FUSE is a co-operative dice-rolling game where players work together to defuse a bunch of bombs on a ship – against the clock!
The game takes place over ten minutes – you can use a phone timer or download the Renegade Games app, which has a bespoke timer. As the clock ticks down the players strive to defuse a variety of bombs before time runs out. The bombs come in the form of cards, and they are defused using dice. Players start with two bomb cards in front of them and four more in a ‘supply’. How many bomb cards vary depending on the amount of players and the level of stress you want to experience!
As soon as the timer starts, a player takes dice (how many depends on how many players) from the bag and rolls them. Players then need to discuss – very quickly – how to assign the dice. They have to be shared equally, but obviously they also have to do the job of defusing the bombs. How the bombs are defused varies – one bomb may want three dice of the same number, another every die the same colour. Others still want dice to be stacked, or to form a sum. So it’s not just about grabbing what you can for your own bomb – you need to find a way to use all of the dice productively. If a die ends up with nowhere to go, it gets rolled again and every player must lose either a die of the matching number or matching colour from their active bombs. Sometimes nothing matches, which is great. Other times this can backfire in a big way. As soon as all dice are assigned (or removed) the next player rolls a new set of dice.
As soon as a bomb is defused it’s put aside and the player who defused it takes a new bomb from the supply.
Shuffled into the bombs are FUSE cards – when these pop up they potentially undo your fine work by removing a die of a certain number or colour from your active bombs. Your aim is to empty the draw deck and the supply before ten minutes runs out – scoring is as follows: winning the game: 10 points, bombs defused X points (they vary from 1-6 depending on difficulty), FUSE cards defused are worth 2 points each.
Bomb-disposal experts brows may furrow at the concept of dice preventing explosions, but the puzzle-like element combined with the ever-increasing time pressure makes for a great game – if you enjoy a bit of high-tempo anxiety. Maybe not for those who prefer the (comparatively) laid-back game experience of a Carcassonne, or a talky Fauna.
Nothing from the other players (if you fight over dice, you're wasting valuable time!) - plenty from the game itself. Stress levels can be high!
None. Everyone is playing, all the time.
There's a bit of brain-burning, yeah. Players may both want the same die, but perhaps there's a way around this if you're clever. And calm. And fast.
It only takes ten minutes, and both Bomb cards and FUSE cards are shuffled. You can try different levels of difficulty too, depending on how ambitious you are.