5 Second Rule


We like trivia-style games but too often find they go on for too long. If you thought Trivial Pursuit could trend towards the tedious, try playing its seemingly interminable sequel Ubi, which we featured last year on Board's Eye View. This isn't a problem you'll have with 5 Second Rule, designed by Michael Sistrunk and published by University Games.

The clue of course is in the title. No dithering about here: you have literally just 5 seconds to answer the question on the card which will be to name 3 things satisfying the criteria. In the Mini Game version which we played and show off here, there are 90 double-sided cards - so 180 questions - covering a wide range of topics. As you'd expect, some you'll find easy to rattle off a response in the very limited time allotted, others will leave you tongue-tied. It's a fun filler and it works very well as a party game. There are some special single-use cards that you can play to pass a question on or to ask for a different question but we found the game worked equally well without these.

What you won't want to dispense with, surprisingly, is the timer. Lots of games of this ilk come with sand timers and we usually find these are more trouble than they are worth. If the game is engaging, players get focused on the game itself and often forget to flip the timer. For games with sand timers longer than a few seconds, there's also the issue of time wasted waiting for the timer to run through fully so it can be flipped. You won't find that happening with 5 Second Rule. Part of the appeal of this game is its novelty timer. This has tiny ball bearings running down a spiral. It's chunkier and less fiddly than most sand timers and it makes a funny noise every time it's flipped.

5 Second Rule is notionally for 2–6 players but, as a party game, you can easily adapt it to cater for more players. The strap line on the box is 'The game of quick thinking and fast talking!' That's a pretty apt summary!

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