PROPS: A Kickstarter Preview

PROPS

How well do you know your movies? Can you identify a movie only by knowing some of the props that appeared in it? The upcoming game PROPS, a party game for 2 or more players by Biggest Little Games, challenges you to do just that. This travel-sized game offers movie trivia buffs a whole new way to test their knowledge that is incredibly easy to learn, yet offers a good challenge.

Gameplay

Each of the 216 cards in PROPS contains a movie title, the year it was released, its genre, and the names of 4 important props that appeared in the movie. At the beginning of the game, a certain number of cards are dealt to each player.

Players alternate being the reader. The reader draws a card and announces the genre and year of the movie, then reads the first prop aloud. The other players try to guess the movie, and if unsuccessful, the next prop is read aloud, and so on. The player who correctly guesses the movie first scores points depending on the number of props that were needed to guess (4 points for 1 prop, 3 points for 2 props, 2 points for 3 props, and 1 point for 4 props). If no one guesses correctly, the reader scores 1 point. After all of the cards have been read, the player with the most points wins.

There are several modes of play included with the game that offer variety for different groups of people and personality types. Before the game starts, players can choose from the following game modes:

  • Two-Player: two players go head-to-head, taking turns being the reader
  • Free-For-All: all players (except the reader) try to guess the movie at the same time, trying to be the first to shout the correct movie
  • Clockwise Guessing: the player to the left of the reader guesses first, followed by the next player, and so on
  • Teams: players divide into teams, with one team reading the prop and the other team guessing (only one guess per player per prop)

Review

PROPS is a neat little game that succeeds admirably for what it is intended to be. If you like movie trivia, you're likely to enjoy this game. While similar games are based on scenes, plots, or actors, this is the only one that I know of that strictly focuses on props. It really puts a new spin on the genre — the visual image of a prop can bring to mind movies that you haven't seen in ages, while not necessarily requiring you to be an all-out movie geek to play.

The design and presentation of the game are simple, yet clean and professional. The compact size is one of its biggest strengths — no TV, DVD player, table, batteries, or game board are required, just a small can of cards and a pen and paper to keep score. This makes it ideal for travel, as it can easily be packed and played in the car. Plus, it sets up in almost no time at all.

The inclusion of multiple game modes is a nice plus. I would expect competitive groups who like speed games to prefer the Free-For-All option, while quieter groups who like to slow down a bit would enjoy the Clockwise Guessing mode. In those situations where there is a wide range of movie knowledge, dividing into teams is a great way to test collective knowledge rather than single out any particular player.

While the game is recommended for ages 14 and up, I imagine younger players might have a bit of trouble with it unless they are well-versed on classic movies. Most of the movies included with the game are relatively modern, but some go back as early as 1941. Each movie was popular in its day, but may or may not be generally known to modern moviegoers.

The 216 cards included with the game will only last about 9 plays or so before cycling through. Repeating the cards the second time around may not be as challenging or fun as the first. However, the game lends itself well to booster packs or themed versions for additional play (e.g., family/kids' movies, westerns, action movies, etc.). These types of additions would offer more replayability, and the potential is virtually endless.

PROPS will be coming soon to Kickstarter, so be sure to look for it. Follow us on Twitter for an announcement when it becomes available.

Pros: simple, compact, unique, fun for movia trivia buffs

Cons: may be inaccessible to teenagers or younger players, more cards or booster packs would add more replayability

Disclosure: this preview is based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of the game, which is subject to change prior to publication. While a modest payment was received to expedite the review process, our thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and accurate.