Pass the Bomb

The Party Word Game That Has Everyone Exploding With Laughter

Remember playing hot potato or musical chairs as a kid? Well Pass The Bomb is a little like playing hot potato or musical chairs while trying to think of words that contain a certain set of letters at the same time. Only instead of music or a hot potato you have a ticking bomb that you have to pass before it explodes. The only problem is that you can't pass the bomb before you say a correct word.

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Pass The Bomb is a board game designed for 2 players and up, but more fun with 4 or more players. It was invented by Los Rodrigues and licensed by weekend games, it made it's debut around 1994 and became popular as a game to play at family gatherings as it offers fun for a wide age of players starting at age 10 to 12 and going through retirement.

Like all word games it is educational and does help increase your vocabulary the more often you play it.

The word game has been named game of the year in Denmark, France and England and individuals have created different versions of the game to play at wedding and baby showers and even to use as a drinking game by simply making small changes in the rules.

Skills Needed To Play This Game

  • A reasonably sized vocabulary
  • The ability to think quickly under pressure
  • Steady hands!

How To Play Pass The Bomb

One of the nice things about Pass The Bomb is that it takes next to no time to set up. The game comes with 110 double sided letter cards which are printed in a combination of 2, 3 or 4 letters. A three sided dice, and of course the bomb that is shaped something like a grenade.

The object of the game is to say an acceptable word using the letters on the card before the ticking bomb explodes. Of course, this isn't quite as easy as it sounds. For starters, the bomb has an internal timer which, when set, will make the bomb go off anywhere between 10 and 60 seconds, so you have no way of knowing just when the bomb will explode.

Second, you have to use the letters at certain places in the word. This is where the 3 sided dice comes in. When you roll the dice, if the word "tick" comes up you cannot use the letters at the beginning of the word. If the words "tick tack" comes up you can use the letters anywhere in the word, and if the bomb shows then you can't use the letters at the end of the word.

The good news is that you can use any common word you can think of, including brand names, proper names and even the more popular foreign words.

How To Begin The Game

You begin the game by shuffling the cards in the deck and then counting out 13 cards and placing them in a pile. You then roll the dice to see where the letters are to be used, the first person quickly starts the bomb, says a word and passes the bomb to the next player who then says a word and passes the bomb off.

For example: If the letters "TR" are turned up and the dice says you cannot use the letters at the end of the word, then the first person might say "tree" the second one "treat" the third one "trunk" and so on. While this all seems easy enough in theory, it is much more difficult to think of words while you are holding a bomb that is ticking quite loudly not knowing if it will go off or not. Of course, it is even harder if you get letters such as "ING" and can't use them at the end of the word.

No word can be used twice in any one round of play so you not only have to think of your own word but, try to remember the words everyone else has used.

The person holding the bomb when it goes off loses the round and must take the card. However, if they manage to get out their word before the bomb explodes, the person next in line is the one who loses the round.

You are allowed to challenge a player's word by passing the bomb back to them. However, if the bomb goes off before your challenge is successful you lose the round.

When the last round has been played, the person with the fewest cards wins.

The action is fast paced and those holding the bomb when it goes off will breathe a sigh of relief, claiming that despite the bomb not being real, the tension of not knowing when it will explode is high.

Also, there really is no way to cheat in the game or to get an upper hand as there are no strategies one can use except quick thinking. All agree that it is an extremely engaging game and slightly addictive.

There is a Pass The Bomb Junior version of the game designed for younger children which is often called Crazy Bomb Junior. This game is different from the adult version in that instead of letter cards there are picture cards, such as a beach, a garden, etc. In the junior version kids are to name things likely to be found at the place the scene depicts. For example: if the scene is a garden, the words the kids use may be "trees", "flowers", butterflies" etc.

This is great for young kids as it actually helps them to associate different things with various places while helping them to increase the vocabulary. Surprisingly the Crazy Bomb Junior game can be quite challenging for adults as well, so it makes it possible for you to play with your children and still have a great time and a lot of fun.

If your family gets together often, or if you entertain friends on a regular basis, this game is a definite must have to add fun and excitement to those boring Tuesday night gatherings.

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