The game 5 Second Rule, is a fast-paced game that is safe for the whole family to play. We’ve had fun playing this game with extended family members.
Number of players
This game can be played with 3 or more players. So far, we have played with up to about 7 or 8 people, and it was still fun. I think 4-6 would be the ideal number of players.
Clarity of Rules/Directions
The rules for this game are very clear. You can read the directions once and know exactly how to play with no questions as to how to play, or what the rules are. Our favorite rule: “The person who owns the game is first in the Hot Seat, and play will move to the right.”
We opted to play clockwise, because we are, apparently, incapable of going counter-clockwise! 😉
How to Play the Game
The person who owns the game is in the “Hot Seat”. The person on their left reads a card, then flips the timer over. The person in the Hot Seat has 5 seconds to come up with 3 items that match the description on the card. Examples would be: “Name 3 diseases.” or “Name 3 types of fish.” While those seem like easy questions, the pressure of getting them all in 5 seconds often works against you.
If you are able to get all three items in within 5 seconds, you get to keep the card. If you do not get three answers, it goes to the next person. The person who was just in the Hot Seat reads the card and flips the timer again. Here’s the catch: no one can repeat an answer that’s already been said. It is to everyone’s advantage to get the timer flipped as quickly as possible. This can make it challenging, especially when you get a card such as, “Name 3 hurricanes.” Between 4 people, we came up with Sandy, Katrina, and Hugo. In cases such as this, where the card makes it all the way around the circle and no one got 3 answers, the original person in the Hot Seat gets the point.
The directions say to decide as a group how many rounds you will play. The person with the most cards wins. We usually play up to 5 cards.
The box says it’s for ages 10 to adult. My 8 year old tried to play, and he just didn’t have enough experiences in life to make it very fun for him. Our 11 and 12 year olds struggled some to come up with answers, but the 12 year old came up with enough to have won the game at least once. Age and knowledge of random categories seems to give players an advantage.
The timer makes a funny noise when you flip it over (like those toys that you flip, and it makes a “cow” or other animal noise). The balls (think BB gun pellets) go down the spiral very fast. It’s distracting the first couple times you play, but then again, I think it’s meant to be that way. You get used to it.
There are two sides to each card (one red, one yellow), so you could play dozens of times before ever getting the same card twice. The box of cards is very clearly labeled “Draw” and “Discard.” This is very helpful! You decide as a group if you are going to read the red or yellow side. At first, we thought one side was easier than the other, but after a few games, we decided they are equally as random.
If you are unsure whether someone’s answers are valid, you can decide as a group whether or not you are going to accept their answers, or you can look them up online.
It was mentioned in more than one group of playing it, that this could easily be turned into a drinking game (without the kiddos around, of course). Each time you don’t get your 3 answers in the 5 seconds, take a shot. Since it was mentioned in multiple groups, I figured that was worth mentioning.
Because this is such a family friendly game, it is one we will likely continue to bring along or pull out during family gatherings.