FUSE (2015) Review
Intruders have been detected. Alert! The space base has been trapped. Hurry up. No less than twenty bombs were detected. The whole base is being evacuated but time is running out. The location of the explosives is known. But we do not have enough people to deal with it. Hurry up. Your team must do the impossible. Tick Tock, Tick Tock. Only you can save the station. Quickly. Show cold blood and professionalism. The timer goes wild. Together you have to defuse all the bombs to prevail.
As you have probably understood, Fuse propels you into the shoes of a specialist group. Their mission? Defuse all the bombs that have been laid. Why so much hatred? How were the bombs installed? Is it because of the translation of the original title? Nobody knows it. The game does not try to answer this.
Fuse is a game of Kane Klenko, released by Renegade Game Studios in 2015. This is an upbeat ambience game for one to five players.
Fuse is a cooperative game. You must act together to be the best performer and achieve the most goals in the time allotted. Because yes, it is a game requiring a timer. You can use the one linked to the application, as a free download, or take any timer. The advantage of the application is that it accompanies the game with ambient noises.
Once the set-up is completed, you will benefit from a ten minute counter, to solve as many objectives as possible. The objectives are represented by the bomb cards. Each player starts with two cards in front of themselves. Once one of these bombs are defused, they immediately replaced it with another available.
You have a big bag of dice in the effigy of the game. One player will draw as many dice as players. Then, throw them (not too far... joke!). Each player must then take one, and only one, available die. Being careful to communicate well. Indeed, if a die can not be selected, it is removed and all players must discard a die of the same color or the same number. This can hurt a lot. It is very important to communicate well between all players but in a concise and precise way. Remember that timer is running out and there are no "pause" buttons while you play. The selected die is placed on the bomb cards that players have in front of them.
The bomb cards represent combinations of dice to realize to be able to deactivate them. Each combination is based on different things. The dice are normal six dice except that there are five different colors. The combinations to be made will play on it. Sometimes you will have to make sequels, other times superimposing them in a certain order or in pyramid fashion, not to mention recovering precise numbers or even numbers and specific colors ... There is a good variety of possibilities . Each bomb has its own difficulty to solve. Difficulties ranging from 1 to 6 (the latter being more rare and added to increase the difficulty of the game). When choosing your bombs to solve, be careful not to get stuck with two cards too hard to do at once.
To make your bomb defusal day job more complex, you will also come across cards Fuse. These cards are not bombs but represent the difficulties of progression. Immediately revealed, immediately activated. These cards have a color or a number. Once drawn, because they are well concealed within the bomb pile, the players must discard immediately what is indicated on the map, if they are able to do it.
Once a bomb is deactivated, you must put the card aside, discard the dice back in the bag and retrieve one of the five visible bombs, then repurpose a new card and eventually apply the revealed fuse cards. All this, of course, without stopping the clock. I can guarantee you that ten minutes is going to go very fast …
Fuse is a frantic game. Time is against you and you will soon feel it’s pressure. It's a very special but effective ambient game.
The graphics of the game are from Luis Francisco, Marc Mejia, Chris Ostrowski. The cover is beautiful. The cards are very simple or even have a mathematical aspect. Far from disturbing, it allows to better visualize the icons and to quickly identify what needs to be done.
Speed is at the heart of the system. Everything is done so that players lose time. You must be attentive at every moment. Think about where to place your dice, draw the right number, discard and recover a bomb in the process ... Little by little, you will have to find the right way to communicate while gaining the most time possible. No more long sentences, players find themselves screaming colors or numbers to be heard. Players will rage as time goes on and they must discard valuable dice. Or that a sabotage card appears so close to the goal ...
There is clearly a lot of luck in the game. This data is totally part of the mechanism and participates in frustration and rising tension. The game time is quite short, so it is very easy to get back on the adventure and find yourself chaining games to improve. Especially when the game is very hard. Different game modes exist and I can only advise you to start with the beginner level to understand how it works while improving your reflexes.
You could finally blame everyone a little bit as some will play in their corner. Even though it is completely cooperative, the game can sometimes push the players under the pressure of the timer to jump on the dice that interest them without necessarily worrying about the needs of their partners. You’ll advise players to get out of your corner and game together. Sometimes it works. But most of the time, you’ll end up with unusable dice, which means you’ll have to reroll them and lose things. Very quickly, the players realize that playing like this, pushes the victory away, more and more.
The difficulty of the game is not to be taken lightly. This is due in particular to the need to save time which leads from the inaccuracy of choice, to the strong presence of chance, to sometimes twisted combinations. Yes, the game is very hard. This can sometimes demotivate some players. On the other hand, that's what makes it so charming. A game of this category, without difficulty then brings no more flavor. Here, we will have to do our best to cooperate and adapt. The more you play, more the victory will reward you.
Fuse is very simple in its learning. In a few minutes, all players are ready to try the adventure. But behind its ease of access, the game is smart and extremely addictive. Stress is ubiquitous. It is not uncommon for players to start hurrying each other to go even quicker with manipulation with the speed of actions, with the risk of logical reasoning disappearing.
Fuse is clearly a very nice surprise. In the genre, it competes easily with other cooperative games. I can only advise you to throw body and soul into this fun experience that is really worth it. Fast, with a huge replayability, simple, frenetic, full-bodied, Fuse is a must for those into atmosphere games. Easy to get out, quick to install, short to play, it’s is waiting for you.
Technical Score 7/10
Many dice, sober cards (with a specific format), everything is functional without being exceptional. Everything works and the icons are easily readable and understood.
My BGG Score 8/10
(Very good game. Always want to play and would suggest it)
Simple to explain, hard to win. The game is frantic and very fun. It offers good moments of pressure allied to a need to communicate well. An excellent game of atmosphere, sadly with little exposure.
Combined Score 7,5/10
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