Match 5 – Find Links, Create Connections!

Match 5 game

What’s edible and orange?
What’s in a kitchen that’s also an outdoor activity?

Find the links between these concepts and create connections in Match 5, a word game designed by Carl Brière and illustrated by SillyJellie. Luma Imports brought this Synapses Games entry to the USA.

How To Play

Make sure every player has a scoresheet and a pencil, and choose a set of dice (one of each color). Find the corresponding Word Tile for each die.

Roll the dice and place each one into its matching slot. Then flip the 3 minute timer.

A sand timer sits on a paper in the foreground, less than half full. In the background, colorful dice are slotted into boards.
Hurry up and write!

All players race to come up with words or short phrases that connect the ideas on each pair of dice. (What links “water” and “carnivorous/meat”? Maybe a carnivore that lives in the water – like a SHARK.) Try to come up with something for all ten possible combinations before time runs out.

Now it’s time for scoring! Read out what you wrote on each line. Do the other players agree your answer makes sense? If so, you earn a point.

But wait! Someone else got the same answer you did! Now, all players who matched get a bonus point for this answer.

Continue scoring each of the ten possible dice combinations.

Then roll the dice again and do a second round. After scoring the second time, the game is over. Who made the best matches?

Match 5 scoresheets. The first shows: underwear, candy, male robot, costume, COVID-19, flying carpet, the sun.
The second shows: Dress watch, *garbled* candy, fat people, costumes, surgery, cauldron, Aztecs, flaming sword, sun, New York.
Our players here made at least a few matches…


The tag line for Match 5 is “find links, create connections!” When you really get into the game, you’ll find that you’re making connections in two ways; not just between the concepts on the dice, but between people at the table, too.

Of course, the point structure encourages matching your answer to at least one other player, but it goes beyond that; you’ll also want to explain how you cleverly mated unrelated concepts. (I got to tell my kids the story of Dr. Doolittle when combining “Tales and Legends” with “Zoo”.)

Match 5 reminded us of a combination of Medium and Scattergories, but with the opposite reaction when matching opponents.


At first glance, Match 5 seems to offer pretty limited options; good for a few plays before it feels repetitive. Each die only has six sides, after all. But the designers have come up with two ways to expand our choices.

First, there are two dice in each color, and each die has its own unique Word Tile.

In addition, the Word Tiles are double-sided, with different options on each side.

Taken all together, each color offers twenty-four different possibilities. This means each two-color pair of dice has over five hundred possible combinations! You can keep challenging your brain and your friends for hundreds of games.

Match 5 word tiles:
woman, celebrity, gift, universe, wizard, olympics, song, symbol/emblem, app, tales and legends, outdoor activity, location, space, wood, slides, zoo, book... vacation, camping, black, orange, fruit.
So many combinations!

Family Play

Match 5 has been a great game to play with my older children. But with only a few minutes to think and write, it’s not well suited to younger kids who are still struggling with the mechanics of writing.

Younger children also might not be familiar with a few of the words used for different concepts, but most should be easy to explain.

However, it’s a great game to play with grandparents or any older family. They might surprise you with the connections they make.


With its emphasis on unusual connections, Match 5 is a great icebreaker game. I can play it with relative strangers and find out where we have commonalities.

But even more valuable than that is the insight I get from my kids when we play Match 5 together. They come up with some of the craziest connections.

I highly recommend it to make connections with your family.

Find Match 5 on Amazon, or ask for it at your friendly local game store.

The Family Gamers received a copy of Match 5 from Luma Imports for this review.

This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

Match 5
  • 7/10
    Art - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Mechanics - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Family Fun - 10/10


Age Range: 10+

Number of Players: 2-8 (more if everyone can see the dice)

Playtime: 20 minutes