5 Second Rule – Just Spit It Out! is a fun, simple board-game designed for families and friends, which prides itself on a basic concept and minimal setup. This edition is the new, specifically designed South African version, and has plenty of local twists added to the core gameplay loop.
This game ultimately rises or falls on the merits of how interesting the people are that you’re playing with, as it does require a basic amount of creative thinking. The general concept is this – on your turn, you will draw a card and flip a timer. You have 5 seconds to answer the question on this card, which is always some variation of “Name 3…” with the rest being names, places, or things. For example, in the South African version of 5 Second Rule, it will have questions like “Name 3 South African TV Stars” or “Name 3 Tourist Attractions in Cape Town.” The more generic questions will also be there, asking things like “Name 3 foods that start with a B.”
It sounds simple enough, but 5 seconds of pressure can instantly drive meaningful thoughts straight out of your mind. You also need to obey the honour system: if you give names of celebrities for examples, you have to be willing to let the group decide if your answer is fair or not. If you fail to answer your card, you pass it to the next person in the circle, and they can try and answer that same answer, but may not use any of your previous answers in their three-noun answer.
The previous editions of 5 Second Rule were just based around point scoring, but this new version comes with a board and variety cards that mix things up. Now you are trying to get to the end of the board, 12 spaces later, and players can use two kinds of variety cards: one that says “Switch” and one that says “Pass it On.” These allow you to change for a new, better card, or give a difficult card to another player instead, in hopes of tactically slowing them down. It does add a new way to play, but there is nothing stopping you from just playing the old way, with just the question cards and personal scoring.
There are 200+ question cards, which come in two packs, meaning that if one pack of cards gets destroyed or mostly used up, you can free the second pack from the sealed plastic which they remain in. This is a nice touch for a game that is useless without the cards, and which indeed do have slightly small cards that could be lost or damaged. The character tokens are basic plastic, but the board is solid enough, and the 5-second timer is charming, even just to watch, as it makes that sci-fi “woosh” sound, followed by 5 little balls spinning down in a spiral. You’ll know exactly what sound I mean when you hear it.
I’ve played 5 Second Rule both with small children and with slightly inebriated adults, and it’s been fun both times. It has enough space that you can make your own rules or adjust the existing rules, and the local touch in design makes it far more appealing right off the bat. There’s really not much else to say, as its more about the social experience than anything else, but it does do that job quite well.
5 Second Rule
5 Second Rule is a fun short board game that can feel at times more like a social experience than anything else, but it does do that job quite well.
- Can be too simplistic for some