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Flat Acting Review by Courtney Larson

Eye-Level Entertainment, LLP
http://www.eyelevelentertainment.com

Flat Acting is a creative, strategic board game for two to five players. It's recommended for ages 8 and up, and game play takes 30 to 45 minutes. I played the game with my 11, 10, and 8-year-old sons, and my 6-year-old was on a team with me.

To begin game play, the four game board pieces are arranged. These pieces can be set up in different ways, so the game board can look different to vary game play. Each player then draws a genre card; the four genres are western, scary, romance, and detective. If a fifth person plays, the movie crew is added in. The genre card does not dictate the kind of movie you must write; it is only used for scoring purposes. After each player has a genre, it's time to begin. There are 50 actors, or game pieces, and to play Flat Acting, a player draws a movie card. The movie cards tells the player which actor to place on the game board, and as the actor is placed on the board the player must explain why they are placing the actor there. This reason can be a continuation of a story line, a one-line joke, or some other reason. At the end of the game, points are awarded for different sections of the game board, and the player with the most points wins.

After about 10 minutes of game play, my oldest son asked me if Flat Acting "was for fun or was it supposed to be educational." I asked him what he thought, and he told me that it was a lot of fun, but it seemed like it might be educational as well. My other sons agreed with his assessment, as did I. This game promotes creative thinking and storytelling, as well as strategic thinking, since you are trying to get your actors to the highest scoring parts of the game board so you can win. We really had fun developing the movie story line, and I love that the game encourages creative "writing" in an informal, fun context. I described the basic game play above, but 9 additional ways to play the game are also included. This game can be played again and again, changing every time. At $29.95, it's a great value, and I highly recommend it.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2010

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