Are Board Games Based on Movies Ever a Good Idea?


It’s a widely acknowledged fact that most games that created as a promotional tie-in to movies inherently suck. Case in point: behold the Twilight Board Game*. The fact that such things exist is infuriating enough, but worse, they manipulate poor fans who are tricked by their love of a movie into buying a really crappy game. After the jump our list of the worst offenders in this particular category, along with the few, proud games who don’t shame their source material.

The worst:

Sex and the City Trivia Game – A game so bad, it actually required a bomb squad. In all seriousness, there is nothing fun about this one unless you have a Rain Man-like grasp on every guy who the girls slept with over the course of six seasons of the TV series.

Spider-Man Operation – It’s the classic version of Operation, but with Spider-Man instead of that random guy with the light up nose. Did we mention it costs $74.95? And has a choking-hazard warning? And makes part of your Marvel-loving soul die? Yeah, thanks gamemakers.

Hannah Montana Limited Signature Edition Pop Tour – It’s like Guitar Hero, except all the songs are from Hannah Montana. So it’s like Guitar Hero in the ninth circle of hell.

Left Behind the Board Game – Yes, that Left Behind . We can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to play this, but we prefer our board games to be free of all references to the Rapture, thank you.

The best:

Clue – OK, technically this doesn’t count since the movie was made about the game, but both the game and the movie continue to be awesome despite the ravages of time, and that’s good enough for us.

Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay – This is one of those rare birds where they made a game that was not only better than the movie that inspired it; it was so much better that it almost made the movie forgivable… almost.

Star Trek Tri-Dimensional Chess Set – We admit it, we don’t know how to play chess; but this makes for a cool, albeit geeky-looking table. And it comes with a photo of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock Playing Tri-Dimensional Chess!

Dawn of the Dead the Board Game– This classic ’70s game proves that sometimes the best things in life involve nothing more than a maps and some pieces of cardboard — things like pretending to be a murderous zombie terrorizing humans in a mall. Ah, sweet childhood. Copies are notoriously hard to find but if you’re a hardcore zombie-phile, you can download it for free here.

* There’s only one Twilight-related game we’d ever approve of – a drinking game where you take a sip each time David Letterman makes Kristen Stewart look like a numbskull in this interview.