Why Don't Movies Get Board Games Anymore? Inception and 5 Others That Need Them

In the old days, before video games were as prevalent, movies regularly got their own board games. From obvious titles like King Kong and Raiders of the Lost Ark to head-scratchers like Platoon and The Godfather, every toy company was hoping moviegoers would want to bring the experience home. Nowadays, aside from some of the bigger kiddie films and Twilight, a movie is lucky if it gets its own version of Monopoly or Scene It. But the 25th anniversary release of The Goonies on DVD comes with a brand-new board game! How awesome is that? Hopefully, this will herald a return to the movie-specific gameplay that died out with Waterworld and Batman Forever, because there are some recent movies that seem tailor-made for a home version. Here are the ones we'd love to sit around and play on Friday night with the fam.

After the players choose their roles, the player chosen to be the Architect arranges the three-dimensional, multi-tiered board for maximum confusion. The players then need to work together to escort the mark through the maze, descending from level to level and gathering enough Idea Cards to induce inception before the timer goes off, the music starts up, and the Kick knocks all of the pieces off the board.

To best represent the battle between the humans and the Na'vi, we're envisioning a new type of strategic combat game, like if Battleship and 3-D chess had a baby. With AMP suits and direhorses on the forested ground level and banshees and gunships on the clear upper level, each piece has specific movements they can make, and the first side to wipe out the enemy completely, down to the last woman and child, wins.

The A-Team
Yes, the A-Team TV show got a board game in 1984, but by all accounts, it sucked. We say take the format of the game of Life and give everybody a sweet van, which they then need to fill up with a team of four highly trained plastic pegs. Once you've got your team assembled, you can breach the walls of the bad guys' hidden base, rescue the hostage and leave. The first to get the man back to his family wins, and the theme music plays.

Get Him to the Greek
A round-the-world road movie involving booze, drugs and rock and roll? In lieu of a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas game, we'll take this one, as long as the game pieces can be different-colored Russell Brands. Don't land on the "Phone Call from Diddy" space, or you'll get held up a turn, although if you land on the adrenaline needle, your next roll counts as double.

Up in the Air
Each player moves around a map of the United States, starting at and traveling to any location they choose, although they must visit them all. When each player arrives at their destination city, they must draw a card that says how many people they have to fire in that city. Rolling a single die, the player must roll once per turn until he or she has achieved the correct number of firings. Only then can they move on to the next location. The first player to fire everyone and get back to their home city wins.

Inglourious Basterds
While I'd actually play pretty much any board game based on a Quentin Tarantino film, I'm intrigued by any game where my game piece could be a little green army man spattered with blood. In this variation on the Up in the Air game, you would move your soldier from location to location on a map of France, collecting Nazi scalps. Once you've collected the required number of scalps (100, natch), you can proceed directly to the movie theater at the center of the board, hit the button and blow it up. Literally. That part of the game board blows up. Did you think we were kidding around here?

What movies would you like to get board games for? Let us know below, then see what board games we'd like to see movies based on!

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Movies Without Pity

October 2013


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