FUSE Countdown, from Renegade Game Studios, is a standalone expansion to their game FUSE, a card game focused on defusing bombs.
In FUSE Countdown players draw cards with various requirements needed to defuse the bomb. They then roll dice to meet those requirements such as color or new icons. An added twist is that if you are unable to defuse it by dice rolls you would then have to draw and resolve a spark card. Another difference between editions is that this one adds special powers to your characters. Now, this isn’t a necessary component to the game but it does make for some interesting twists to the gameplay, keeping it fresh. The complexity is much higher though with those spark cards. They basically act like extra bombs that must be resolved if you have hopes of winning.
I never played the original game but based on conversations I’ve had with players that had this is the far superior version. Renegade Game Studios have done a fantastic job of taking a simple concept and making it unique. The original seems to play very similar to the Back to the Future Dice Through Time, which I DID play. BTTF Dice Through Time though took a good amount of time to play right but with FUSE Countdown games only take about ten minutes (according to the RGS site). That is quite accurate considering that you have a ten minute timer running during the game.
Overall we found the game to be quite simple to figure out and fast paced. We had a great time with this one, however due to several poor dice roles we lost nearly as many games as we won. If you are looking for something quick paced and easy to learn then this will be a great purchase.