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… I can’t just put up a .gif of myself collapsing with giddy glee so I’ll try my best in the next 500 words to explain just how good 20 Second Showdown is.

Like most Big Potato games 20 Second Showdown takes a few seconds to explain to players.
“The referee will read a card to you, do what the card says as quickly as possible as you compete against the other team in a tug of war for time. If your side of the hourglass runs out of sand, you lose.”

Wonderfully simple and effective, especially with the ingenious hourglass drum that makes the falling sand very loud. And, as is to be expected from Big Potato by this point, the cards are fantastic. Quick math, tongue twisters, ridiculous challenges involving rolling into your teammates and much wilder stuff. All double sided as most Big Potato games are, meaning you get twice as much at half the space.

Who’d of thought that flicking earlobes would be so fun?

As you play, the referee is encouraged to make snap decisions and keep the pace up, switching from one challenge to the next with no pause. After a few slower paced warm-up games to explain the rules, the full speed version proved to be a hell of a fun and playfully stressful way to play.

At one point I was actually buckled, collapsed on the floor unable to breathe from laughter at the other team attempting to say “she sells seashells on the sea shore.” The franticness of it all brings with it a kind of manic atmosphere where personal safety, respectable noise levels, and conventional humour goes out the window.

What made the seashell shambles even funnier is that each team gets a “HELP!” card which desperate players can use to include their teammates. Turning one tongue tied player into a duo of sad, desperate, stuttering, swearing, she shells sheshellerrs.

We played a dozen or so rounds, only stopping because the night was getting on and we had another game to review before people left. Given the chance, we would have played it for hours more.

The only rub is that you need at least 5 players and one of you will have to take on the role of referee (though this is a good way to calm down between rounds). We found that taking turns as ref worked surprisingly well and that having different team sizes (2 v 3) didn’t make any impact on who won.

And that realy is my only criticism of the game, so please Big Potato, please make up a 4 player mode as not all of us are blessed with oodles of friends to play these games with.

So while it might be a bit difficult to get enough people together, if you can, you owe it to your game night to get 20 Second Showdown. Go on! What are you waiting for?! Get it HERE


  • Brilliant Game


  • No Shame Here


  • <1 hour play
  • £20 - £30
  • 5+ Players
  • Party Game