Tick Tock Boom is quite literally “da ?  .”

From Goliath Games, Tick Tock Boom is a fast-paced word game for two to 12 players, which I fondly dub as, “hot potato with thinking.”

Players draw cards and call out a word that contains the letters on the card, then pass the potato—I mean ticking bomb—to the next person. If the bomb stops ticking in their hands and explodes (note: not literally), then they keep the card and continue playing. Whoever has the least amount of cards at the end is the winner. The pressure is on!

The game comes with cards, a die, and the bomb timer, which just needs batteries. To start, shuffle the cards and put 13 in the center. Each card displays two to three letters, which must be in your word before you pass the bomb. To add some challenge, players must roll the die to figure out where in the word the letters can be used. If players roll a tick, the letters must be used in the beginning of the word; tock means the letters must be used at the end of the word; and boom lets the letters be used anywhere in the word. For example, if the card reads, “WAR,” then if you roll Tick you could say “Warsaw” (shouts out!), Tock would be “postwar”, and Boom would be “award.”

Once the player correctly used the letter in a word, he or she passes the bomb to the left. The player holding the bomb when it explodes keeps the letter card as a penalty, and then that player begins the next round by rolling the die, starting the timer, and turning over the next card.

This sounds easier than it looks! The timer goes off randomly each time between 20 and 90 seconds, and it makes a ticking sound that adds another level of pressure. When we were playing in the office, our competitive team nature had us screaming out words and hurling the bomb to the next person to make sure we wouldn’t be stuck with it. Sometimes, especially with unfortunate tick, tock, boom and letter combinations, you just get stumped and are left with the bomb. It’s a hard hit, but ya win some, ya lose some, right?

With 110 cards and the options of playing each card in either tick, tock, or boom, each game will have a fresh take!