What would you call an action movie about a vengeful cheese? Revenge of the Curds. How about a romantic comedy about a deep-sea matchmaker? That’s a Moray. A sci-fi movie about a first anniversary? 365 Days Later.
In our GeekMom & GeekDad booth at this year’s World Maker Faire New York, we were joined by the creators of Schmovie: The Hilarious Game of Outlandish Films. Created by Galactic Sneeze, the husband and wife team of Bryan Wilson and Sara Farber, the game challenges players to come up with the funniest titles they can based on a roll of the die and two cards.
Schmovie is designed for up to six players or teams. Players take turns being the Schmovie producer, the all-powerful judge of the round. The Schmovie producer rolls the die to determine the genre of the movie: sci-fi, drama, horror, romantic comedy, action, or producer’s choice. Then the producer flips over a WHAT? card and a WHO? card, and the rest of the players come up with their best movie titles to write on their Title Board. There are a bunch of helpful Schmovie starters on the back of the Title Board to get the creative juices flowing. The Schmovie producer then determines the best title and awards the player a Schquid trophy. The winner has the most Schquids.
At Maker Faire, we saw people of a wide range of different ages play Schmovie, and it’s a hit with all ages. Though the box says ages 13+, Schmovie is great for younger kids. The only thing that makes it a challenge for them is some of the vocabulary in the cards. If they have a grown-up handy, the grown-up can explain the vocabulary. Or you can simply filter the cards in the game for words the kids don’t know.
What’s fascinating about Schmovie is how differently you can play it with different players. Kids tend to be really literal about the titles and subtler puns and references to movies outside of their domain are lost on them. I played Schmovie with two eight-year-olds and they didn’t like a single one of my titles until I started catering specifically to their young producer tastes. With adults, you can have fun with obscure references and puns, and of course, the game can get dirty fast. (The producer’s choice genre is fun when you have to come up with a title for an adult film.) If you play on Schmovie’s hilarious Facebook page, you’re up against the best of the punsters. The titles at the top of this post were pilfered from the Schmovie Facebook page. Expect some stiff competition.
Give Schmovie a try in the comments. What would you call a sci-fi movie about a mutant lunch lady? Go!