I had a pretty darn good Christmas (and thank you for asking). I came out of it like a bandit, partly because my family listened to my list and got me a lot of what I had written down, such as No More Heroes for the Wii, Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for the DS, and The Simpsons Scene-It? Deluxe Edition. I discussed Scene-It? last fall but I didn’t cover a specific edition of the game in great detail. I’ll be darned if I do the Twilight edition (because I didn’t get it of course!), but now that I’ve played the Simpsons version a few times I can tell you what works well and what doesn’t.
So Hard To Please
To make one thing very clear right away: Scene-It? is extremely tough to find a group that matches perfectly for the game to be really fun. I’m assuming it’s much easier if you have a whole party devoted to the loving of the subject of the game, such as Harry Potter or Twilight, but otherwise you’ll always have the two extremely well versed players competing against each other while everyone else watches and interjects every so often with shaky answers. This is unavoidable, even if you’re a diehard fan of the series.
The Simpsons version of Scene-It? is naturally for fans of the show. I happen to be one of those. I recently spent the past half a year showing my wife the first 12 seasons currently on DVD. I had seen them many times before but this was her first go-through. We played The Simpsons Scene-It? and found that she could answer roughly a third of the questions, but only because they weren’t noggin-scratchers. I, however, was getting bored with extremely simple questions on the one side and questions that no one in their right mind would ever know on the other. This can make the game very uneven and at times downright dull.
Like Watching a Really Good Clipshow
The highlight of the game comes down to the My Play and All Play challenges that appear on the DVD. The My Play challenges are great because they show clips from the show, so everyone gets a funny clip to see before either answering the question that comes afterward or providing the line that comes next. But there’s a problem here as well. They’ll pick extremely well-known scenes from the show for the “Know Your Lines” questions, so much so that I’m able to correctly identify the next line before they even ask it (“The answer will be ‘I’m not gay, but I’ll learn.’ Yeah, I know this, I’ve seen this episode a dozen times.”).
Also, for the scenes where they ask a question “regarding the scene,” most of the time the answers are pitifully simple (“What was the first word Bart said in this scene?”), to questions that had nothing to do with the scene at all (“What’s Reverend Lovejoy’s first name? No, we didn’t mention it in the scene, but he was in the scene, so what’s his first name?”). It kind of just makes me want to see a compilation of the best scenes from the show instead of struggling through the questions.
The All Plays can be really hit-or-miss as well. Instead of a scene to watch, you’ll have a variety of games such as a guess-the-pixilated-character game or a crossword puzzle to solve. There are probably close to a dozen different types of games, but they don’t offer much of a challenge to any fan of the show as audio clips become apparent instantly, quick bios are obvious, and fill-in-the-quote sections still fall into the “Yeah, I’ve seen the episode multiple times so this is simple.”
Then come the cards. If you haven’t seen all 20 seasons of the show thus far, good luck. I kept pretty faithful up until around season 17 or 18, but there are questions thrown at me from episodes I’ve never even heard of, so my only response can be, “No, I have no clue what that episode is a spoof of.” The questions also fall into two categories between “Any fan would know this” to “You could only know this if you worked on the show.” I love the show, but how am I expected to know the writing teams? Yeah, I respect good writing, but I don’t typically get a chance to sit down and admire all the names in the credits.
The Simpsons Scene-It? is not a bad game by any means. I highly recommend getting it just for the Party Play feature that allows you to just sit back and play all the My Play and All Play questions you feel like without having to worry about the actual game. Then maybe sprinkle in some trivia card questions and call it a night.
No need to play by the rules, just have fun flexing your Simpsons trivia muscle.