Scream the Game Review: Heart-Pounding Fun
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Scream the Game Review: Heart-Pounding Fun

One person needs the app (available on iOS and Google Play) open to play. You don't spend too much time in here, but you'll enter player names and start the game through it. While you're trying to complete scenes with your cards, the app will interrupt with a Ghostface call, doing one of three things: taunting, threatening, or stalking. These calls make it harder to complete your scenes. Sometimes he's calling the entire group, saying where he is, and ordering you to discard your hand if you have, say, three or more items with his mask on it. Other times he's targeting an individual player, instructing them that they need to have so many specific items by the next time he calls or else they die.

The app element is essential to a game like this, since phone calls are a major point in all the movies. I was hoping I would hear Ghostface say my actual name, but alas it just says the player's name on the screen—though I assume the process of getting the voice to learn an endless list of names would result in some interesting pronunciations.

Please Don’t Kill Me, Mr. Ghostface

Photograph: Funko Games

In the app, you'll also find video instructions on how to play, which I greatly appreciate. We have a stack of board games here that I've failed to learn, because my brain seems to immediately turn off the second I try to understand directions. It's like I physically cannot compute. Seeing it in action makes a lot more sense. If you have new people playing, they can simply watch while you set up or put out some snacks.

The actual board is tiny, at just 7.5 by 4.5 inches, and it's used more to remember where Ghostface says he is—by placing the figurine over that area—than a necessity to play the game. This means you could play this in a lot of places you couldn't take an ordinary board game. But if you're planning on playing while traveling by public transportation, wear a headphone so you don't scare your fellow passengers with menacing phone calls.

The fast pace makes it fun, and there's even a hard mode you can select in the app to make it faster. But this is a pro and a con. I don't like games that seem to take days to finish, like Monopoly, but I do want at least most of a game night to be spent playing. I wish there could be a more in-depth version here.

Ghostface has popped up in video games like Call of Duty (Black Ops Cold War and Warzone) and as the unofficial, unlicensed “The Ghost Face” in Dead by Daylight. But fans of the franchise have only had one short-lived mobile game tied to 2011's movie. It looked cool, but the actual mechanics weren't advanced.

I think there's hope for more to come in the future, be it in board game form or for digital gamers. If you know anything about horror movies, there's always a possibility of a sequel, a prequel, or a remake. Maybe even one where Stu returns.

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