5 Minute Mystery is a puzzle solving game that takes 5 (ish) minutes to play and is part of the 5 Minutes Series. The game uses a timer and players must work as fast as they can solve the mystery. This is done in two parts. First players must spot hidden symbols in a picture and set the decoding device to the right combination. Only then can players draw a tile from a stack and match it to the culprit.
If the clue tile matches the culprit you now know one piece of information about them, such as they are wearing a hat or carrying a newspaper. Otherwise you know they are not and can eliminate all those wearing hats or carrying newspapers. Each player then looks through the stack of culprits they were dealt at the start of the game and eliminates suspects. Then a new image is drawn and players once again must spot the hidden symbols and reveal a clue. Repeat until only one culprit remains and you have your criminal bang to rights.
Full disclaimer, I bought this game knowing we would not do it as a speed game. My younger brother who has cerebral palsy loves doing spot the difference puzzles and I thought this would appeal to him as an activity rather than a speed game.
And I was right, Andrew has loved looking for the hidden clues and working out the whodunnits. So far he isn’t fast enough to use the actual in-game timer but now he’s got his eye in he’s definitely speeding up. That said I can absolutely see that the game would work as a speed game, although I think you would lose some of the more sedate Sherlock Holmes-esque theme when the time pressure is on and cards are being discarded with reckless abandon.
5-Minute Mystery looks beautiful and plays smoothly. While I can’t necessarily recommend it as a speed game, because I haven’t play it that way, I can absolutely recommend it with children and families who enjoy working together, spotting hidden clues and solving a mystery. This will scratch that Guess Who itch but it’ll look gorgeous while doing so and because it’s a cooperative game, everyone gets to win together.
On the 4th Day of Christmas, Santa gave to me, 4 correct clues!