My group absolutely loves real-time games, so I knew I was eventually going to do a FUSE review. It had been compared to Escape: The Curse of the Temple, which happens to be one of our top family board games, so we went into it with pretty high hopes. Let’s see if it lived up to the hype…
What is FUSE?
FUSE is a real-time cooperative game in which you are trying to defuse a certain amount of bombs before they blow up your ship. You and your fellow teammates only have 10 minutes to defuse all of the bombs, so you have to be composed and quick as you work through each one.
The FUSE game rules are quite simple to understand, so it can be taught in 15 minutes or less in most cases.
You will be looking at just three things during the entire game: the bomb cards, the dice, and the Ship’s Computer (timer) app on your mobile device. You will only be looking at the cards and the dice for the most part, but you will check the timer every once in a while.
So, how do you play FUSE? Well, basically you are trying to defuse the bombs by placing your dice on the matching icons on your cards. In the normal game, the cards range in difficulty from 1-4, with 1 being the easiest. Sometimes the cards will require you to simply match a color, while some of the most difficult cards will have you stack specific dice on top of each other.
When it’s your turn, you will draw dice equal to the number of players in the game. Each player can take one die to help them solve one of the two bomb cards in front of them. This is where cooperation comes into play. You have to decide who needs which dice so you can move through the cards quickly.
If you are able to get through all of the cards before the time runs out, you win! If you don’t… well, then you don’t win. The FUSE app allows you to save all of your scores, so you and your team can try to beat your high scores on each difficulty level.
Check out FUSE at Amazon
- No alpha players allowed! It is pretty much impossible for someone to take over and tell everyone what to do in this game. Those who avoid cooperative games because of alpha gamers will probably love FUSE.
- Another great thing about FUSE is that you will always know how long it will last. No matter what you do, you can be sure that the countdown will end after 10 minutes. Most gamers will appreciate the quick play time since it will allow them to plan out any other games they want to play on board game night.
- The FUSE app definitely gives the game some atmosphere, so most people will be able to get into the theme of this game. Sure, you will mostly be thinking about dice and cards, but it’s hard not to feel like you are frantically defusing bombs.
- FUSE can be exhausting. It’s only a 10 minute game, but you are frantically moving (and sometimes balancing) dice for that entire 10 minutes. You won’t be too drained after the first game, but just wait until you’ve gone through your third and fourth games. Most people will be okay with it being a bit tiring, but, understandably, some don’t want that from their board games.
I’m personally not a huge fan of real-time games, but I share my group’s opinion that FUSE is a solid cooperative game. It’s not a great game, but it is one that most people would be happy to own since it is an inexpensive filler and it requires a lot of teamwork to beat. It’s also quite challenging, so it will take a long time to master.
Is FUSE as good as Escape? I think it’s slightly better, but I’m pretty much the only one in my group who feels that way. Both are good games, but the bomb-defusing theme just works better for me.
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Thanks for taking the time to read our FUSE review!