How to Play 5 Minute Dungeon: Rules and Instructions

If you’ve ever fantasized about defeating dragons and escaping dungeons super fast as if you were a hero with special powers, then 5 Minute Dungeon is the card game for you. 

Quite like King of Tokyo, 5 Minute Dungeon is an adventure card game with its premise in the fantasy world of monsters and dungeons. The key difference here is that according to the 5 Minute Dungeon rules, players don’t compete against each other, but against time.

Excited to learn more? Let’s find out all you need to know to become an action hero in the fun adventure game 5 Minute Dungeon.

What Is The 5 Minute Dungeon Game?

5 Minute Dungeon Card Game Info Image

5 Minute Dungeon is a quick card game that is loved for its pace and the chaos it creates. In this game, players enjoy being heroes and must defeat monsters within 5 minutes using quick thinking and coordination skills. Players also have to be mindful to not waste their resources too quickly and leave enough to beat the last monster.

Number Of Players: 2-5.

Ages: Enjoyable for all ages.

Difficulty: Easy

Length Of Play: 5 mins (for one game).

Main Objective: Use resource cards wisely to defeat monsters and escape dungeons within 5 minutes.

Why We Love It: In two words, 5 Minute Dungeon is chaotic fun. With 5 dungeon bosses to defeat, a tight 5 minutes timeframe and a range of different cards with exciting and varied instructions to follow, there is always a lot happening in this game. 

Playing 5 minute dungeon game

Brief Overview Of The History Of 5 Minute Dungeon

The mystical game of 5 Minute Dungeon is a brainchild of Connor Reid. He published it with Wiggles 3D and Spin Master, and it went on to become one of the most exciting games that can be played within 5 minutes. 

Reid added elements of adventure, fantasy, and a race against time by creating an imaginary world where the players are heroes trapped in dangerous dungeons. The role-play element where players are heroes fighting monsters and their bosses as they try to get out of the dungeon, all within a tough 5 minutes, make this game particularly appealing to children. 

The game has received quite a few award nominations and victories between 2017- 2018. These include the prestigious 2018 Spiel des Jahres Recommended and a runner up award in the 2017 Fairplay À la carte.

What You’ll Need to Play 5 Minute Dungeon

To get started, you will need the complete game kit of 5 Minute Dungeon. It typically consists of 5 different components including:

  • 5 Hero Mats
  • 5 Boss Mats
  • 250 Player Cards (Resource cards and Action Cards)
  • 40 Door Cards
  • 10 Challenge Cards

This original 5 Minute Dungeon game by Spin Master comes with double-sided hero mats so that you have more options to choose from, and comes highly recommended for those after an exciting family game night.

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Besides the game kit, you will need a timer to make sure you stick to the golden ‘5-Minute’ rule. Before you start the timer, follow these simple steps to set-up the game:

  1. Distribute 1 hero mat of their choice to each player along with the same-colored deck of cards.
  2. Shuffle the decks and place each deck on the respective ‘draw pile’ space on the hero mats.
  3. Draw cards for the first hand according to the hand rules.
  4. Place the pile of boss mats in the center. Make sure Boss #1 is at the top and the others are sequenced numerically in the pile.
  5. According to the number stated on the boss mat (20 for the first boss), draw cards from the shuffled door cards deck. Then add 2 challenge cards per each player (4 for 2 players, 6 for 3 players, and so on).
  6. Shuffle the door cards and challenge cards and place them on the top of the symbols on the boss mat. 
  7. Once all the players are ready, start the timer. If you need a timer, we suggest the official timer app by Wiggle 3D. We think it makes the game even more fun.

Hand Rules 

  • 5 cards for 2 players.
  • 4 cards for 3 players.
  • 3 cards for 4-5 players.

That’s it, you’re all set for your race against time and fight against the monsters!

5 Minute Dungeon Rules and Game Instructions

Since this is a collective fight against the monsters, players don’t take turns in this game. They keep drawing and playing cards that collectively help defeat monsters. 

Defeating Door Cards 

The game begins by drawing a door card from the pile on the boss mat. There are 5 different types of door cards, of which the ones with a horned skull on the back are called challenge cards. These include:

  1. Person
  2. Object
  3. Monster
  4. Event
  5. Mini-boss

Each door card further has 5 different icons in different combinations that denote the resource cards that the players will need to defeat that door. These icons include:

  1. Sword
  2. Jump
  3. Scroll
  4. Shield
  5. Arrow. 

Once a door card is drawn, the players have to quickly evaluate which technique to use in order to defeat the door card and move on to the next one. 

There are three basic techniques.

  1. The players assess their hands to find who has the resource cards matching the icons. The cards that are played can come from any player in any order or number. Once a player plays a card, he/she should refill the hand by drawing cards from the respective draw piles on the hero mats.
  2. Besides using resource cards, the players can also use their unique ability to defeat certain cards, as mentioned on their hero mat. These abilities can be unlocked by discarding a few cards. 
  3. Moreover, there are action cards in every player’s pile that can be used to directly defeat a monster without matching resources. These cards should be saved for when no player has a matching resource.

Defeating Challenge Cards

The game moves forward in a similar fashion, however the rules change for challenge cards. These cards come in two forms – event and mini-boss;

  • Event: When this challenge card is drawn from the door pile, all the players have to do what the instruction says. This can be anything like discarding an entire hand or interchanging cards.
  • Mini-boss: These challenge cards are particularly hard to defeat and the unique abilities of heroes or the action cards cannot be used against them. These can only be defeated by matching the resources.

Defeating the Bosses

Once all the door cards and challenge cards in the pile are defeated, the players reach the final end of the dungeon where they must try to defeat the boss.

Here the rules remain the same, the symbols on the boss mat indicate the resource cards that are needed to defeat a boss. For instance, to defeat boss #1 called the Baby Barbarian, you will need 2 swords, 2 arrows, and 3 jumps. Once all the players play those cards collectively, you have defeated the first boss and the first dungeon. 

This leaves you with 4 more to go; yes, within the 5 minutes. Reshuffle the player cards, add 5 more cards to the door cards deck, shuffle it and you’re ready to begin your fight against the next dungeon!

Winning and Losing The 5 Minute Dungeon Game

The players lose the game the moment they lose the fight against the boss. Simply put, here are the three scenarios in which the players can lose the game:

  1. Neither your resource cards nor your special abilities are helping to defeat a dungeon.
  2. None of the players have any cards left in the hand and in the draw pile.
  3. The timer runs out.

If the play continues without any of the above happenings, and you successfully defeat the 5 dungeon bosses within 5 minutes, you win the game. 

Frequently Asked Questions About 5 Minute Dungeon

How to play 5 Minute Dungeon rules with 2 players?

For 2 players, a single deck of cards may not be enough to match all the resources. Therefore, shuffle two decks of playing cards together and continue the game as usual.

What to do if all the cards are played by a player in 5 Minute Dungeon?

In such a case, you will have to wait until a healing card is drawn by another player wherein he/she can choose you to reshuffle your discard pile and place it back as the draw pile. There is also the donation card wherein the player can donate all cards in their hand to you. 

Can we stop or avoid an event card in 5 Minute Dungeon?

Yes, the Action Cards Cancel or the Holy Hand Grenade can be used to avoid the instructions of the event card, but only when played before the event takes place. It is a matter of chance. 

Similar Card Games You Might Like

If you love playing card games with a twist, we have a great collection to get you started and keep you engaged. Our collection also includes game guide for Munchkin game rules.

For lovers of fantasy and mystical adventures, Beard Wizards is a must-try. With all the magical spells and artifacts to make the game exciting, it’s a game that fits right into the vibe of 5 Minute Dungeon

If you’re up to experimenting with something completely different, replace those mats with boards and try playing Splendor or 5 Second Rule. Otherwise check out some of our other card game ideas.

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