The board game that makes our entire family put down their phones every Sunday night.

Naming three breeds of dog should be easy… but under the pressure of five seconds twisting down, with other players staring at you, waiting for you to get flustered and forget every breed of dog ever?

It’s a battle.

Five Second Rule is the family board game my family has sat down to play every Sunday night for the past month. And we usually hate board games. With a passion.

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We’re a family of five. Mum, Dad, myself (19), my sister (11) and my brother (8).

Monopoly’s too hard. Scrabble’s no fun. And a game of Risk lasts eleven moon cycles.

But Five Second Rule is hilarious. It’s the only thing that manages to get the entire family off their phones. And it’s over within 45 minutes.

Image via Ebay.

Whoever's turn it is tries to answer a question before the five-second timer expires. The questions are read (by any player, except the person trying to answer) from one side of a double-sided question card.

Some questions are simple and subjective, for example 'Name three things you do in the morning'.

Others are far harder, for example, 'Name three Beatles songs', or 'Name three blonde British actresses'.

The person who read the question flips the stick as soon as they've asked it, and the player whose turn it is has to answer before the metal balls roll from the top of the stick to the base (five seconds).


Get it right? Move forward a space. Get it wrong? Stay where you are. First person to the end of the board wins.

It's pretty low-tech.

But it's fast-paced; tonnes of fun; and puts everyone in the entire family, regardless of age, on a level playing field. The five second time limit makes the seemingly easy questions really difficult to answer. 

Case in point, when we played last Sunday: I failed miserable to 'Name three types of cheese', even though I worked as a Chef for six months. My eight year old brother then managed to easily 'List three things you cook on a barbecue'. He took the lead.

It costs about $15. It might just be the best family purchase you make this year.

You can buy Five Second Rule here.

Do you have a go-to board game? Let us know in the comments below.