MTV: The Throwback Music Party Game

MTV: The Throwback Music Party Game


Hey folks! We’re going back to the 90s today! What’s the 411? Just some fly board game about music! That’s right, home skillet! A board game from Big Potato games called MTV: The Throwback Music Party Game. This was provided by Big Potato Games to review. It plays 4+ players and plays in about 40 minutes. Is it all that and a bag of chips? Let’s take a look!

  • Publisher: Big Potato Games
  • Players: 4+ (Team based game.)
  • Ages: 14+ (Though, that young of players might not know all the artists in this game.)
  • Time to play: 30-40 Minutes.



  • 120 Artist Cards
  • 60 Head to Head Cards
  • 1 Buzzer/Timer
  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Sticker Sheet
  • 1 Rules 

Set Up


  1. Pick Teams. Make them as even as possible.
  2. Place the game board in the center of the table. 
  3. Shuffle and place the artist cards near the board.
  4. Shuffle and place the head to head cards near the board.
  5. Place the Buzzer/Timer within reach of players. 

Game Play

Each team is trying to be the first to collect one of each of the 8 different cassette tapes. The first team to do this becomes the winner.

Each round is comprised of two phases. The first phase is the Head to Head phase. This is then followed by the artist phase.

Head to Head Phase


  1. Each team picks a player to lead the round.
    1. Chosen players sit across from each other and get ready for the head to head round. You want to be the last player to name a song title that fits the word.
  2. Flip over a Head to Head card.
  3. Players will have to name a song title that contains the head to head word.
    1. The first player to name a song hits the buzzer. The other player not has 15 seconds to name a different song title with the head to head word.
    2. This goes on until the buzzer ends. The player to last name a song title is the winner! Their prize? First selection of artist cards for the next phase.

Artist Phase


The winner of the head to head round draws 9 artist cards from the deck.

That player will pick 3 cards for them to have their team guess and pass the remaining 6 to the losing team.

The artist phase is played over 30 seconds and consists of giving clues to your team. Depending on where you place the artist card on the board determines the type of clue you can give. The clues can be given in any order or skipped to the next if your team wants. You can always go back to one later.

Once both teams are ready, the winner of the head to head phase starts the artist phase. Press and hold the buzzer for 2 seconds to set the timer to 30 seconds. You can start giving clues once the timer has started.

Here are the three types of clues you give during this phase.

One Word

This clue is one word that relates to the artist. The player can give the one word clue as many times as they want, but they can’t change the one word.

Example: Nookie. What artist does this make you think of? Hopefully Limp Bizkit and it was a good clue.


These clues you speak, and not sing, a lyric from the artist. It can be from any of their songs.

Example: Give it away. Give it away. Give it away now. (Red Hot Chili Peppers.)


These clues you hum, whistle, or scat one of the artist’s songs.


What happens if your team guesses all your artists and have time left over? Well, you can try and get your team to guess the other teams artists! That’s until the timer runs out.

After one team goes through their guesses, it’s the other teams turn to play. Same thing, if they guess all their artists and have time left over, they can guess any artist cards not won.

Stealing Cassettes


At the end of the artist phase, a team can trade in three of one type of cassette to steal a cassette card from the other team.


Once the round is over, repeat with new players until a team has earned all 8 artist cards. That team is then the winner. 

Final Thoughts

Components wise, this game is spot on with the nostalgia MTV feel. The bright colors that just scream early MTV. Then the artist cards having the different cassette tape backs is a really nice touch. I like that each category has a matching design to it. It makes it easy to tell them apart. I like the big red button that is the buzzer/timer. One thing we ran into was forgetting to hold down the timer for two seconds in the artist phase. Once we realized what we had done, it was an easy fix. 


Game play itself was something mixed. It was great to see all these bands and artists I grew up listening to all in a party game. It really brings me back to watching MTV during their music days. With that said, I’m horrible at music trivia. I favored rock, and I still do. So when I got cards that were outside of my knowledge, it made my rounds really bad.  Still hilarious and fun, but really bad. 

I liked that the buzzer is multi use, and there is a head to head part of the game.  It really drives the competitive nature out of the players. Then naming songs titles that contain the chosen word is fun. This lead to some fun back and forth. Then the winner might not seem like it’s that big of a deal, but when you’re racing to be the team to collect all 8 categories for artist cards, it’s a big benefit. You have first picks at the ones you need, the ones your opponents need, or the easier ones. It can be huge to get three matching category cards and then steal the cards you need. 


The artist phase has a nice mix of clues you can give. I like the one word clue. It makes it really important to choose the right clue as you can’t change it. And it can be funny to see people’s reasoning for that clue later. The lyrics is pretty easy. As long as you know the artist and somewhat the lyrics. They don’t need to be exact, but it requires both the person giving the clue and the guessers to know the song. This is one where I struggled. I’m bad at lyrics and thinking of a song by the artist. The preform clue is fun. What you might remember and picture being an easy song to preform in whistles, hums, or scat might not be as easy as you think. It’s a blast seeing people try to hum Bohemian Rhapsody. 

Overall, this is a fun party game. If you’re a fan of party games, team games, and have a fondness for MTV in the glory days this game is for you.  Some changes I might make for younger players would allow for phone use to look up lyrics and the artists.  This game has a lot of replay in it and one I can see breaking out with friends that are constantly humming or singing and being a huge hit. 


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