The ‘Scream’ franchise has had a resurgence the past couple of years thanks to the release of the fifth and sixth instalments of the long-running horror series. 2022’s ‘Scream’ (aka ‘Scream 5’) brought back veterans Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, but switched the focus onto a new group of teenagers who were being stalked by masked killer Ghost Face. The latest instalment, ‘Scream VI’, performed strongly at the box office earlier this year and a seventh instalment has been all but confirmed at the time of writing this article. With ‘Scream’ back, it’s no surprise that Funko has decided to put out a fast-paced new game that ties in with the film series.
‘Scream the Game’ is a relatively simple but highly effective co-operative game for 3-8 players. Inside the box there are a series of ‘Scene’ and ‘Scream’ cards, along with a game board featuring four locations that will be familiar to fans of the movies, a knife marker and a Ghost Face figure. In order to play the game, you need to download a free app so make sure you have a compatible device before you buy the game. Using the app, you can set up your game by entering the names (and photos if you wish) of the players and then selecting which style of game you want to play; there are options to soften the language if there are younger players and there are two game modes depending on how hard you want the game to be.
Before you hit ‘begin’ on the app, each player needs to be equipped with three ‘Scream’ cards and a ‘Scene’ card each. The aim of the game is to complete the ‘Scene’ cards by acquiring the right items on your ‘Scream’ cards (e.g. popcorn, Stab DVD, blood drop). For example, you may have a card with three buckets of popcorn on so in order to complete that scene, you need to put down three matching cards. Each ‘Scene’ card has a location on it and that comes into play throughout the game, which I’ll explain shortly. A nice aspect of the game is that you play as a team so you can help other players complete their scenes, or get help yourself, by choosing to trade a card on your go rather than simply picking one up from the deck.
Once you hit ‘begin’, creepy music plays from the app and it’s a race against time to complete all of ‘Scene’ cards before Ghost Face kills you. The knife marker is passed around the players to denote whose turn it is and it’s vital that you play as quickly as possible. Throughout the game, the Ghost Face calls via the app and he may select a specific person or address all players. Ghost Face can do three things when he calls; taunt, threaten or stalk. If he taunts the players, they have to discard their hands if two or more of their ‘Scream’ cards have Ghost Face on them. A threat will see Ghost Face name a specific player and location (which he must be placed on using the game board) and ask for a specific item. If you have that, you must discard it but if you don’t you discard your entire hand.
The most severe of Ghost Face’s calls is the stalk. This can see a player killed and if they’re killed, everyone loses the game. Ghost Face will call, name a player and he’ll ask to be shown a certain number of cards with a specific item. When he calls again, if you don’t have them, you have to discard your entire hand and you’re dead. If you do have them, you have to remove those items from your hand and keep playing.
There are some really nice touches with this game. Firstly, the voice of Ghost Face – Roger L. Jackson – has done the voice work for the app. It feels very authentic and with the addition of the music, the game is actually pretty tense. Seeing Ghost Face calling on your phone is both thrilling and terrifying, and it’s one of my favourite aspects of the game. Secondly, the game manages to capture the feel of ‘Scream’ and the locations really help that. Thirdly, the game is so frantic that it’s over pretty quickly so you can get multiple rounds in. It is best to play with as many players as you can get, up to the maximum of 8.
While a very fun time, there are a few little ways the game could be improved. I would have liked the app to be able to remember my preferences and the players details. Having to enter them every single time is a little bit annoying. It would be nice to see expansion packs down the line too so there are more locations and items. Once you play the game several times, it can feel a little samey but that’s a minor complaint really.
‘Scream the Game’ is a seriously fun game that ties in nicely with the horror franchise and will delight fans. I can’t remember playing a game this tense since ‘Atmosfear’, which terrified me as a child, and you really do feel like Ghost Face could get you at any time. For fans of short games, this is perfect as it doesn’t take long to get to grips with and the play time is short. I can see that I’ll be playing it with friends and family plenty over the coming months!
Publisher: Funko Release date: 7th July 2023