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Rating: 3.9/5 (71 votes)
Comments (11) | Views (5,640)

5xman.gifJohnB5xMan is an action/puzzle game that plays on the now-familiar concept of controlling multiple characters one at a time. You play a team of five guys, each in a stunning single-color one-piece jumpsuit (is that a Louis Vuitton?!), and work your way through each stage. Make it as far as you can with one guy, then switch to the next to see what more you can do, opening new paths for subsequent team members as you go.

Passageways are often blocked by doors that are, naturally, operated by buttons and switches. Some are simple toggles that stay in operation after you touch them. Other buttons require you to tap them several times, while still more need constant pressure in order to work. This is where the multiple characters come into play. Need access to the blocked hallway up top? Have one guy stand on the switch for several seconds, and when you pass through the same area with another team member, slip through the crack while the shadow version of you is standing there. Simple!

While most games with this replay theme tend toward short, one-trick puzzle levels, 5xMan is more of a marathon in nature. Each team member has a time limit to explore the multi-screened level. When you switch to the next guy, you can't go back to the first, lending a sense of permanence to your actions. You actually have to strategize to make the most of your limited time and resources, as one mistake and you'll probably have to start all over again.

5xMan's strength is also its weakness. Because the game relies on strategy and luck for the challenge, you'll often have to use trial and error to complete levels. When you start a new stage, for example, you're never quite sure what to do, so you just run around and hope it all turns out right. Only after you've spent a turn or two do you see the trick for gathering all the coins, and by that time it's most likely too late.

A short, entertaining platform puzzle game that takes a familiar concept and slides it into a new light. A nice use of the replay theme and a respectable game on its own!

Play 5xMan


Don't know if I played it right. But just like the reviewer says, it's a marathon. To have to start each man at the first room every time, run through all previously opened rooms numerous times, just to get to the current room is just too much drudgery. It would have been better if the game kept track of the last finished room and spawned from there. If the game has a linear progression throughout all levels, ie no backtracking needed or possible, then this should be implementable. Personally I couldn't even bare finish the first level.


Agreed even, however I made it worse because when I switched man from my 5th one I thought it would go back to the 1st. But it didn't so I had already messed up the first level! Needless to say I can't be bothered to do it again.

hothotpot August 31, 2010 9:13 AM

even: The point is to go back through the rooms. Often there are things you have to pass through the room twice to accomplish. And many times you can have your guys complete different tasks at different times to get through "finished" rooms faster later on. It's all part of the puzzle, and the fun.

I liked the game a lot, but I haven't really tried the Hard Rooms yet. I'll have to give them some serious consideration a bit later, but I don't have it in me right now.


I must be missing something on the easy rooms.

I see you have to have 4 guys on the buttons, but I can't get a 5th guy in that room to run through the door.


The next to last room is always a 4 button room. I found a decent strategy was to have the first guy get to that room as fast as possible, missing all the points. The later guys should get points when they can, and try to keep up with the first guy (he'll press levers, so you can always get ahead of him). The last guy has to clean up any points still there, but mostly just get to the last room to finish it all up.


This game made me totally mad because everything about it except the gameplay is so great.


I really liked this one, too bad it was so short.

It might be a little disappointing to realize that your first attempt will probably fail. If you do the tutorial and heed the on-screen instructions not to race for the points, you should be able to finish. Note that you can restart a player or the whole level.

Kygron has the right strategy - send the first player to the end as quickly as possible. On Hard you might need to restart after a testing session, but it only took me two tries to get a perfect score. The difficulty doesn't scale so much (though the 'easy' level isn't so easy).


I thought this was a lot of fun. The Hard Rooms had a few tricky bits and took a few plays to get everything nailed down, but it was very satisfying once finished.

The interaction between guys was a nice improvement some other replay games (such as Cursor*10). I'd like to see more puzzle games in this vein.


Probably the best "replay" game I have seen in years. I hope more levels are in the works.

sandylouise September 7, 2010 7:33 PM

Loved this one. Needs many more levels.


Excellent game, needs a bit of thought, you cant just "wing it" I really hope there are more levels, 3 is far too few. If you find it frustrating to start with, please give it a few more trys its worth it, also read other comments for good tips.


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