At the beginning of each game, a team of three contestants is introduced, all of which have something in common. The team is then presented with six numbered bombs of increasing size, each corresponding to a question and each worth an increasing amount of money ($5,000 for the first bomb, increasing in $5,000 increments up to $25,000 for the fifth bomb and then $50,000 for the sixth, for a potential total of $125,000).
For each bomb, the team is shown a category and must decide which player will answer the question. Each player on a team must answer at least one of the questions. The chosen player is presented his or her bomb with multiple wires, then given a multiple-choice question not unlike those featured on Greed. Each question has a series of answers corresponding with the number of wires on the bomb, with all but one of them correct. One at a time, the contestant must cut the wires that correspond to correct answers, while leaving intact the wire corresponding to the wrong answer. To add suspense and difficulty, the bomb is also on a timer (30 seconds for earlier questions with four choices, with ten seconds being added per extra wire in later rounds). Each time a wire is cut, the timer stops and an ominous voice counts down from three. If the contestant is correct, the voice says "Correct" and the timer immediately resumes running; if the contestant cuts the wire to the wrong answer or time runs out, the bomb "explodes", spraying its contents (pizza sauce, gravy, guacamole, etc.) all over the contestant, the set, and a bank of select poncho-clad audience members seated in the "Splatter Zone" closest to the bomb. In addition, the money associated with that bomb is lost forever, and the player who attempted that question is eliminated. If the contestant cuts all the correct wires before time expires, the bomb is declared defused and the money associated with that bomb is added to the team's bank.
If all three players on a team are eliminated, they leave empty-handed. However, if at least one player remains in the game after six bombs have been played, the entire team (including previously eliminated contestants) has the chance to play the Mega Money Bomb and answer one last question, which has a 90-second time limit and ten wires - seven correct answers, and three wrong answers. If the team is successful, their final bank is quadrupled (for a possible maximum grand prize of $500,000); however, if they are incorrect at any point, the bomb explodes and their bank is halved. A team may quit with what they have in lieu of attempting the Mega Money Bomb.
A Spanish version exists, appropriately punctuated ¡Boom!, which features two teams of four contestants playing and the goal to cut the wires of all wrong answers and leave the correct one, similar to Trivia Trap.
Tropes in use include:
- Advertising by Association: The show was being advertised as "from the creators of Wipeout."
- All or Nothing: Until the Mega Money Bomb; if all three players are eliminated, they leave with nothing. Averted with the Mega Money Bomb as players reaching this level of the game are guaranteed to go home with at least half their winnings.
- Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The background is a huge LED wall capable of displaying images, the countdown, dollar amounts, and simulated gunge after an explosion; the standard background is an effect of enormous tiles that pulse and throb to create suspense (blue during the first three questions, red afterwards).
- Blatant Lies: One clip on the show's website is titled "Perfect Game", in which the contestant was on the $50,000 bomb with nobody eliminated up to that point. With one correct answer remaining on a relatively easy question about Monopoly, she guessed incorrectly. Made twice as painful when they won the Mega Money Bomb as they would've won the full $500,000 had she not made the mistake.
- Bonus Round: The Mega Money Bomb, although it is optional and losing cuts your winnings in half.
- Cartoon Bomb: They all look like this, and are all black except for the Mega Money Bomb which is silver.
- Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Done occasionally after a wire is cut - 3... 2... 1... (screen goes black)
- Confetti Drop: Of sorts, when a team successfully defuses the Mega Money Bomb; money is shot from the floor.
- Covered in Gunge: The result of setting off the bomb by answering incorrectly.
- Epic Fail: The eighth episode featured a team wiping out on the first three bombs.
- Any time a contestant clips the wrong wire first.
- Flawless Victory: The only way to get the full $500,000 - defuse all six regular bombs and the Mega Money Bomb. As of the conclusion of Season 1, it has yet to happen in the US.
- Foregone Conclusion: Games never overlap between episodes. As such, if the second team is successful, it's quite easy to tell whether or not they'll go for the Mega Money Bomb based on how much time is left in the show.
- Incredibly Obvious Bomb: Complete with a huge timer, beeping noises, and the fact that it's half your size in the middle of the studio.
- Losing Horns: Type B, after a bomb has been detonated.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: One episode features a team that made it all the way to the final bomb with no eliminations. The $50,000 question is relatively easy - name the tokens in a standard Monopoly set. With one correct answer remaining, she guessed incorrectly. The team proceeded to take the Mega Money Bomb, but had she not made the one mistake at the very end of the main game, they would have been the first team to walk away with the full $500,000.
- Once an Episode: Similar to the above, if one team bombs out fairly early, the other one will at least make it through the first six bombs.
- Overcrank: After an explosion, it is replayed in slow-motion from different angles two or three times before the Losing Horns kick in.
- Progressive Jackpot: Present in the Spanish version; theirs features two teams with the winner going to the Money Bomb. If it isn't defused, €5,000 is added to the jackpot and the winning team returns to play again the next day.
- Rule of Three: Three contestants per team; three correct answers for the first two bombs; three wrong answers on the Mega Money Bomb; three explosions and the team is eliminated.
- Splash Damage: Perhaps even more literal than its normal meaning. The host and the poncho-wearing audience members in the Splatter Zone are also in the line of fire when the bombs detonate.
- Stage Money: Released by the Mega Money Bomb when it's defused.
- Time Bomb: If the clock (complete with a large red digital readout) attached to the bomb hits zero, you're a goner.
- Timed Mission: Here's a bomb with wires representing answers to a question; cut all the wires to correct answers before the clock hits zero.
- Unexpectedly Obscure Answer: As mentioned above, some questions are poll-based a la Greed, effectively rendering that particular round a Luck-Based Mission.
- Who Wants to Be "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?": Downplayed - there's a dark, ominous set, multiple-choice questions, and a money tree, but there are no Lifelines present and padding is minimized.
- Wire Dilemma: The entire premise. The wrong wire represents the lone wrong (or in Spain, right) answer.