Hollywood was released in Russia by Hobby World almost a year ago. It received some favorable attention, but faded from the limelight quickly due to its limited print run and availability. Hobby World is attempting to fix those limitations with its current Kickstarter campaign.
Hollywood (as one might guess) is a game about making movies (and money) in Tinseltown. It is also a mash-up or sorts. It combines auctions with card drafting - two game mechanisms not usually found in the same game.
Players represent movie studios, and are tasked with putting together higher grossing blockbusters than the rival studios. Making a movie is as simple as assembling a script, director, and an actor. Players will do this by collecting a hand of 9 cards over a series of 3 main gameplay phases.
In the first phase, a player will draw a number of Star Cards (directors, actors, and scripts with better attributes than the basic cards) equal to the number of players, looks at them and distributes them among the players (1 each) as she chooses.
Next, each player is dealt 7 cards from the basic card deck, chooses one to keep, and passes the rest left. This repeats until each player has kept 7 cards.
The final stage of card acquisition is an auction. A number of cards from the basic deck are flipped face up according to the number of players. Then, using their bidding cards, players bid on either one of the cards, or the top card of the basic deck (which remains face down).
After this, each player has 9 cards in hand with which to make movies! As mentioned previously, each movie requires a script, director, and an actor (or actress). There are other cards that can be added, like the producer, the makeup artist, or the editor. Players can have as many of these green cards as they like. After everyone is finished assembling their movies, players receive income for their them.
Each card in a movie adds $1 million to its value, some cards have coins that also add value, and if any of the cards match the genre of the movie (set by the script) they also add extra value. After each player gets her income, the movie with the most awards icons wins the movies of the year award. This player will get to distribute the star cards for the next round and the award itself will give bonus income at the end of the game. Then, the next round begins (unless it is the third round, in which case the game ends). The player with the most money wins!
Hollywood is what many might call a "next-step" game. The type of game that people might play after first being introduced to hobby games. It combines a few different gaming mechanisms, but not in ways that are super confusing. The separate parts are kept pretty separate, while all being used to further each player's simple goal of collecting the best set of 9 cards they can.
The theme is appealing, the game is simple, and - bottom line - playing the game is fun. If you think Hollywood would be a good fit for your collection, Hobby World's Kickstarter has already funded and they are currently pursuing lots of exciting stretch goals! Go grab a copy and help us get those bonuses!