Five Fingered Severance – You’re going to get fired, why not make it a blow out?


I don’t know why but I had this one sit on the shelf for a while. I guess I was just having a hard time getting enthusiastic about it, and with so many other shiny things on the shelf, my self-discipline wavers from time to time.  So, while looking over the games I have to review, I realized this one had been on the list for far too long and I, trying to be more responsible, pulled it out from my library and sat it in my dining room.  Surely if it is right there – staring me in the face – I would play it.   And that is almost exactly what happened, a game night with friends ended with a “What do you want to play?”, ” I dunno what do you want to play?” and it dawned on me, “Five Fingered Severance!”

Game Information
Five Fingered Severance
DesignerPatrick Leder
ArtistErik Lervold, Topher McCulloch
Publisher(Web published), Minion Games
Year Published2011
# of Players3 - 6
Playing Time60
Mfg Suggested Ages13 and up
MechanicHand Management, Press Your Luck, Variable Player Powers

Info courtesy of More Info.

I had never really given the games name much thought, but when I started reading the rules, I finally understood.  In FFS you play as clerks in a convenience store.  You are going to be fired at the end of the day, that’s inevitable, so you want to steal, slack, and insult customers as much as possible before you go.  However, you still have to keep an eye out for the boss, otherwise you could find yourself fired early.  Once I understood the theme, the game was far more intriguing and when I described it to my friends, it wasn’t long before I had a table full of people who were eager to play.

Each player’s turn consists of two actions.  These actions can include things such as “steal”, “stash your stolen goods”, “slack off”, “insult a customer”, “tattle”, or move to another aisle.  Yes, you can actually even do a little bit of work here and there in order to brown nose your way to not getting fired so quickly.  In addition to your two actions, you also have a handful of “plot cards” that you can play at any time during your turn, for free.  These do things such as “move the boss” or “rummage” for the best merchandise to steal.  However, despite all of this, the “worker” cards are the driving force behind the game.

“Worker” cards serve two major functions.  They put a time limit on the game, and they help to keep the game moving along.  At the beginning of each players turn, they are compelled to flip over the top card of the worker deck and respond accordingly.  Usually these are cards that are going to get placed on the board as either a customer to insult, a job to be done, or an available slacking activity.  However, occasionally they can be other things such as a sudden move of the boss.  The game ends when only one person remains employed or when all of the worker cards are gone.

Over all, we all had a really good time with the game.  The theme was a lot of fun, and some of the cards were just edgy enough to get a good solid laugh out of us (such as peeing in the coffee as a way to slack).  My group of players ranges in age from early 20’s to late 30’s so most of us either do work in a job like this, or can remember working in a job like this in the not so distant past, so the theme of the game let us revel in all the things we would have loved to do, but didn’t, on our last day.

However, despite our fun with the theme, we did have two major complaints with the game:  the rules (I know, I know, I nitpick rules), and the final slack tasks.  Both of these needed a little more thought and careful execution.

The rules were pretty short compared to how much was going on in the game.  They were also funny in places, which is a nice change of pace.  However, they took far too much for granted.  For example, the customer cards have a couple of symbols on them that match locations in the store.  We assumed that this was the potential starting locations and the person who drew the card could choose the placement, but we never actually found in the rules whether this was correct or not.  This was just one of several little things that we had to figure out for ourselves.

Final slack tasks were a great concept, but according to my group of gamers, they were poorly executed. Final slack tasks are those acts that are so heinous that they will instantly get you fired, but, what a way to go!  Things such as “telling the boss where to go”, or “blowing up the cash register”, or “stealing the office computer” all fall under the header of “final slack task”.  If you successfully complete one of these tasks, it’s worth 6 points and you get fired, if you fail to complete it you don’t get the points but are still fired.   So in order for it to be worth it, you either need to be way out in the lead on points, or believe the game is going to end shortly after it gets back around to you.  Otherwise, how many points might your fellow players rack up in the turns after your termination, likely more than six, right?  It was for this reason that no one attempted a final task.  It just wasn’t worth it, strategically speaking, and makes me wonder how much this element of the game was play tested.

Review of
'Five Fingered Severance'
Price ($44.99):
Overall Rating:

However, despite the problems with the rules and the final slack tasks, all of my players seemed to have a good time.  One even suggested that we immediately reset the game and play a second time.  It wasn’t until we pointed out how late it was that people had a moment of “really!? It certainly doesn’t feel like we were playing for that long”, and of course that is always a sign of a good game.  While I was initially shy of this game, I’m really glad I put it in my dining room to remind me to play.  The game itself was great and I would recommend it to others who always wished they had told the boss where they could go on their final day.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Friday, June 7th, 2013 at 1:52 pm and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Theme Games . Editing for this post was performed by Indy_Mario . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


  1. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this web page is in fact good.

  2. Sofia says:

    Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your web site in web explorer, could test this?
    IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a good component of people will pass over your excellent writing due to this problem.

  3. Wow! After all I got a web site from where I can really
    obtain helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.

  4. I am really glad to glance at this web site posts which
    consists of lots of helpful facts, thanks for providing
    these information.

  5. I pay a visit day-to-day some web sites and sites
    to read articles or reviews, however this website provides feature based posts.

  6. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make
    my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your theme.
    Appreciate it

  7. Mae says:

    Its not my first time to pay a visit this web site, i am
    browsing this web page dailly and take nice data from here daily.

  8. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this
    page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you
    for sharing!

  9. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the
    post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it
    and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  10. For the reason that the admin of this web page
    is working, no doubt very shortly it will be famous, due to its
    feature contents.

  11. This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a
    reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well,
    almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  12. Hi Dear, are you really visiting this website regularly, if so then you
    will definitely take fastidious know-how.

  13. This paragraph presents clear idea designed for the new people of blogging, that genuinely how to
    do blogging and site-building.

  14. It’s awesome in support of me to have a web page,
    which is useful designed for my know-how. thanks admin

  15. I blog often and I seriously appreciate your content.
    This article has truly peaked my interest.

    I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week.
    I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  16. Luz says:

    Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the easiest
    thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while
    people consider worries that they just do not know about.

    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the
    whole thing without having side-effects , people could
    take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  17. It’s awesome to pay a visit this site and reading the
    views of all mates on the topic of this post, while I am also
    eager of getting experience.

Leave a Reply