A to Z Gaming: Motion Pictures: Movies Out of Cardboard

We managed entertainment studios to produce movies, TV series and commercials in Motion Pictures: Movies Out of Cardboard, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Basic Info: Motion Pictures: Movies Out of Cardboard
Players: 2-4
Time: 30-45 Minutes
Designers: Alexandros Kapidakis
Artists: Vincent Rhafael Aseo, Simone Murgia
Publisher: Drawlab Entertainment




Motion Pictures: Movies Out of Cardboard is a deck-builder and hand-management game where players vie for a shared pool of projects using the symbols and colors of the cards in their hands. In the process, they attempt to complete goals and add cards to the shared trilogy to snag some extra points. Whoever ends the game with the best studio (and the most points), wins.

The game is set up by shuffling the project deck for each era, and grabbing the correct number for the player-count, and setting them aside. A trilogy card is picked at random and placed in the center of the table. Two large goals and two small goals are chosen and placed so all players can see. Each player receives a hand of six starter cards — this will be their starter deck and contains one card representing each “specialty” (color) of filmmaker. Finally, the advanced filmmaker cards are shuffled and a market of four placed out.

The game is played over four rounds (or eras). It starts by dealing out project cards for that era to the table. Three cards are placed in a line between each pair of players. (In the two-player game, it’s simply a line of six projects.) Players can only work on the projects that are next to them, so in the 3- and 4-player games, each player will have some projects that are inaccessible to them.

On their turn, players can take one of three actions: shoot, hire, or recast. To shoot, the player lays down a card next to one of the projects they have access to. Each card has a color (specialty) and one or more symbols (skills), and there are restrictions and requirements for each type of project as to what color(s) or symbol(s) can be played on them. Commercials require one or more card of specific colors to complete. TV shows need a number of symbols, but there are some that are forbidden and can not appear on any card played on them. Movies require specific symbols, but extra ones can be played without a penalty. Awards require specific symbols, and ONLY those symbols. Any card can be played on the shared trilogy card, but one symbol is more valuable, and any card played to the trilogy is played face-down and is out of the game until scoring.

After placing a card, the player can activate the card if there is an action on it. Finally they check to see if they’ve completed any projects by playing all of the required symbols and/or colors to that project. If they have, they collect the card and place it in front of them. Any cards played to that project are discarded to the respective player’s discard pile. And the project card is replenished from the correct Era deck.

Instead of shooting, a player can hire a new filmmaker. This is done by either discarding a same-color card from their hand and taking one card from the market, discarding two cards of any color and taking one from the market, or discarding two of any color and looking at the top card of the deck. The newly-acquired card goes into the player’s hand.

Finally, the player can recast, which is to say they can cycle through their deck by discarding a card to draw a card.

On their turn, if a player completes the requirements for one of the big or small goals, they claim that card as a free action.

The round end is triggered when the available projects can’t be refilled at the end of a player’s turn. The round is completed so everyone has equal turns, and then players set up for the next round. This is done by discarding all played filmmakers to the respective player’s discard pile, wiping the available projects, and playing out new projects from the next era’s deck. Players shuffle all of their cards (discarded and deck) to form a new deck and take a hand of six cards. The start player marker moves to the next player and the next round begins.

Once the fourth era ends, the game ends. Players reveal cards they’ve played to the trilogy and tally points from the trilogy, completed projects, awards, and goals. The player with the most points wins.

I sought out this game after seeing Rahdo’s play through. It looked like an interesting area-control and deck building game, plus I really liked the art. I was only able to find it from a UK dealer — I’m assuming this will never make it to the US because there are so many IPs depicted!

I really like the agonizing decisions about how to use the cards in your hand in this game. Do you discard a card to get an even better filmmaker from the market? But then you’re getting rid of some symbols you might need to complete that action movie, which could win you one of the goals. Or maybe you want to cycle through your deck because you *know* there’s a great card in the deck, but then you’re giving your opponents the chance at some of the projects you might want to complete.

Unfortunately, the first time I taught this game, the other players were not following along. I don’t know if it was a bad teach (possible … though I’m usually pretty good at it) or they were just not in the mood for this game or what. That first bad experience means that this game hasn’t come out again at our game nights, and I would really like to try it again with more than just me and my spouse.

How is it as a 2-player game? Motion Pictures: Movies Out of Cardboard is fine as a 2-player game, though I suspect there would be more push-and-pull at a higher player-count. I would definitely play again with just 2 players, though.

How about the art and component quality? I bought this because of the art — I love the depictions of some of my favorite shows and movies, which is probably why this game will never come to the US! The cards are fine quality. One complaint would be that the color of a card is referred to as a “specialty” while the symbols are “skills”, and this is confusing for players — we had to keep looking up which was which when clarifying rules.

Will this stay in my collection? For now, yes, though if we can’t get others to play with us it may need to move along.

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