A few months ago, my wife came up with a game idea centered around each player producing movies. Inspired by the recent PC game, we had a few ideas on how to real bring the experience to life. Then, while idly paging through BGG, I came upon Traumfabrik, and realized our game had already been made.
Reiner Knizia's US version, Hollywood Blockbuster, applies a simple auction/bidding mechanic to a great theme for a fun game prompting lots of interaction.
We played in a group of 4. The other couple had never played before, but the game is easy enough to understand. After a few auctions, eyes started lighting up, and mouths dropped open as player's were outbid.
While some have criticized the US version and lack of actual stars and movie, I feel Uberplay took lemons and made lemonade. The game is light and quick, and everyone at least snickers when Brad Pitfall stars in South American Beauty. I worry that the game would take on a different feel, and not be as fun, without the opportunity to laugh as you go.
The game is deceptively simple, and it seems easy at first to not value production chips correctly. I think a few more plays will this, and help the player look at not just the bid at hand, but what is coming up.
Hollywood Blockbuster lives up to my expectations, and is a great group game as it promotes tons of interaction and more than enough gentle ways to compete and stick it to another player. We have yet to try this as a 2 player game, but I don't see it being anywhere near as fun.
As a lighter game promoting lots of interaction, Hollywood Blockbuster succeeds. Those looking for something heavier, or more nostalgic, may feel shortchanged, but will still get a chuckle or two.