Every now and then an expansion comes along that feels like it has even more in it than the game it expands upon. The B-Movie Expansion for the movie making board game Roll Camera! is one of those expansions.
Due to a very successful Kickstarter, this expansion contains a ton of new material for Roll Camera! Is all this extra stuff worth it? Does it actually improve the game? Read on to find out!
Disclosure: Thanks to Grand Gamers Guild for getting us a review copy of this expansion. No other compensation was provided. Links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
What do you get with The B-Movie Expansion for Roll Camera!?
Before I start diving into all of the B-Movie goodness contained in this box, I want to point you toward our Roll Camera! review, so you know all about the game this expansion expands upon. The base game is required to use the contents in this expansion.
The B-Movie Expansion was designed by Malachi Ray Rempen, the original designer of Roll Camera!, and John Velgus, who is best known for Finger Guns at High Noon. It features artwork by Malachi Ray Rempen that perfectly matches the style and silliness of the original game.
The player count stays the same, at one to six players, but the playtime does get a bit longer. The new genre mechanics add a significant amount of new things for players to deal with and a broader decision space leading to longer games.
The B-Movie Expansion was originally funded through Kickstarter and was published here in North America in a joint effort between Keen Bean Studio and Grand Gamers Guild. The retail version, which is what I’m reviewing here today, has an MSRP of $30. This may seem high for an expansion until you see just how much stuff comes in this box.
The big thing that The B-Movie Expansion adds to Roll Camera! is a new genre system. In order to win the game, now not only does your movie have to be good (or bad) enough it also has to feature the right genre or no one will go see it.
The expansion includes genre tokens for Western, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, and Crime, plus new middle script cards that add a whole new level to the game.
Along with this you also get six new roles, a ton of new scene cards, equipment cards featuring powerful one time use abilities, more problems, more ideas, new top and bottom scripts, some new production companies, plus stickers and tiles to expand spots on the board, and more.
For a look at all of this stuff be sure to check out my Roll Camera! The B-Movie Expansion Unboxing Video on YouTube.
This is one heavy box that has a lot of well packed stuff in it. Of note is the very clear, linen finish, rulebook with a cool VHS tape theme. There are also super thick cardboard tokens, sturdy two sided player boards, and a ton of cards.
What’s most notable is just how many new scenes you get with this expansion. This box contains three times as many scenes as were included in the base game and it doubles the number of player roles.
The overall quality here is excellent and I’m very pleased to say that everything in this expansion will actually fit into the base game’s game trayz insert, though it is a tight fit.
Using the B-Movie Expansion with Roll Camera!
The big thing that The B-Movie Expansion adds to Roll Camera! is a new genre system. This adds a totally new layer to the game and most of what comes in this box is there to support this new way to play.
When playing Roll Camera! with genres there are a number of changes to the game. The first of which is the fact that the script section of the board now contains three parts. There are Top and Bottom scripts, as before, as well as new Middle script cards. At the start of the game, you will randomly select five of each of these cards to use. The Middle script cards feature six genre icons made up of Western, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Crime, and Horror.
Included in the B-Movie Expansion box is a sticker you can use to place over the existing script section of the board to facilitate these new middle scripts or you can just leave a gap between the current top and bottom scripts to fit in the new middle ones.
Mechanically these new middle scripts become a new requirement that must be met in order to win the game. Your finished movie must include, at a minimum, six genre tokens that match the current middle script card at the end of the game.
This new middle script card counts as a script card for all in game purposes and can be modified, changed and affected by all in game events that affect top or bottom scripts.
To go along with these new genre requirements, each of the seventy-five new scene cards include one or two genre symbols on them. When those scripts come up on the storyboard you place the appropriate genre tokens on them. In addition to genre icons, this expansion also includes multi-theme scene cards that count as two different colours.
Interestingly at the start of the game, you shuffle all one hundred scene cards and draw only twenty-five to use that game, which could be a mix of new and old cards.
Due to the fact that you may not get the right type of scene cards you need for your scripts, or the right genre tokens on those cards, there are two new worker placement spots added to the board when playing with genres. If you want to permanently update your game board The B-Movie Expansion contains stickers for these new spots or you can use the included thick tiles that can be placed out on the board instead.
One of these action spots lets you swap out a genre token for $1 or add a new one to a scene for free. The other lets you wipe the entire storyboard, drawing a new set of four cards, by using a pair of dice.
The next big addition to the game that The B-Movie Expansion adds is Equipment Cards.
You now draw three equipment cards at the start of the game and place them near the board. Each of these features a new action spot with a powerful ability that can only be used once per game. At the end of a turn where an equipment card has been used, the card is flipped over once the die or dice on it are removed.
The rest of this expansion just adds to the existing parts of the base game. New idea and problem cards are shuffled into their respective decks, new top and bottom scene cards are mixed in with the originals, and there are new production companies to choose from to make the game more difficult and interesting.
While it’s obvious that the designer and publisher expect you to add all of this material to your copy of Roll Camera! and use it every game, there are parts of this expansion that can be used without having to play with the genre system.
Most of the new player rolls and equipment cards can be used, as they don’t reference genre or genre tokens, as can some of the problems and ideas. You could also ignore the genre tokens on the new script cards, though I still suggest adding in the Wipe Storyboard action if you mix in the new scripts, just to help your group find the right types you need.
There’s one final bonus item included with The B-Movie Expansion for Roll Camera! and that’s a small punch board filled with silly cardboard accessories (like googly eyes and hats) that can be punched out and placed onto your completed scene cards. These serve no practical in game purpose but can be fun to play around with.
Is The B-Movie Expansion for Roll Camera! a Must Have Expansion?
The B-Movie Expansion physically adds a lot of new stuff to Roll Camera! There are more cards in this expansion than were included in the base game, which I found to be very impressive. Equally impressive is the quality of the new components, especially the thickness of the cardboard tokens.
I was also very happy to see that the game includes both tiles and stickers for the new action spots. I liked having the option to permanently change my Roll Camera! board or not.
The most shocking thing to me about this expansion was the fact that it all actually fits in the original game’s box insert. While we ended up having to mix up stacks of cards in different types and the tokens were all over the place, everything did all fit with the lid shut. Though I will say it’s not the most optimum method of storage for getting the game set up at the start of a game night.
As for gameplay, I liked what The B-Movie Expansion adds to Roll Camera! The new genre mechanics fit in well with the theme of the game. I especially like how integrated into the core loop of play genre becomes once you add in all the new cards. Genre isn’t just a new requirement it’s now something you have to manage. It is something you can manipulate, it comes up during idea sharing and genre based problems are fairly frequent.
Another big thing this expansion does for Roll Camera! is to add variability to each game and through that replayability. While part of that comes from the new production company cards, it’s mainly derived from the sheer amount of new cards that get added to the base game. The fact that you only use five of each script section (top, bottom and middle) and twenty-five scene cards each game means that no two games of Roll Camera! should ever be the same. Doubling the number of available player rolls also adds to this.
While it is possible to pick up this expansion and ignore the new genre system I can’t see ever wanting to do that. With The B-Movie Expansion for Roll Camera! you are either all in or you aren’t. While there are a few things in this box that are not tied to the new genre system, the vast majority of it is all designed to work together and is centered around the new genre mechanics.
Amusingly my favourite part of this expansion is the fact that the genre tokens are sized in such a way that they are designed to be placed onto your scene cards once they are flipped over. Adding cowboy hats and robot heads over top of Malachai’s artwork is much more fun than it should be, and so far everyone has loved the fact that we got a bunch of silly bonus icons to use in making the scenes even more interesting.
We’ve enjoyed every game of Roll Camera! that we’ve played with The B-Movie Expansion and at this point I can’t see bothering to ever pull this expansion out of my copy. That said I wouldn’t call this a must have expansion.
The B-Movie Expansion didn’t add anything to Roll Camera! that felt like it fixed a problem with the base game.
There was also nothing here that felt like it was missing from the original. Yes we all enjoyed the new stuff and I have to admit the replayability in this game is now at ridiculous levels, but there was plenty of replayability in the base game. The new genre system is highly thematic. It feels right at home with the rest of the game but it just doesn’t feel necessary.
Overall The B-Movie Expansion for Roll Camera! is a “nice to have”. It’s a cool expansion that expands on a fun game and adds some neat new elements that fit in great both thematically and mechanically. I’m glad I own it and I can’t see ever playing Roll Camera! without it.
If you own Roll Camera! you will probably want to pick up The B-Movie Expansion at some point. Except for the fact that it may go out of print, there’s really no rush though. Enjoy the base game until it starts to feel a bit samey and then pick this up to add a whole new level to the game and make it feel fresh again.
Now if your group loves Roll Camera!, you play it all the time and you can beat it on the highest difficulty and have tried most if not all of the Production Companies, then go for it. Pick up The B-Movie Expansion and enjoy everything it has to offer as add ons.
For groups new to Roll Camera! or for people who have maybe played at a con or at a friend’s place and are looking to pick up their own copy, I would recommend checking out the Roll Camera! Premium Bundle. The bundle includes not only the base game and this expansion but also some other cool upgrades like better dice and wooden genre tokens.
If you or your group didn’t enjoy the base game of Roll Camera! there is no reason to pick up this expansion. It’s not the kind of expansion that completely changes the base game or fixes any problems with it. I can’t see someone who didn’t enjoy the original being won over by anything included in this box.
Finally, for those who have Roll Camera! and who think this expansion sounds pretty cool but find the cost a bit high, you can also get a print and play version for only $15.
Sometimes it’s nice to find an expansion that just adds more of what you enjoy to a game. It’s not something you need to have but can be worth picking up if you enjoy the base game. That’s where The B-Movie Expansion for Roll Camera! sits for me. I’m glad I own it and I’ll probably use it every time I play, but I don’t feel that anyone who hasn’t picked it up is really missing out either.
What’s an expansion you like that you didn’t feel you had to buy to complete or fix the original game it was for? Tell us about it in the comments below!