In the first round, the celebrities from both teams have a total of two minutes to convey as many words to their partners as they can, with the challenger's team playing first and control alternating after each word. Every word that a team manages to guess correctly earns them one point. Listed with the word, however, are four "Taboo" words - words that cannot be used in any form during the description. For instance, if the word to be guessed was "Pizza", the Taboo words might be "Crust", "Italian", "Pepperoni", and "Domino's". Pantomiming, phonetic clues and sound effects are also disallowed.
If a celebrity uses a Taboo word, the point goes to the other team, and the team in violation loses its turn. Teams may pass on a word if desired, but doing so also forfeits control. The team with the most points after two minutes of play earns $250. If both teams have the same score, the team that had the fewest passes (Taboos included) wins it.
For the second round, each team is in charge of thei own clock, which begins at 90 seconds. Starting with the team that won the first round, one member of the team (the celebrity gives clues to start the round, then that duty rotates) must convey a word to his/her partners, avoiding the four Taboo words. When the team guesses their word, their clock stops and their opponents' clock starts, as they now try to get the next word. If a Taboo word is spoken, the team loses 10 seconds off their clock. Play continiues back and forth until one side runs out of time; the team that can hold on to its clock the longest wins $500.
In Round 3, the teams play one word at a time. Starting with the winners of the last round, the team designates one clue-giver for the round and is timed to see how quickly they can get a particular word. Again, using a Taboo word is a 10-second penalty. When their word is completed, the time used to convey the word is then moved over to the other team, who then must convey the next word in less time. If successful, the time elapsed on their side then moves back to the first team, and so on. Play continues until one team cannot beat the previous time; the team who had the fastest word wins $750.
The first team to accumulate $1000 wins the game. If, after three rounds, both teams are tied at $750, one word is played. The givers are shown the last word and the four Taboo words for it, and then must bid on how long they want to try and convey the word. Bidding starts at 15 seconds and goes down to 5. If a Taboo word is spoken, the other team wins automatically.
For the bonus round, the process is reversed. This time, the team is shown up to five Taboo word clues about a particular word, and the team must guess the word. Clues are revealed once every 1 1/2 seconds, and the team is only allowed one guess per word. The team earns $200 for each word they guess; 10 right in 90 seconds wins a jackpot that starts at $5000 and increases by $1000 for every day it isn't won.
Taboo is one of the more popular board games out there - at least, it's popular in my family - so we can get some very good name recognition. The ticking clocks that are prevalent in this game add to the frantic atmosphere. It'll also be interesting to see how the celebrities manage to worm their way around the Taboo words.
This game and Pyramid cannot co-exist. The two games are just too similar - this is just like Pyramid, only with a few words that you can't say. It would need a good host and a good atmosphere to be truly successful.
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