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Speed Review: Truth Bombs

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Speed Review on this blog. For those who are new to this blog or who haven’t read one of these speed reviews before, they have a very simple premise. Most reviews on this site are looonnnggg. They tend to be around 2000 words, and they can take up to 4 or 5 hours to write. For some games, that play in 10 minutes, that was too long a format…and thus the Speed Review was born. In this format we try to review a game in a quicker time than it takes to play.

That means writing a review in around 20 minutes.

Today we are going to look at a party game released by Big Potato Games called Truth Bombs. The time on the box says the game takes 20 minutes to play. The time now is 11.16pm on Friday 25th January 2019. Let’s do this.

Truth Bombs Review – The Speedy Version

Truth Bombs is a game with a somewhat interesting origin story in the digital era. Not designed by traditional board game designers, but rather Youtubers Dan and Phil, Truth Bombs is a party game for 4 to 8 players taking around 20 minutes to play. It is for ages 14+.

How is Truth Bombs played?

In Truth Bombs the players each get a sheet of paper with seven blank boxes on it. Each box has a separate colour on it, associated with seven slightly-larger-than-card-sized cardboard mats. Each player writes their name on the top of the piece of paper and hands it to the player on their left. A number of the mats are laid out, equalling the number of players minus one, and on top of each one is placed a random question. These may be, to draw five random examples from the box:

  • If they ran for government, what would they be?
  • In one word, describe their taste in partners.
  • What advice will they give youngsters when they are old and grey?
  • If you didn’t know them, what would you think their name is?
  • If they had a private island, what would it be called?

Each round, you will choose a question and answer it about the person whose sheet is in your hand, answering it in the corresponding box. After every question has been answered, the sheets will be back with their corresponding person. Players take it in turns reading out their answers and they choose their favourite. Whoever chose that answer gets a point.

Then everyone goes again.

What is it like playing Truth Bombs?

So, we’ve played Truth Bombs now with a few different groups and it’s really interesting watching it from a gaming perspective. We have played it with family and with family members it can be really funny, if not a bit awkward for non-relatives to join in with. We’ve also played it with our regular gaming group and that was a completely different experience. Turning up to my partner’s parents around New Year, we found out they had bought it and played it themselves over Christmas, and although we didn’t end up playing it with them, we heard they had a good time.

What I can say is that it does differ with who is playing the game. Truth Bombs can, like a lot of party games, be incredibly funny with the right group of people. With family, if all those family are in the same kind of mindset, Truth Bombs can be a rewarding game to play. It goes without saying that you don’t really answer honestly, but rather you answer the funniest you can.

It is a game that is easy to be picked up by non-gamers who just want to have fun and that is one of the biggest strengths to the game.

With our regular gaming group, on the other hand, the game was enjoyed, although only a couple of rounds were played. It had been a good distraction, but it didn’t hold up for more playing when there were so many other and more engaging games to play. It was also suggested that the game could be improved with alcohol; but, I doubt we will pick it up again. It didn’t fit a purpose for our gaming group, and didn’t fill a gap that we hadn’t already filled with games like Two Rooms and a Boom, Werewords, or Deception. We like our games a bit meatier.

No matter who we have played with, it has always been agreed that the scoring is completely redundant. It really isn’t needed because scoring points is not what Truth Bombs is about. It is about just having fun, and it does that with the right audience without the need for an arbitrary point scoring system.

Back to looking deeper at Truth Bombs, the questions are fun and some are innovative. There are a few blindingly obvious ones, and some of the questions can be a bit awkward, but that is as much of what the game is about. The components are of high quality; however, this is not a colourblind friendly game. Some of the boards are hard to tell apart, even with perfect colour vision, and very often (at least twice per game) someone will write an answer in the wrong box. That’s just a fact of playing Truth Bombs.

I think what Truth Bombs shows is a growth of party games; however, it is a spurt away from the renaissance gaming market. This is not a game for gamers, but rather something that will make it out when in the company of non-gamer close friends or with family members around special occasions.

So, what is the crux of the review? Well, if I were to summarise it I would say that there is space for it on the shelf for when the family come around. That is, it has to be said, who this game does best with in my experience. My sister is a couple of years older than me and Truth Bombs it is one of two games she keeps requesting every time she visits (the other being Mr Lister’s Quiz Shootout which is also made by Big Potato). It is perfectly fine for that; however, for more serious gamers it doesn’t quite cut the mustard to become a regular play and will almost certainly end up sidelined for something else.

TIME.

And that there is time. It is now 11.39pm. I’m giving myself the three extra minutes as I needed to repack the box and find example cards.

So, what do you think? Is Truth Bombs the kind of game you would enjoy or is it something you’d give a miss. Let me know in the comments below.

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