To say that we loved PASS THE BOMB is an understatement. Actually one of epic proportions! The team played it during lunch, tea, after work, via zoom and even via a strange text game on WhatsApp that seemed to be oddly exciting and weird to orchestrate!  It enlivened our group after the Covid doldrums, seemed to play well both young and old, like very few games before. It made family and friends play together without issue. The frenetic excitement of getting the bomb moving before it explodes and ends your round, while juggling vowel, constant, word things, created a cacophony of joy. So when we were offered a copy of its successor PASS THE BOMB THE BIG ONE, we literally squealed with delight at the idea of more fun.


The box is boldly coloured and a pronounced image of a playful exploding bomb, set up the shelf draw. Inside the box we have a funky looking board, a green pot, a yellow ball, a yellow dice, 8 coloured player pieces, a bunch of cards, pieces of a jigsaw and the red bomb!


This is very simple. Load batteries into the bomb first, set up the player pieces for as many players as are present on the board at the place it says start. This is as far away from the explosion as possible. Place the green pot and yellow ball, cards sorted into the groups, puzzle pieces in easy reach of everyone. Now you are ready to go. We choose the youngest to go first, though some have said its should be based on a roll. Then said starter rolls the die and then follow the image direction. So a smiley face on the dice, draw a Caption card. The booklet directs what each side means but after one play you get it! So when it is a caption challenge, the first player presses the button, says a word and then passes it to the next person. If you are caught holding the bomb when it goes boom, well you are doomed to move your player piece, one step forward on the board. One step closer to that explosion. First person to reach there, ends the game!


We get a diversified version of PASS THE BOMB, with more fun games to be had. There is a puzzle piece game, one side completed, then passed to the next person, who solves the reverse puzzle. A tricky pot in ball game, word games that are not just about two or three letter words (though that is there). The roll of the dice offers a fresh attempt each time and the feel of this is diversity and many love this!


The quality of the plastic and paper pieces on offer in the box are the main gripe we had with the game. These are sadly mostly weak or substandard in production. The puzzle pieces are made from substandard paper. The cards are thin and bend easy, the plastic pot is fragile. All the wooden elements are fine however. As is the bomb. The only other gripe was the gameplay with the puzzle, where the extra flip and play is clumsy and not suited to children.


PASS THE BOMB THE BIG ONE adds a few, nice notes of change to the original game. But…It doesn’t add enough to be a winner. With the raft of kids and family friendly games on the market, this just lacks that edge, we needed for the game to lift off and make those involved, well involved. So sadly we wont be returning to it on the table anytime soon.

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