Outburst: Game Rules, Overview & Variations

Updated January 14, 2022
playing Outburst with friends

Get ready for a loud, high-energy, laugh your face off good time by playing the Outburst! game. Offered by Hasbro, Outburst! brings the ultimate party experience through simple rules and easy setup. Get a quick overview on how to play the original Outburst! game and other fun versions.

Outburst! Game Rules

If you like to party and have intensely competitive friends who can think on their feet, then Outburst! will be a hit at your next get-together. Outburst! is subtitled "The Game of Verbal Explosions!" for good reason. The object is to get players to guess as many of the 10 items that are listed on game cards relating to specific topics. For example, if your card reads: "Parts of the Body that Come in Pairs," you are given 60 seconds to shout out as many answers as you can, regardless of how humorous or ridiculous they may be. The ensuing verbal madness is a riot, and the more players you have, the funnier the exchanges. Your party guests will be in stitches all night long.

Master of Ceremonies

Outburst! is a fun board game, but it can quickly get out of control among adults. Therefore, Hasbro recommends you choose a Master of Ceremonies (M.C.) for your game to keep people on target and from getting too wild. The M.C. should be an honest person who allows the game to be fun but not get out of hand.

Outburst! is an unfair game. Many topics could be correct, but you are only looking for those 10 answers. It's the M.C.'s responsibility to inform the players that only the 10 answers on the card are accepted.

Playing the Game

With the rules out of the way, it's time to get the game set up. The great thing about Outburst! is the simplicity of play. According to the official Outburst! game instructions, you get started by:

  1. Get all the game pieces out of the box.
  2. Divide all the players into two equal groups.
  3. Each team gets half the passing chips and a scoring peg.
  4. Each team puts their peg in the scorecard at the start.
  5. Put the card viewer to the start position. (You can do this by sliding all the buttons away from the center.)
  6. Each team rolls the dice. The team with the highest roll goes first.
  7. The M.C. reads the topic for the playing team.
  8. They can choose to play or pass.
  9. To pass, they use the passing chip.
  10. If they play, the card is put into the viewer by the opposing team.
  11. The opposing team rolls the die to determine the number of the target answers.
  12. The opponent reads the topic, and the timer is flipped.
  13. Teammates begin to yell out answers, and all the correct answers are flipped on the viewer.
  14. A person called the scorekeeper says "yes" for correct or "no" for incorrect answers.
  15. After the timer runs out, the scorekeeper gives one point for each correct answer.
  16. Bonus points are awarded for getting the correct target answer.
  17. The peg is moved to the correct answers given.
  18. The next team goes.

Passing the Outburst! Topic

If your team chooses not to play the topic, you need to pass it. You have three chips you can use to pass the topic. All you need to do is say, "we pass," and give them your chip. The M.C. will use a replacement topic that you must play and put the other topic aside for the opposing team. The opposing team will play the passed card on their next turn.

A Few Outburst Topics

Each card features a heading followed by a list of 10 items that fall under the given topic. An example would be a topic card that reads: "10 Salad Ingredients." Other topics include:

  • 10 Slang Terms for Money
  • 10 Movie Studios
  • 10 Cars Rich People Drive
  • 10 Animals of the Cat Family
  • 10 Robert Redford Films

How to Win Outburst!

Once the timer runs out, the score is calculated by adding up as many points as successful guesses, plus a bonus determined by a roll of dice. The first team to get 60 points wins. You can also choose to play to a different score established at the bigging of the game if you're looking for a shorter game.

What Comes in the Box?

The original game contains the following:

  • 400 topic cards (double-sided for 800 topics)
  • Six pass chips
  • Two scoring pegs
  • Card viewer
  • Two black dice
  • One green die
  • Dry erase marker
  • Timer
  • Wooden scoring track
  • Instructions

Other Versions of Outburst! to Play

Other Outburst! versions preserve the integrity of the game's object and rules but feature different topics and some added bonuses.

Outburst! II

This version of Outburst offers new topics to play but keeps the same instructions. It has 800 topics to give lots of options.

Outburst! Remix

Outburst! Remix differs from the original Outburst! in that it has new topics, plus it features an added "remix" element of having the topic hidden before teams decide whether to play or pass. The topic cards include a headline, providing a clue but not revealing the actual topic.

15th Anniversary Edition

This 15th Anniversary Edition has updated topics and answers. It has new rules for Reverseburst and Challenge Burst.

Outburst Bible Edition

Challenge your knowledge of the Bible through Outburst Bible Edition. The game has 225 topics players can enjoy.

Outburst PC

A computerized version of Outburst can be played with a single person. The PC version includes an animated announcer and fake commercials that appear between categories that offer outlandish products. The questions are straight from the original version; however, the video version only requires the first three letters for an entire answer to be correct. Topics range from the basic "Movies Featuring Airplanes" to the quirky "Foods That Create Intestinal Gas."

Enjoying the Outburst! Game Together

Outburst! is the best board games for a large group. It can go on all night with a multitude of cards and subjects. Now, it's time to let the fun begin.

Outburst: Game Rules, Overview & Variations