5 Minute Dungeon is a cooperative card game for 2 to 6 players designed by Conner Reid and published by Wiggles 3D. Each player chooses a hero with their own deck to delve through a dungeon filled with monsters, obstacles, and a mini-boss or two. With its fast pace and simple rules, it is easy to fall into a “just one more” mentality when playing. Fair warning!
Setup is quick, with each player choosing a hero mat, and grabbing the corresponding deck. Choose a boss mat to face off against, and shuffle the appropriate amount of doors and challenge cards together to create the dungeon. Set a timer for five minutes and start it as soon as you reveal the first card in the dungeon!
Game play consists of playing resource cards to match the symbols on the dungeon cards and drawing back up to your maximum hand size. The twist being there are no turns. Anyone can play their cards whenever they wish, and it is up to you to draw back up quickly to help with the next threat. I can’t help but wonder what it is like to watch this game played from the outside, as hands are frantically discarded to activate abilities, passed to other players, or tossed into the dungeon.
When we first played, we unknowingly assumed that it would be a nice game to wind down the night with. Play one or two rounds and head home, woo! After we had lost the first round, with the boss not even in sight, we quickly strategized. Who would be the designated dungeon card flipper? What resource card do you have more of? Anyone have a way of pausing the timer? Over an hour later we were all out of breath and grinning as we had defeated the final boss with only six seconds to spare. It also received the highest praise as one player looked to another and said “We need to buy this to play with your family.”
Component quality is good, the play mats sturdy and the cards durable. Even after hours of play and being tossed about, the cards only show minor wear. The box is also laid out to make it easier to set up quickly, with individual spaces for each separate hero deck and dungeon cards.
5 Minute Dungeon was a surprise hit for me. While I knew I would enjoy playing it, I didn’t expect the amount of intensity and fun that could be packed into (roughly) five minutes. This is one of the few games that fits multiple roles in my mind. Whether you are looking for a good warm-up/wind-down game, or to take an hour or two boss rushing, 5 Minute Dungeon can cater to both.
- Gameplay: 5 Stars
- Quality: 4 Stars
- Price: 5 Stars
- Value: 5 Stars
- Overall: 4.75 Stars