This week we’re going to take a look at Gimme 5, a new game on Kickstarter by Pieter Neethling. How will we feel when we’re done playing? Read below to find out. Will you gimme a high 5, or a low 5?
Gimme 5 is a trivia party game that is designed to scale up to an arbitrarily large number of people. Seriously – The game is advertised to support 50 players.
In Gimme 5, teams are seeking to stump each other by challenging one another to provide five examples of a certain subject, or five items from a list. This is done by holding up a card with a definition on the back, shown to the team they’ve challenged. The front of the card has a list of items that correspond to the definition. The team challenged has sixty seconds to come up with its list of five. This is called a Face-Off.
Gimme 5 is designed to be structured like a bracket, so teams will go against each other in successive rounds. Think of the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, and Championship of NCAA March Madness College Basketball.
In order to begin the game, a “perfect number” needs to be attained (that is, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc). This is achieved through a “wild card” round, which is essentially just Face-Offs with a small set of players. For example, if there are 14 players, the highest “perfect number” is 8. So, 12 of the people pair off to play in a “wild card” round against each other, yielding six teams of two. These teams plus the two left over people (as their own individual teams for the first round) result in eight teams for the initial bracket.
This reveals one of the more unique features of Gimme 5. In Gimme 5, the winning team grafts in the players of the losing team. This provides a nice group dynamic and assures people aren’t spending most of the time watching the challenges from the sideline. Unfortunately, this also leads to a bit of a paradox that dampened our enjoyment of the game. More on that in our impressions.
During a Face Off, if the first team answering lists five items, their team automatically wins the Face Off. If they cannot list five items, the other team tries to list items and wins on a tie or better.
Winning Gimme 5 is pretty straightforward. When there are only two teams left, the two teams are timed on how long it takes to name five items off the other team’s card. Whichever team takes less time to list five items gets a point. The first team to three points wins! Combined with the assimilation mechanic, this means around half the people playing Gimme 5 will be winners. It’s delightfully apropos in our participation society.
Gimme 5 has some great conceptual fun and just a little bit of strategy. The strategy comes in when you pick which of the cards in your hand you will challenge your opponent to create a list from, and that’s it. It certainly qualifies as a casual game, but as mentioned before, the assimilation mechanic ends up creating a bit of a gameplay paradox as the teams get large.
In our first play, we only had five players. Despite this, we had no problem giving five examples of all of the cards. To add to this, some cards featured lists that were impossibly incomplete. For example, “Five Queen Songs” is a category on one card. When our players named songs that weren’t on the list, we had to fact check this with a secondary source, which ruined gameplay immersion.
At that point, we actually stopped and looked at each other and wondered what the point of the cards really was. Yes, Gimme 5 put a little bit of structure around a game designed to scale dramatically for size, and yes, Gimme 5 sat us down at the table to play, but many of these lists aren’t limited to the number if items you can fit on a card.
Not only that, but we aren’t geniuses. We’re not dumb, but there were two people to a team and we were listing items with fairly little difficulty.
We like Gimme 5, but it isn’t something we thought was earth-shattering, and not something we feel we must get out to the store and buy the second it comes out. However, if you regularly entertain large parties of people and are looking for games that can bring everyone together, Gimme 5 might just fill that niche for you.
You can find Gimme 5 on Kickstarter until next week. Take a look!
If you’d like to learn more about how to play Gimme 5, you can check out a how to play video here.
The Family Gamers were provided a preview copy of Gimme 5 for this review.
Time: 30 minutes