Cheap, bad movies can have a certain appeal (case in point: the Syfy original movie), and Deadwood Studios USA takes this to the next level by having the players working as actors on a B-Western movie studio. This is an expanded version from Cheapass Games, which used Kickstarter to add new art from Phil Foglio and new rules. And the game remains fun, if somewhat repetitive.
Players stay on a role until the movie wraps, after which they can move to a different movie. They can also go to the casting office, where they pay fame or money to advance in rank. Each day ends when the 9th movie wraps: All players go back to the trailer (anyone working on the last movie gets nothing), they keep their rank, 10 new movie cards go face-down on the board, and the next day begins. The game ends at the end of the 4th day (or, for 2- or 3-player games, the third day).
Deadwood Studios USA is a silly, enjoyable little game. While the strategy is pretty basic (be a star on movies that will wrap quickly, be an extra on movies that will take a while to wrap), being able to rehearse means you won't spend the whole game on a $5 or $6 million movie. The movies are pretty funny, with titles like "How They Get Milk" and "Support Your Local Quilt Maker," with roles ranging from Man on Fire and Judge Robert to a Talking Corgi and Pharaoh Imhotep. And each role has its own line, which are fun to say out loud (the first time -- not after rolling 8 or 10 times).
The downside is that the die rolling can get repetitive, especially when on the same role for numerous turns. There's also not a whole lot of strategy involved, especially at the start when everyone has to go for roles that are rank 1. That said, Deadwood Studios USA is a nice, easy, fairly quick game that's good for some light playing.
Overall grade: B-
Reviewed by James Lynch