Tabletop Game: ‘Double Feature’

Image: Renegade Games
Image: Renegade Games

Double Feature is a trivia-adjacent game, in which players shout out the names of movies that meet the requirements of the two face up cards. Each card has a feature of a movie, such as a setting, character, or prop. The player who comes up with an answer first gets one of the criteria cards, and another is placed. The first player to collect enough cards wins the game. The number of points needed varies according to the number of players. The concept is printed clearly on the box: “All you need to know are the movies you’ve seen!”

Image: Rory Bristol
Image: Rory Bristol

Setting up the first time, we realized that there were very few rules, 120 cards, and lots of room for fun. The six features are Characters, Production, Props, Scenes, Settings, and Theme & Genre. Set up took about 15 seconds. Play began immediately.

Image: Rory Bristol
Image: Rory Bristol

We chose our first two categories randomly, and assigned myself as the Director (current judge). It was my task to decide the winner. Play flew quickly. We started with “HAS OR IS A SEQUEL,” and “GOLD, DIAMONDS, OR PEARLS.” The Fellowship of the Ring took the first victory. The player took the Production card.

Image: Rory Bristol
Image: Rory Bristol

The next card played was chosen by the current director, the player to my left. They chose to flip a Theme & Genre card, which happened to be “ROAD TRIP.” This combo was immediately snapped up by another person in the group with Diamonds, a fun film from 1999. The player received the Props card, because it had been face up longer. This keeps the criteria rotating, keeping players from stalling over a particular feature.

Image: Rory Bristol
Image: Rory Bristol

The best part of this game in our group is that the goal isn’t coming up with one specific movie, making it less about trivia, and more about connecting dots in movies you already know. With Double Feature, every player can use movies they know personally. This makes it easier to play with young kids, or with people you might not know well. Players just stack their cards in a staggered fashion, so it is apparent to all players how close to the end of the game they are.

Image: Rory Bristol
Image: Rory Bristol

Everything you need to play is in the box. The cards are decent quality, with the art done by the amazing John Kovalic. The box is a bit big for its britches, though. A small rulebook and one 120 total cards means this game could have been packaged in half the size. Not a deal breaker, but it does take up a bit more room than I’d like.

Play is suggested for 10+, but I can tell you our 11-year-old had a hard time. As a shout-it-out game, he struggled with getting answers out in time. Both of our kids struggled to play with adults, because of the huge number of movies adults are exposed to, even if they don’t watch them. I’d encourage kids to play with kids around their own ages. Adults should be prepared for thousands of movies to be fair game.

Play is intended for 4-10 players. A four player game requires ten points to win, meaning it has a maximum of 36 rounds, and can be finished in ten minutes, provided players are on point. An eight-to-ten player game requires six points to win, with a maximum of 46 rounds. Expect games to take significantly longer with more players, though. A ten player game can take anywhere from 15 and 40 minutes, due to the sheer number of players, and inevitable squabbling over who answered first, or whether an answer might be valid. Our group finds it easiest to play with a maximum of seven players. After that, it’s hard for everyone to keep track of the game.

I totally suggest this game for smaller groups, or when players need a palate cleanser without too many rules. I’ve taught the game in less than twenty seconds, and finished games quickly many times, regardless of number of players. Double Feature runs $14.99 on Amazon.

Disclaimer: Renegade Games provided a copy of Double Feature for review purposes.

Cthulhu in a Coloring Book? Help John Kovalic Make It Happen

Cthulhu Coloring Page © Courtesy John Kovalic

John Kovalic, cartoonist and GeekDad extraordinaire, is currently raising funds for his Bike the Barns charity bike ride. The 7th annual Bike the Barns ride in Wisconsin supports the FairShare CSA Coalition’s Partner Shares program, which “brings fresh, organic food from local farms to low-income families in our community.”

If Kovalic reaches his fundraising goal, he’ll make a preschool coloring book he’s been working on free for download! Sample pages include classics like a mermaid, dinosaur, and pirate, and he promises more geekery will be included. He’s also released an adorable, trick-or-treating Cthulhu illustration that will be part of the book.

Where else will you find Cthulhu in a coloring book? Visit John Kovalic’s pledge page and consider supporting the cause.

This Week With the GeekMoms

GeekMom News

Jules Sherred had another eventful week, filled with house-hunting, work, and more. Jules’ youngest son turned 14 on Tuesday. Last Friday, Dork Tower and Munchkin illustrator John Kovalic joined Jules on the Geeky Pleasures Radio Show. It is now available for download. Tonight, GeekMom editor Corrina Lawson will be joining Jules on the Geeky Pleasures Radio Show at 7 pm PT/ 10 pm ET at The Look 24/7, to discuss the move from Wired, the events of this past week, the changing face of journalism, and more.

Ariane had to keep her sick preschooler at home for the past six days. Today was the first day back to school for the recovered girl, but the break in the routine made both of them less than cooperative about leaving the comforts of home. Back to the daily grind!

Kelly Knox plans to celebrate spring by joyfully frolicking in an endless field of blooming tulips. Seriously, she really is, thanks to the tulip festival in northern Washington state.

GeekMom Rachel is currently wrapping up her son’s spring break and couldn’t be happier about the upcoming school week. Although it’s been awesome spending time with her little man and sleeping in a bit, he really needs a full day. Also, that to-do pile needs to start getting smaller!

Rebecca Angel is having a great time teaching Electronic Music with kids at Siena College Urban Scholars Program. Last Saturday they learned how to make an original drum track on GarageBand, and they were groovin’!

Dakster Sullivan‘s life is finally getting back to normal and she is celebrating it at Mardi Gras this weekend. It’s also her 28th birthday on Friday, so she’s taking the day off to kick her husband’s tail in putt-putt golf.

This Week With the GeekMoms

GeekMom News

Dakster Sullivan is still without her car this weekend, so instead she will be dreaming up another adventure. This weekend, she plans to head over to LA to watch a taping of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She hopes to meet the cast when they’re done and take a tour of the Nickelodeon Studios. Afterwards, she will strap on her roller-blades and roll out and around the city. For lunch she plans on hitting up Clifton’s Cafeteria because Google said it was good.

This week Sarah was reintroduced to the world of hiking in Maine after a very long winter. A partially frozen swamp of a hike, two tired boys and we are well on our way to Spring. She is eagerly planning the dress she will be making for PortCon and just has to decide whether it should be Star Trek or Star Wars fabric. Place your bets now with hashtag #mainemummy. This weekend there will be much rejoicing at a sudden but wonderful wedding between two friends, there will also hopefully be a late night showing of Jurassic Park after the reception!

Ariane is back from a last minute trip to her hometown, Montreal, Canada. She went for a funeral, but apparently grieving and eating too much junk food are not mutually exclusive. Poutines, chocolates, Coffee Crisps, May Wests, and ketchup chips were had plentifully. Her preschooler’s reaction to seeing snow for the first time was not as exciting as everyone expected, she simply exclaimed “I’m cold. I want to go home. Carry me.” Both were happy to return to the warmer climates of California. Weaklings.

Kelly Knox may have taken her love of America’s Best Dance Crew a little too far by signing up her four-year-old for a break-dancing class. The class is aimed at getting toddlers and preschoolers exercising by exploring movement, and to Kelly’s delight is taught by Dance Crew alum Massive Monkees. Kelly plans to geek out while her kiddo works out.

This week Patricia over-committed herself once again. This weekend she has three big events she somehow has to juggle: the base spouses’ club auction (about which she has to thank Dakster for her help getting some autographed swag from Megacon), running a Cub Scout campout on the battleship USS Alabama in Mobile, all while having a yard sale. What the heck was she thinking????

Melissa Wiley has launched a monthly email newsletter for parents, teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers. She’ll be sharing children’s book recommendations, app reviews, fun learning resources, and more. Here’s a peek at the April edition. You can sign up at this link.

Jules Sherred’s week has been a blur of frenzied activity. As a result, Jules is extra-happy to be able to call this week done, and sit down to have a conversation with John Kovalic of GeekDad/Dork Tower/Munchkin fame at 7 pm PT/ 10 pm ET on the Geeky Pleasures Radio Show at The Look 24/7.

Kris Bordessa is putting one more parenting milestone behind her. No more of those teeny, tiny rubber bands under the couch, in the laundry, or on the floor. Her youngest son’s braces are off!

Happy Birthday, John Kovalic!

Today is the birthday of the talented and awesome John Kovalic. John has long been a friend to our companion site, GeekDad, as well as adored by millions from his webcomic Dork Tower, and his many, many games from Out of the Box Games (Apples to Apples, anyone?) and Steve Jackson Games (Munchkin!!).

I happen to know that John is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and he deserves the feasts and parades that will take place today to honor his birthday. So, as you are indulging in yet another piece of turkey, another slice of apple pie, or another glass of wine, say “Cheers!” in John’s general direction (Wisconsin!).

Happy Birthday, John, from all of us here at GeekMom!

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Maker Faire 2011, San Mateo: Wrap-Up

This was my third year attending Maker Faire and helping at the GeekDad booth (this year, the GeekDad/GeekMom booth!). Every year is different. Our booth and the Faire have only grown each year, but the experience has also been fundamentally different each time.

The first year I attended (2009), we had a lot of things to hand out and to give away as prizes, and had a very Lego-centric booth. We did a lot of explaining about what GeekDad was, and handed out neat Wired items. It was the first time I ever worked a booth, and it was an incredibly positive experience.

My second year (2010) had more things to give away as prizes, but fewer to just hand out. It was still an amazing time since even more GeekDads made the trip out. But people kept asking, “But what about GeekMom?”

This year, the Faire experience was different. I spent most of my time safely ensconced in the booth, away from the intense crowds. I had the great company of even more GeekDads and GeekMoms (including our own Natania Barron and Cathe Post), plus great GeekDad families that came along for the fun. Bonnie Burton even stopped by to say hello. But the highlight for me was meeting and getting to know our special guests, John Kovalic and Bob Boyle. Both spent much time at the booth drawing cartoons for visitors and being generally charming.

From left, sitting at the table: Jonathan Liu, Bob Boyle, and John Kovalic. Photo: Jenny Williams

In addition to their cartooning prowess, we also had GeekDad Jonathan Liu dazzling everyone (including the aforementioned cartoonists) with his Etch-a-Sketch artwork. At other booth stations, we had Lego building, game playing, ThinkGeek music toys, Hexbugs, electronics (courtesy of DigiKey), and plenty of GeekMom and GeekDad merchandise for sale. We also shared the booth area with Chris Anderson and his UAV group.

Maker Faire is always an exhausting but exhilarating experience. The people we met were all either interested in learning about our GeekParenting empire, or were showering us with praise for the work we do. At least those who could get through to our booth. The crowd at the Faire has grown to a size where it is a bit of a detriment to enjoyment, but with some patience, it is still worth going.

I know my fellow GeekMoms and GeekDads will echo my sentiments: Maker Faire is a great time. There is something for everyone, and it is fun, educational, and exciting. If you couldn’t make it out to the annual “flagship” event in San Mateo, California, this year there will be a GeekMom/GeekDad booth at Maker Faire NY in September! Visit the Maker Faire website for details!

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