Theme and What is it?
There’s been a jail break and the chase is on. In this two-player real time game players match wits and speed against one another to see who comes out on top. One of you is the escapee and one the long arm of the law. Can the escapee find the necessary supplies and get to the safe house before the investigator can find enough eye witnesses and follow the trail?
5 Minute Chase relies on two basic mechanics, tile laying and pattern matching. This is all coated in a real time speed game. Both players have to deal with different problems. The escapee has to place tiles making sure to match streets, never pass a police barricade without trees nearby, and never doubling back on itself. They do this while at the same time making sure they place tiles with money, a map, and lock picks so that they can get to the safe house before they’re caught.
The investigator has to look at each tile for the eye witnesses. Every tile is broken up by corners and in each corner are a number of citizens facing in different directions. The investigator has to figure out which corner has the most witnesses looking in the right direction and place a marker on the board that matches the symbol of the corner those people are in. The biggest trick here is that some of the boards have two sections with matching numbers of eyewitnesses. They have to do this quickly so they can catch up to the escapee.
After the chase is done both players results are checked to see if anyone made a mistake. After end results are found, a winner is awarded a victory token based on what kind of victory they had. You then switch sides and play again. The game continues until one person or team gets a set number of points.
I’m not really fast and so I was a little unsure about how much fun I’d have with the game. The tiles looked a bit basic and weren’t really making me feel excited about this.
Game Build Quality
Everything in the box is really good quality. The tiles are nice and sturdy. Everything is a good size and easy to handle. The tokens are double sided and very clear. Overall the game is nicely built and works well.
The instructions are nice and clear. We had a couple of questions after starting but they were easy to look up and after a couple of rounds we were on our way with no problems
The art in this game isn’t what I’d call pretty. However, it is perfect for this game. The street tiles are well laid out making it easy to distinguish details when you’re just looking at them. However, when you’re in a hurry there gets to be a rather appropriate problem. The roads can get easily mixed up and you can make basic mistakes if you don’t take enough time to check what you’re doing. The eyewitnesses all look enough alike that you can get a couple of them confused and think things like the man with the beard looking south is actually the boy with the baseball cap looking north. Pawel Niziolek did a really good job of creating something both clear and confusing in exactly the way it needed to be for this game.
This is a fast head to head puzzle. It’s also not long. I think 5 minutes is probably a good time for how long a round takes. It’s also very heady and very frantic. You will find yourself groaning when you start checking your route and find that one mistake. The joy of watching it happen to your opponent and the pain of having it happen to you are visceral. More than once I let out the guttural cry that signals how close I had come only to fail.
Age Range & Weight
The box says 8+ and I think that’s shooting a bit young. While I may be wrong and kids will wipe the floors with adults; I’m not certain. There are a lot of thing to try and keep track of while you’re playing and I think younger kids might get tripped up and frustrated. I’d shoot for a bit older, maybe 12 or 14.
As for weight, I don’t think it’s a very heavy game despite everything you need to pay attention to as you play. I don’t think it’s light either. For as short as it is I would have expected a less intense experience. Middle weight casual game is where I think this rolls in at.
As I said in my initial impressions, I’m not very fast. Because of that, this isn’t really a game for me. I had fun playing it and would recommend it to other people. Just for me, it’s a little out of the limit of my reflexes. If I were to find someone in a similar boat to me, I might give this a whirl but I don’t think I would enjoy it as much if I were too far removed from my opponent. I think that may be the thing that hampers this game the most. The players need to be very close in skill to play this and have fun.
That said, this is just my opinion. I can see where there is a lot of fun to have here. As I said, just not for me. I really appreciated that once the turn was over, if I had made a mistake, I could see what that mistake was. They put easy to follow markers on the cards to check your progress and see if you had succeeded or failed. I appreciate the level of detail and work that went into this game. I just wish I could have enjoyed it more.
I do think if you get a chance that you should try it. It’s a good time and even getting absolutely crushed the way I had was still fun.