5-Minute Marvel Review

Released 2018
Designer Connor Reid
Publisher Spin Master Ltd (Website)
Players 2-5
Playing Time 5 minutes per villain boss
Category Cooperative
Hand Management
Unique player powers
BoardGameGeek View on BGG

Can you take down Thanos?

I have mentioned 5-Minute Marvel being played by my group once or twice, and I thought I would give it a full review.

It’s also a retheme of 5-Minute Dungeon, so the review can almost be for both games. I am only going to be talking about the Marvel version though, as 5-Minute Dungeon does have a couple of small differences and expansions.

So what is it?

5-Minute Marvel is a cooperative deck builder game where you choose different heroes to defeat various villains. There is no deep backstory or prior knowledge required, making this an incredibly accessible game.

A mix of heroes included. Some well known, some not so much. All fun 🙂

What do you do?

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the promised five minutes. Yes, you can play a round in five minutes. To play the gauntlet of enemies means fighting six bosses, which takes longer with resets in between.

Setup is pretty quick, and you can have most of the game explained during setup, but there is a disconnect between playtime and the title.

The basics of gameplay are straightforward. Each player chooses a hero, and a villain boss with henchmen is set up at the top of the table. Each ‘bad guy’ has several symbols on it, and players throw down cards that match the symbols to beat it.

Like many cooperative games, you need to be playing with the right group to get the full benefit of the game. Play with people that only shout at others, and no one wants to play. On the flip side, people that don’t speak up to offer advice/cards/etc., and you aren’t playing anything.

The symbols you need to match. Play as many matching symbols as on the enemy, and repeat

The combination of players for 5-Minute Marvel has a lot more tolerance than other cooperative games though. A lot of people will probably be quite happy after the first five minutes – even if you do have to all but force them to play!

The timer is sassing you the whole time.

Using apps with board games can be divisive. I enjoy the integration when done well, like the Mansions of Madness or Chronicles of Crime type implementations. Just as a clock though, and I tend only to set the countdown on my phone.

However, like Klein Klenko’s fuse, the timer in this game gives you lip while you play. The timer is J.A.R.V.I.S., and while Paul Bettany isn’t the voice, the voice acting is fine. Different, but fine. The lack of the MCUs distinct J.A.R.V.I.S./Vision can cause you to stop for a second and lose thought!

The free app is available on iOS and Android and doesn’t take long to download.

It’s not for a whole night game though

Not by a longshot, unless you are playing for a half-hour only. 5-Minute Marvel comes into its own as a filler game, to be played as an opener or closer. Now a few more people in my group know it, I am even tempted to get them to play it as I set up a bigger game. You can get it done that quickly!

5-Minute Marvel is a great diversion, but nothing more really. While you get a good range of heroes (10 to be precise), the same six villains and couple of enemy types can get repetitive quickly. Even a gauntlet run may not be in your best interest after a couple of tries.

The enemies all look great, but when all you concentrate on is the little row of symbols that is lost during gameplay

Until next time,


Last Week’s Gaming – 26th August, 2019

It was a Marvel we cracked Codenames in 5 Minutes

Last week, I hosted a Marvel themed game night. We were going to finish with Marvel Legendary Phase One, but we were having so much fun with the other two games that didn’t happen. Maybe next time!

This week I am in NZ, but I have bought a couple of games to play as well as my Switch 🙂 But in the meantime, onto what I played last week!

Codenames was an instant party hit when it came out a couple of years ago. It was such a hit I thought I had already done the review for Codenames and Codenames: Pictures, but I can’t see them on the site. I will have to fix that over the next few weeks!

But this week, we played one of the USAOpoly (Now the OP) licensed version – Marvel. One side has words, the other pictures, so you get a bit of both. You need some pretty in-depth Marvel knowledge for a lot of the characters though. I consider myself reasonably well-read when it comes to Marvel, and even I had trouble with some of them!

That didn’t stop us playing a few games and having a great time.

Our first game setup. Even with MCU fans at the table, there was a lot of Googling on who was who

Another retheme of a popular game, 5-Minute Marvel is a retheme of 5-Minute Dungeon. If you know how to play one, you know how to play the other.

The timekeeper app is J.A.R.V.I.S., complete with sassy comments. That was a nice touch that adds a bit of humour to the mix.

If you do a boss gauntlet, this takes closer to 35 minutes as you face each of the six bosses. Only one other player had played before, and everyone had an instant “Play again!” attitude to the game that makes this a favourite for my game nights.

Real time hand management at it's most hectic. But it's so easy to learn and play!

Crazy Strike Bowling Ex (Switch)

Crazy Strike was a last-second purchase I bought for something different on the plane. I have enjoyed a couple of bowling games, and I had heard of it before. So I thought, why not?

Initial impressions – I don’t think I should have bought it. As a single-player game with controllers, it’s a mobile distraction type game at best. I will play with motion controls and with some others though before I review it formally.

Biggest gripe – hidden tutorial and unclear instructions on how to play. See how I go with a bit more hands-on time.

Cutesy bowling game, but I think I prefer Wii Sports Bowling - at least for now

Tetris 99 (Switch)

Well, you knew this one was coming up. The sixth event was on last weekend, and you only need to score 100 points to win a theme.

The theme is pretty, but I think I prefer the Splatoon theme to date. It was fun playing the event though – I always enjoy playing Tetris 99.

When I have a head full of work, Tetris forces you to clear your mind in an almost meditation-like way. And the event was just another great excuse to jump on and play again 🙂

My highest win, but I have more than 100 points. The theme is mine!

Final Fantasy X (Switch)

So my plan was to power through the story and then start playing the new Fire Emblem. Then I hit the Calm Lands.

I was doing well, then realised I spent 2-3 hours grinding levels and playing the Chocobo race and collecting monsters. Oops.

So, new plan. I have one more Al Bhed primer to collect, and then I might pick it up later for a full completionist run. That is something straightforward to do with Final Fantasy X. It’s mostly linear at the start, so knowing where to go months later isn’t a real issue. Fire Emblem here I come!

Only one primer left to find!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,


Last Week’s Gaming – December 17th, 2018

20181217 Cryptid

Do you have 5 Minutes to Geek Out over the Deep Sea? Or use Lemonade for Cryptid bait?  Let’s Go ask our Muse!

Wow.  I can’t believe there is only about a week until Christmas.  So much is being thrown around in last minute preparation in every part of my life, but I managed to get a lot more gaming in than I thought!

5 Minute Marvel

Another Alpal special this week, but the timing was excellent.  Last week I received my copy of 5 Minute Dungeon and the Curses! Foiled again expansion, so this retheme was a great way to warm up!

The idea is pretty simple overall – each player is a hero and has a pile of cards with icons on them.  You have 5 minutes to work your way through a pile of enemy cards by matching the symbols on your cards with the symbols on the bad guy.

20181217 5 Minute Marvel
It looks a mess, becuase it is. This is not a game to play neatly, but quickly!

It plays real time and time is tight, so cards go flying and mistakes are made, but that is always part of the fun!  First game, made it to the final boss Thanos but ran out of time.  Definitely will be compared to the base role play theme!


An early Christmas present was unwrapped at games night, allowing a game I wouldn’t have looked at twice to be enjoyed by all!

Muse is like a guided game of charades, but even that isn’t really correct.  One team draws six cards with fantastical art on them, and 2 cards with ways the other team’s Muse can give a hint.

Hints can be sounds, poses, shapes, anything really – but most of the cards we saw had a non-fictional stipulation, much to Alpal’s horror :p

The first team to get 5 clues correct wins, but it’s one of those great party games where you can just play as long as you are all having fun.  If you see a copy and enjoy party games, grab a copy – you will enjoy it!

20181017 Muse
Pick the right card. It doesn't sound hard, but it led to a whole lot of fun!

Geek Out

I enjoy a good trivia night, but there are a lot of topics I am at a bit of a disadvantage in.  Pop Culture, Music past the 60’s, Most names – these are all things my brain has trouble holding on to.

This is a situation a lot of people find themselves in and can be why some people do not like trivia.  There are also people that are the other way – a topic or genre is so ‘easy’ for them that trivia isn’t challenging for them.

Geek Out bridges this gap by having not only having a huge range of topics but adding a bidding mechanic where you have to answer questions with multiple answers.  Examples are in the photo, but if you want a surprisingly fun trivia game Geek Out is highly recommended.

20181217 Geek out
It's a trivia game, but one that allows a suprising amount of flexibility and incclusivity

Deep Sea Adventure

Oh, Oink Games, you subtle and many-layered publisher of greatness.

You have heard me talk about Kobayakawa and A Fake Artist Goes to New York.  Deep Sea Adventures is one of their earlier efforts, and one that is incredibly deep – no puns intended.

Players are competing to dive for the richest treasure haul, but thematically you have had to work together to pool your resources and hire a single sub.

20181217 Deep Sea Adventure
I hear a lot of people call Deep Sea Adventure a push your luck game, but that's only a small part of it.

Now many have described Deep Sea Adventure as Push Your Luck, but this is only a small part of the game.  The best description is Competitive Coop, with a potential traitor mechanic.  Everyone must work together to a point, or everyone will fail.

Not for everyone, but expect a review in the near future.


The search for Cryptids – animal or creatures that are unsubstantiated – has kept public attention for a long time.  Creatures such as the Yeti, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster – these are all names people know.

Cryptid takes the idea of searching for such creatures and makes it a deduction game.  Each player has one certain clue such as ‘Within 2 tiles of water’ and the first player to locate the creature wins.

Apart from the deduction aspect, an intriguing aspect is the ‘honest lying’ of the game.  When answering other players with your information, you must always be truthful – but you can ask questions you know are ‘wrong’ to identify other players clues and locate the creature yourself.

20181217 Cryptid
Cryptid looks complicated, but it's a very simple and straightforward game. That doesn't make it less challenging though.

That’s Not Lemonade

Originally a game called ‘You Mad Bro?’, Tuesday Knight Games has taken Matt Fantastic’s game and released a quick, fun and quirky push your luck game.

Similar in mechanics to Blackjack, instead of reaching 21 you are trying to make the best lemonade possible.  The theory is pretty simple – have the most lemons in your drink, you will have the best lemonade!

But this is a competition, so someone may sneak something in That’s Not Lemonade!  Quick to play and learn, expect to see more on this game freshly delivered from Kickstarter soon!

20181217 That's Not Lemonade
That's Not Lemonade is simple, yet addictive. And the longer you play, the riskier it gets.

Pokemon Let’s Go

Another round of Pokemon Let’s Go was played this week.  Not too much progress overall, but I am getting there!

This week I took on Team Rocket and rescued a Cubone, allowing me to get the scope I need for Pokemon Tower.

I also think I am getting close to unlocking Pokemon Go and Pokemon Let’s Go integration, as some people have started referring to Go Park in the game.

I don’t know how much I will get in this week, but it’s still a fun pick up and put down game.  And I am still walking around with my Poke Ball Plus!

20181217 Pokemon Lets Go
Giovanni was taken down for the first time. Pokemon Tower Next!

What about you?  What have you been up to?  Have you had time to play, or are you flat out in the Holiday lead up as well?  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,