The stakes may seem high, but players must defuse or lose in YULU‘s latest game. The suspense seems pretty fair though, since the whole point of Cut the Wire is to compete against your friends to prevent a ticking device from going off.

The game itself is a red device with a series of wires connecting both ends. Throughout the game, players will be responsible for cutting different wires to try to defuse the device, thanks to the help of a chunky pair of (kid-safe!) pliers. Each wire is indicated by a color and shape, with a grand total of nine potential wires that players will successfully defuse or accidentally set off. The game’s size makes it portable and easy for kids to take to a friend’s house for game night and to easily pass it across the table as all the players take turns.

Kids can take on the challenge solo or put their skills to the test with up to 10 people. Players will roll a die and perform one of the four actions shown, such as get a private clue, get a clue and then cut the wire, or get a clue but force an opponent to cut the wire. The clues will help players figure out which wire is dangerous and which are safe to cut.

I was surprised at how intense this game gets. It tests critical thinking skills, memory, and thinking ahead. For example, it’s crucial to use some strategy here, like making an opponent who hasn’t gotten a clue yet try to cut the wire for a greater chance that he or she will pick the incorrect wire.

Unless you have enough clues, pretty much each time you cut the wire is high-key stressful. You never know if you’re going to accidentally cut the danger wire, or hope that you’ll cut a dud wire if you’re going in without any clues.

To add to the high-intensity fun, the background music is also SUSPENSEFUL. You’ll either hear a neutral noise that indicates you cut a dud wire, a victory sound for defusing the wire, or an explosion sound for cutting the danger wire. Womp womp.

If this way of playing doesn’t increase your heart rate at all, then try the timed mode. In this version of playing, everything remains the same, except that players only have 15 seconds to make a decision to cut the wire. If a player doesn’t make an action within 15 seconds, then the device explodes anyway. Womp womp woooooomp.

Each round of Cut the Wire can be completed quickly, making it easy for players to play round after round of this tricky and faced-paced good time.