Two Rooms and a Boom is most likely the best live action social deduction game out there.
Most people who know a live action social deduction game know the genre through the game Werewolf, which personally, I always hated for so many reasons including player elimination, lack of actual factual interactions and the fact that every round just drags on forever.
Two Rooms and a Boom solve all of those issues!
First of all, there is no or almost no player elimination (only in advance rules and it is very limited).
Second of all, each round lasts a fixed number of minutes: 5 minutes for the first round, 4 minutes for the second, then 3 minutes for the third, 2 for the 4th and only a single minute for the last one.
That means that with the exception of the brief period between rounds, a full game lasts only 15 minutes!
The rules are simple:
- Each player gets a character card, most of which are split into the Blue team and the Red team
- The players are then split randomly between two Rooms (that’s the Two Rooms part of the title)
- Each room elects a leader who remains the leader until he resigns or is usurped
- At the end of each round, the leader picks a pre-determined number of hostages to exchange with the other room, without knowing whom the other room picks. The leader cannot pick humself.
- The two leaders of each room then meet in the corridor in the middle, and after a brief talk, exchange the hostages.
- At the end of the last round, the player who is the Bomber (from the Red team), blows up the room he is in (that’s the.. and a boom part of the title).
- if the player with the Bomber card is in the same room as the President (from the Blue team), the Red team wins since it killed the President, otherwise, the Blue team wins.
Unlike Werewolf, your character card is in play and as a result, you can show your card to other players or co-reveal (both agree to share their card at the same time), and if there are more than 10 players, you can just show the color of your card.
This allows to build a trust. Furthermore, since there are two equal teams and the goal isn’t to just find the other team, players will more freely admit on which team they are, unlike in Werewolf where admitting you are a Werewolf means certain death.
As you can tell, I really like Two Rooms and a Boom, especially since you don’t even need a referee! The two room leaders handle the flow and there are 2 giant cards to remind them of their responsibilities and remind other players who the boss is.
Furthermore, in the advance game, there are tons of other roles including the grey team who each have their own victory conditions aside from the main game.
And with a number of players from 6 to 30, you are sure to be able to squeeze in everyone who wants to play!