terrible. I had MoviePass when it first debuted, then again when it came back. I’m an AMC Stubs member to this day.
It’s safe to assume I enjoy films. I am decent with movie trivia, but my general film knowledge through the ages is pretty strong. When our friends at Gigamic offered to send their 2021 release Movie Mind, I raised my hand as high as I could.
The game arrived recently. Here’s the executive summary: lots of fun, but for hardcore movie junkies only.
“Where Do You See THAT??”
Movie Mind is a three-round timed trivia game for two or three teams. On a turn, a team draws one of the 80 included illustration cards; a rival team selects a reader who will pose five questions that must be answered within 90 seconds. Each correct answer scores one point. Between rounds, each team gets the chance to answer one question about the card currently in play to potentially steal a point. After three rounds, the team with the most points wins.
The illustrated square cards are the heart of Movie Mind. Each card features a visual from 10 different films released over the last 70 years or so. The illustrations don’t always try to paint a single picture; sometimes, there is a character from, say, Pulp Fiction walking towards a person wearing the mask you remember from the Scream films, without any context. It’s basically a jumble of ideas piled into one space, so while listening to each question, film lovers have to parse out what films are pictured then try to align answers with random questions:
“A movie featuring an airplane.”
“A movie where a character is granted three wishes.”
“A movie where a man leads a group on a big adventure.”
Vague, right? More often than not, when someone on my team answered a question correctly, I found myself screaming “where do you see THAT?” because for the life of me, I couldn’t find the referenced image.
The illustrations make it even harder; on one card, there’s a character just sitting on a couch. Most of us had no idea who this person was supposed to be, despite being a character from a very successful comic book film franchise. That’s because there wasn’t much in the way of additional information about this character; they were just sitting there.
But if you recognize some of the characters, symbology, or major visual moments from your favorite films, you’ve got something here. Also, there are no quoted lines in the pictures. For a junkie who has their movie quotes down pat, that won’t help you at all in a game of Movie Mind.
Does It Work?
Movie Mind does work, but this is truly for a movie junkie. I know that because even as a movie junkie myself, I often struggled to answer some of the questions.
The artwork by Diane Fayolle and Charles Deroo is interesting, and many of the players I joined at the table thought the work was solid, if not occasionally spectacular. It’s not that. When you see something from, say, Jaws, you just need to see a shark, and bam, you’ve got it, right? Jaws is, and always will be, The Shark Movie. (Apologies to The Meg, Shark Tale, and the classic TV movie franchise Sharknado.)
But, Interstellar? Can you picture things from the movie, then imagine them animated? How about Lawrence of Arabia? You have stills from the movie in mind, but they aren’t drawn, right?
That makes Movie Mind a bit trickier than it needs to be. It’s always interesting, and as I say in these pages often, I love games that feature shouting, timers, races, and drama. Movie Mind has all of that. But if you have a friend who thinks they are a movie nerd because they have seen all of the Star Wars films, this is not the game for them.
This is for a person who loved—and remembers!—Big Fish. Fan of the French film Amélie? Apply here. Now, are there references to Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and some of the Marvel films? Of course, and those slightly outpace more obscure references. But I think the main fun to be had is for a person who has a real breadth and depth to their movie-watching tastes.
One miss, in terms of the production: the hourglass kinda sucks. My included hourglass only has enough magic dust to last 55 seconds, so I used my smartphone’s timer instead.
With two teams and 90-second rounds, this game literally takes nine minutes to play; let’s call it an even ten, since you have to spend 60 seconds to teach it. For that, and a reasonable price at many online retailers, you’ll be in great shape if you choose to pick up a copy of Movie Mind!