Right out of popcorn-box style packaging, Movie Buff is hard to figure out; the concept will begin to clarify with, maybe, the third reading of the complicated rules. Unlike most trivia games, Movie Buff does not supply the questions or the answers. And, strangely, that’s why it’s fun.
Here’s the over-simplified rules: Each player (2-16 can play) is dealt 10 of the 160-shuffled trivia and strategy cards. The trivia cards are labeled Actor, Movie, Role and Quote. The strategy cards are labeled Take 5, Reverse Angle, Edit and Cut. A player begins by laying down one trivia card, let’s say a Movie card, and names a movie, like “Casablanca.” The next player, then, plays, let’s say an Actor card and calls out “Humphrey Bogart.” Next player plays a Quote card and says: “We’ll always have Paris.” Another player can then play an Actor card and say “Ingrid Bergman.” And on and on, until a player runs out of cards.
Between the start and finish, this free-association, Six-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon-style, trivia game adds more rules, levels and detours. Strategy cards can reverse gameplay direction, allow a skipped turn, etc. Players can leap from one movie to another as long as they’re linked (“Ace Ventura” to “Jim Carrey” to “Dumb and Dumber” to “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”). Once you get the hang of it, Movie Buff can be a fun way to recall movies you love.
Don Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.