Two Rooms and a Boom Review
Party games are so much fun! There is nothing like getting a group of friends together and playing some awesome board or card games. My group of friends especially like the hidden roles and deduction games. We always have a blast playing these types of games, from Resistance to One Night: Ultimate Werewolf, these games are always a must play when we get together for a game night. Recently, I played Two Rooms and a Boom with a couple groups of friends, and both groups had such a great time! Even people who are normally not that competitive during games were getting really into it and had a ton of fun. This game has been a success, and I can’t wait to play it again!
The idea of Two Rooms and a Boom is pretty straight forward. There is a Red team and a Blue team. The Blue team has the President and the Red team has the Bomber. The players are divided up into two groups and each group stays in one room. Rounds will take place where each player must figure out (by card sharing, communicating, and/or guessing) the roles of the other players. At the end of each round, players will select hostages and exchange these hostages between rooms. Once all the rounds have taken place, everyone reveals their cards. If the Red team was able to get the Bomber in the same room as the President, Red team wins. If the Blue Team was able to keep the President in the opposite room of the Bomber, the Blue Team wins.
There are normal Red and Blue Team members, but there are also Red and Blue Team members that have special abilities that add a twist to the gameplay.
There are also other cards, normally grey, that have secret objectives, and are not concerned with Red or Blue team winning, but concerned with completing their personal objective.
Set up is super simple. Anywhere from 6-30 players can play and two rooms will be needed. You will need to divide the group up equally between the two rooms and hand out cards to each person. A leader card is needed for both rooms and a timer that everyone can hear, or a phone for each group set at the same time. Once the setup is complete, the game can begin!
Playing The Game
Once setup is complete, you may begin the game. Both groups start the timer. The more people you have playing, the more time you’ll be given. Once the timer starts, everyone should start mingling and asking questions (Example: Can I see your card? Want to share cards? Who are you? Etc). Once you kind of have an idea of who you can trust, you must select a Leader for the group. The Leader is in charge of selecting a hostage (or more than one, depending on how many people you have playing). The group votes on the Leader, majority rules. The Leader is then given the Leader card, in addition to their normal role card. Once the group has a Leader, hostage(s) must be selected to be sent over to the other room.
So for example, if I share my card with a player, and they are on the blue team with me, then I know I can trust this player. I would vote for this player to be the Leader because I want Blue Team to be in control of sending hostages. This is incredibly important because now Blue team can move the Bomber or the President to the Blue Team’s advantage.
When the timer ends, the Leader makes the final say for the hostage(s). The Leader will then “parlay” with the other room’s Leader, in a neutral area, without the selected hostages. The timer will start again and the hostages will be exchanged between the two rooms. There should be an equal number being exchanged. The Leaders and hostages will return to their rooms, and the next round will begin. This continues, with the hostage number shrinking pretty much every time as the game continues.
Additional Game Information
At any time, except the first round, the Leader can be usurped. If you don’t like the Leader, you can raise your hand and cast a vote to select a different Leader. You could select yourself, or select another player to be the new Leader. If majority of the group votes to over throw the Leader, the Leader card is handed over to the new Leader.
Depending on how many people are playing, you can either chose to share part or all of your card with others. So for example, for 6-10 players, you must show your entire card. But 11 or more players allows for people to share just their color, or they can chose to share their whole card.
Additional Red and Blue Cards
There are also a lot of other cards besides your basic Red and Blue Team members. You also have Red and Blue Team members with special abilities, that add even more strategy and conflict to the game. Two Rooms and a Boom also has a variety of roles that you can be for both Blue and Red Teams.
For example, each team could have a Devil role card, which is a character that always lies, no matter what. Each team could also have an Agent role card. This role forces people to share cards with you, no matter what. So if someone is being difficult, you can go up to them and show them your card and say “I am using my Agent card, you must card share with me!”. The player has no choice and must share their card with the Agent, making it a strong and valuable role.
Additional Grey Cards and more…
There are also grey cards that have different objectives, and if those are completed, then those individuals win their personal objective. Grey cards are not concerned with the Red and Blue Teams objectives, but they might care about the location of the Bomber and President.
For example, two grey cards are Ahab and Moby Dick. Ahab is trying to get Moby in the same room as the Bomber, and vice versa for Moby. So they don’t care about the Red or Blue Teams winning, but they both want to know where the Bomber is located, which can be shared with Red and Blue Team members, giving them an advantage.
There are also a few other random cards that are thrown into the mix that only add more chaos and confusion… and more fun! For example, the Drunk card (everybody’s favorite). If you have the drunk card, you won’t find out who you really are until the very last round. This card can complicate things, but makes the game super fun!
When the final round is finished, everyone must reveal their cards, to figure out who wins the game!
Winning The Game
In order to win in Two Rooms and a Boom, if you are on the Blue team, you must make sure the President is in the opposite room of the Bomber by the end of the game.
In order for the Red team to win, the Bomber must be in the same room as the President by the end of the game.
If you are using grey cards, you must complete your objective by the end of the game.
What I liked
This game is easily one of my favorites. The game makes for a great icebreaker. It allows for everyone to mingle and talk, and that’s really the whole point of the game. You have to ask people to share cards and trust people and work together. There must be communication during this game, or it just won’t work.
The strategy that goes into this game is also a lot of fun. There are so many different roles that you can mix and match for each game, allowing for different strategies and a lot of flexibility in gameplay. This also allows for great replay-ability.
The game has a very complicated “rock-paper-scissors” type feel. After so many rounds, you start to piece together who is who in your room and who is who in the other room. So after a while, you have to try to figure out if you want to throw scissors or paper, or is your opponent going to do the same? In other words, you try to figure out if the other group is going to send the Bomber or wait for you to send the President. It gets to be really intense as you try to get into the head of the other players and try to figure out what they are going to do. This makes it fun and frustrating at the same time!
What Can Be Improved
Two Rooms and a Boom isn’t for everyone. Once again, if you have a bunch of shy, introverted people at your party, this game might not be for your group. It can also be kind of confusing. The rules are very open and left for interpretation. There is a lot of flexibility, which requires the players to “go for it” and create their own strategy. This might be really confusing for some. A lot of people might feel lost during the gameplay because they don’t have clear instructions on what to do.
The biggest problem that I have faced playing Two Rooms and a Boom was the confusion and lack of guidelines as to what to do during the game. Many of my friends felt lost and felt like they were missing something in the beginning of the game. But there reaches a point where you just have to start talking to people and communicating and sharing cards. The awkwardness of the game quickly wears off and people catch on pretty quick. You just have to dive right in.
Overall, I highly recommend Two Rooms and a Boom to any party/board game lover out there. Especially if you are into party games (specifically hidden roles and deduction games), this game is a must have. This game isn’t for everyone, mind you. The game is very much a social, goofy strategy game. But if that sounds good to you, definitely look into it.
If you want to know more about Two Rooms and a Boom, check out their website here!
Matt “Donoran” Fuhrmann