Two Rooms and a Boom

 Two Rooms and a Boom card pack.

Two Rooms and a Boom card pack.

In six minutes, a bomb would go off, and it was my job to save the president. Well, the bomb was imaginary, the president was my childhood friend, and I was only pretending to save him, because he was not actually on my team. Still, the imaginary stakes had never been higher. And that’s the fun of Tuesday Knight Games’ Two Rooms and a Boom.

There were two teams (the president’s team and the bomber’s team), two rooms (far enough apart so we couldn’t hear each other), and six minutes. The objective was simple. If you were on the president’s team, you did not want the bomber to end up in the same room as the president. If you were on the bomber’s team, like I was, you did. The teams were drawn randomly, using cards. We played in three successively shorter rounds. Round one was three minutes long, round two, two minutes, and round three was just one, short, chest-pumping minute. In between each round, we had to decide, by a majority vote, on a pre-established number of players to send to the other room.

And it would all be so simple, if one huge problem didn’t stand in my way: I had no idea who was the president or the bomber, or even who was on which team. Everyone was lying. Could I trust my roommate who swore she was on the president’s side? Or did I have to place my faith in my best friend’s girlfriend, whom I had never met, but my friend insisted that she was honest, nice, and fun? Chaos ensued.

Half way through the game, after establishing trust with everyone and making six too many deals, all I could do was laugh. At this point it didn’t matter who I trusted. In a few minutes, I going to be pointing and screaming at one of my brothers and wondering how everything went so wrong, so quickly.

Every time I’ve played this game with close friends, it’s been an exhilarating experience. Knowing my friend’s tells, or thinking I knew their tells, made each success incredibly fun and each failure beyond frustrating. Why did I trust my best friend this time after he had already betrayed me in the last two games? Well, he seemed honest and I know when he’s lying.

This game is not hard to make with a deck of cards, but I recommend buying the physical copy. It includes tons of extra character cards, like the gambler, who isn’t on either team, but is betting on a team to win. These cards give each player a unique objective, making it feel like a more complete game.

Two Rooms and a Boom is a great game for six to 30 players. Sometimes I laughed my way to victory, sometimes I’d be screaming at a person I thought I trusted, but, mostly, I was shaking my head, dumbfounded, wondering how it all went wrong.

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Adam Haibach