Director’s Cut: The Card Game is a two player game where you play competing producers trying to make the best movie with access to the same actors, directors, scripts and crew. The game is available through DriveThruCards.com. It’s designed by Robin David, with graphic design by Tiffany Moon. It’s published by Uncanny Cardboard.
This light game takes about 15 minutes to play, and is relatively easy to learn. The art is of good quality. Most is graphic, with icons, film strips, and stars that help you to understand what the cards do. The script cards use art (presumably public domain) from film posters of the 1920s and 1930s or so. Each card’s back has a graphic of a script, with the kind of card it is. This is generally good, although it’s easy to mix cards up when shuffling. The money used in the game is printed on cards, as well, which many will prefer to paper money or tokens. And the rules appear on the final few cards in the set.
Game play is solid. Random scripts come up, and some of the cast and crew are shown face up on the table, each with a value of one to five stars. Players bid on crew, trying to get as many stars value as possible. The more stars you get, the more money you will make. And money is the name of the game, as the player with the most money at the end wins.
The theme works pretty well, as you might have a five star actor, but a one star director, which can lead to much less money in the end.
So this is a good game, right? Yes and no.
Yes, in that it definitely plays well. But no, in the sense that this game is very similar to another movie-making game: Hollywood Blockbuster.
That game also uses a star rating system for various crew and cast. It also has cards that show what kinds of cast a crew you need to finish your film. And, it plays more than two players. There also is an awards system that effects the final scoring.
To be entirely fair, Director’s Cut isn’t exactly like Hollywood Blockbuster. There are far more scripts to work with, there is no awards system, and no need for a special game board. But the resemblance is definitely there, and is hard to miss. The question becomes, should you buy this game instead of the other, and is there anything wrong with the similarities?
I’m honestly torn. On the one hand, there are dozens of zombie, Cthulhu, dungeon adventure, etc. games out there. Cards Against Humanity built itself entirely on two things: being overtly dirtier that Apples to Apples, and adding blanks/more than one card answers to question cards. And while some judge the game negatively for that, others accept it and say it’s “different enough.”
Is Director’s cut “different enough?” I can’t decide. It truly isn’t the same as Hollywood Blockbuster in the strictest sense, but it is so similar that I’m not sure what was added. If you have the same game but with the components designed differently, it’s still the same game. Director’s Cut is only incrementally different, and not in any significant rules difference. Then again, the same could be said of CAH vs. Apples to Apples.
I guess you, the buyer, will have to decide. What I can say is that Director’s Cut is definitely a compact version of Hollywood Blockbuster, with slightly simpler rules. I’m not sure why it’s limited to only two players; it seems like you could easily play with more. But if this kind of game appeals to you, you won’t be disappointed. I guess I was just hoping for something more.
Director’s Cut: The Card Game
$11.49 on DriveThruCards.com
5 out of 10 berets
for similarity to Hollywood Blockbuster
Eliot has been orbiting show business for over 20 years as an improv comedian, video director, and general guy you might barely recognize. Currently best known for his work on the comedy podcast Never Not Funny: The Jimmy Pardo Podcast. He wrote previously for MacEdition.com, and is working on a collection of short sci-fi and weird tales that will probably be published someday. He is also one of three principals in Modest Games.