Sometimes (read: more often than I'd like to admit), I am a bit of a snob. This is true for food, books, and sometimes even games. Why would I ever want to play a real-time cooperative game about defusing bombs? I don't care that it only takes 10 minutes to play. I have all these better games I can spend my time playing. More often than not, I am proven wrong in my snobbery, and this is one of those times. FUSE is a cooperative game for 1 to 5 players, ages 10+. It takes only ten minutes to play and retails for $30.
1. Separate the Bomb cards from the Fuse cards. (Note: Remove the five difficult Bomb cards from the deck for a simpler game.)
2. Shuffle the Bomb cards, and deal two to each player (four in a solo game). Have the players, place their Bomb cards face-up in front of them. (Note: If you get a 3, 4, or 6 point card first, then your second card has to be a 1 or 2 point card.)
3. Deal a number of Bomb cards face-down into a deck depending on number of players and difficulty level you wish to play. (Example: 4 players on Standard Level would have a deck of 22.) Place the remaining cards back in the box.
4. From this deck you just formed, deal five Bomb cards face-up in the center on the table.
5. Shuffle six Fuse cards into the remaining Bomb cards, and place the deck next to the line of Bomb cards you just formed.
6. Place all 25 dice into the bag. Hand the bag to a player, and you're ready!
1. Start the timer for ten minutes.
2. Draw dice from the bag equal to the number of players (Exceptions: four dice in a 2-player game and three dice in a solo game), and roll the dice.
3. Each player must take one die, communicating with the other players on how to best determine who gets what die.
4. Use the die you took and match it to an icon on one of your Bomb cards. Any player that cannot play a die, most roll it. Each player (if possible) must then remove one die of matching number or color from one of their Bomb cards and put it back in the bag.
5. Once you complete a Bomb card, you remove the dice from it, and put them back in the bag. You then draw a Bomb card from the center of the table and replace the Bomb card with a new card from the deck. If you draw a Fuse card, each player (if possible) must return one die from their Bomb cards matching the color or number on the Fuse card.
6. Repeat these steps until time expires (you lose) or the last card is taken from the center of the table. (Note: Any cards in front of you do not need to be cleared. These were thankfully duds!)
FUSE is an intense 10 minute game that leaves your heart pumping and pulse racing when it is all said and done. However, after you have recovered from the bitter taste of defeat or reveled in your close win, you'll want to immediately play again. I certainly didn't go into this game thinking that a deck of cards and a bag of dice would have much theme to it, but when that clock is ticking down, and you have to return some unsuccessful dice to the bag, you really feel like the bombs are going to detonate, and your spaceship is going to explode! What really makes this game even better is the free app that not only is a timer, but also adds a bit of snark. I learned a valuable lesson about judging a game without playing it, and I can't wait for the sequel Flatline!
This game was provided to me for free by Renegade Game Studios in exchange for an honest review.