We recently ran two four hour sessions of Two Rooms and a Boom at a local convention and loved every moment of it
The game's makers, Alan Gerding and Sean McCoy, have kindly allowed people to download a Print and Play version of the game here before it comes out for which we're very grateful as it allowed us to run the game. This post wont explain the full mechanics but aims to give you a quick overview of the game and how we ran it.
In Two Rooms and a Boom you have a hidden identity and play in two teams; Blue who want the President in a different room to the Bomber at the end of the game and Red who want the Bomber in the same room as the President. Two Rooms plays over several rounds, with some people switching rooms at the end of each round. The game comes with loads of additional roles which make the game more interesting and introduce different or unique win conditions.
During each of the sessions, several games were played and we introduced new characters each round to build up the player's understanding of the mechanics and make the game more interesting:
Game 1, Basic Cards
This was the warm up game to get everyone used to the basic concepts, we also ran the shorter three round version. The Gambler is included to keep the teams even when you have an odd number of players and wins by correctly guessing which team will succeed.
- Gambler (Grey)
- Team Cards (Red and Blue)
Game 2, Limited Shares
For game 2 we were looking to add different 'sharing' mechanics and sow a little suspicion; you have the Negotiator and Coy Boys who can only share in specific ways and the spies whose cards are one color but they are on the other team.
- All the above plus
- Negotiators (Red and Blue)
- Coy Boys (Red and Blue - we actually only had Shy Guy cards but used the Coy rule)
- Spies (Red and Blue)
Game 3, Grey Objectives
Adding Moby and Ahab as well as the Mistress and Wife gave us roles that had win conditions with nothing to do with the Red/Blue team conflict. These characters seek to ensure they are with (or not with) the President (or Bomber) and that the other character in their pair is. We found that they changed the game in subtle ways and information began to be bartered with these grey players by both teams.
- All the above plus
- Mistress and Wife (Grey)
- Ahab and Moby (Grey)
Game 4, Zombie Apocolypse
Given our love of zombie games, comics, books, TV shows and films we had to add this one in. The zombie turns anyone who shares with them into a zombie who can then go on to infect other players. Zombies win if everyone who survives (isn't with the bomber) at the end of the game is a zombie. During the first game with the zombie one room was completely infected in the first round and the zombies won easily. The second game saw everyone refusing to share or trying tactics to avoid getting infected. The end result was that this card, just 1 of 15, became the only thing players were focusing on. We feel that this card is one that should be added randomly every now and then so that the whole game doesn't become "avoid the zombie"
- All the above plus
Some Other Characters
While we didn't get a lot of games in with these characters we also tried:
- Vampire (Red or Blue) - makes thralls who have to do what they want which is great for sowing confusion, but makes the Zombie even more dangerous
- Born Leader (Grey) - wants to be in charge of their room at the end of the game. What we saw was each leader found a room and then agreed to vote with the majority in it, making their victory pretty easy
- Agoraphobe/Traveler - The Agoraphobe never wants to move rooms and the Traveler wants to move multiple times. These roles can either lose or win very quickly and we saw them revealed almost immediately at the start of games with them in, so it felt like there was not much of a game for them
We had enormous fun with this game. It has investigative elements as well as opportunities to sow confusion and misinformation, you can out-think the opposition or get lucky in the final round and everyone is involved from start to finish. There were some odd characters in the stack of ones we didn't try and some roles that didn't work for our group but with so much to choose from we had plenty to play with. We also decided that name badges would have been a good idea as some people didn't know everyone. Also suggested was a corner of the card made for colour sharing, so there was no danger of sharing the picture by accident and some help with the rules on your card. I can't wait to see what changes have been made between whenever they set up the Print and Play set and the final product but you can bet this is a game we'll play again and again.
I found a video by "Board with Life" so if you'd like to see the game in action, check it out below.