1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Scene It (various genres), by ScreenLife, LLC
    $1.99 each, ***1/2


    Good use of multimedia and iPhone features
    Limited multiplayer options
    Some have multiple gameplay modes


    Many questions seem extremely easy (no difficulty setting)
    Limited replay options when playing by yourself

    I love going to the movies. I also love trivia games. So naturally I like the Scene It series of trivia games, and it was only a matter of time until I tried them out for the iPhone. There are multiple versions available for purchase, including 30 Rock, Romance movies, Horror movies, Twilight, Harry Potter, Comedy, and general movie play. I downloaded the last three to see how they were.

    The games themselves are pretty straightforward. In single player mode, the goal is to answer questions as fast as you. The faster you answer the question, the more points you get. The game makes very nice use of iPhone multimedia, incorporating movie clips, sounds clips, scenes from the movies, and more into a variety of types of questions (name the actor, what is the next line, where did this take place, etc). In addition, there are various odd and ends kinds of questions thrown in such things as general movie trivia as well as distinguishing between two characters. This was true of all three versions I played.

    However, maybe I have seen too many movies (or maybe I have seen the same movies too many times) but I usually found the questions relatively easy to answer. This was especially true in the Harry Potter version of the game. I suspect that for real fans of a movie/show (like Twilight or 30 Rock) the questions may be too simple in the game. On the other hand, for the genre or general game (Comedy, Horror, etc) there are enough movies to make the questions a little bit harder. One issue I also had was that most of the time the answers were in multiple choice format. As any good teacher will tell you, multiple choice questions are not the best at testing knowledge. I wish there were other ways to answer that might make the game a little harder.

    There is a multiplayer version of the game, there were two additional play modes Pass n Play and Multiplayer. Pass n Play (called Movie Pass in the original game) is a mode where you answer questions until you get one right, then pass the iPhone to the next player. That player then answers questions until he/she gets one right, and then passes the iPhone. The timer will randomly go off; eliminating whomever is holding the iPhone at the time. The winner of the game is the last one left standing. I wish there was a better way to incorporate a Pass n Play mode, as there is a significant element of luck involved. Too bad they dont have it more like the real game, with a game boar d, random questions to answer, much more like a Trivial Pursuit game. The multiplayer mode (wifi or Bluetooth) is basically like a multiplayer version of the single player game again, no game board, no race to the middle, or anything like that. This mode is also not available on the original version of the game.

    Because the game is preprogrammed (no random element of answer questions) there are limited replay options. This is especially true of the Harry Potter version, which includes scripted challenges that are the same even if you repeat them. The other version I did get some different questions, but by the time I played it three or four times, I was getting some questions repeated. I was really hoping for more of an extended gameplay option.

    One thing I found odd was that the game lets you link to iTunes to purchase some of the movies (for download) if you wantIN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME! I can understand maybe having a list of movies at the end to link to, but if you are supposedly in the middle of an high stress, tense, challenging game are you really going to click on buy now to go to iTunes and purchase the movie? I dont know if ScreenLife gets a cut of the movies purchased, but it seems like an odd advertisement method. Maybe it was required by some of the studios in order to use clips or something.

    All in the all, Scene It is an entertaining movie trivia app that falls just short of being a must buy. Simplistic question, lack of a good multiplayer mode, and limited replay-ability limit the game overall, meaning that instead of a fun, party time game, you instead have an app you may play occasionally, but not really have a desire to play too frequently. It still can be fun, especially testing your general movie knowledge, but its a game I found I had little qualms removing from my iPhone once I played it more than two or three time. For only $1.99, you may want to try one of the version just for the entertainment value, but I dont think most people will rush out to buy every version. Three and a half out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. 
    02-16-2011 03:22 PM