Get Bit! Deluxe Game Review

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The Basics:

  • For ages 6 and up (publisher suggests 7+)
  • For 3 to 5 players
  • Approximately 15 minutes to complete

Geek Skills:

  • Counting & Math
  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Strategy & Tactics
  • Risk vs. Reward
  • Hand/Resource Management

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • Survive a short swim in shark invested waters!

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek approved!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Overview

You have been trapped on the small island surrounded by endless ocean for what feels like years. You and the other shipwrecked crew are surviving, but every day is a struggle. Then, on the horizon, a ship is spotted! You light your signal fires and the boat approaches! Now all you have to do is swim to the ship, but the water is full of man-eating sharks! Steeling your nerves, you plunge into the surf in a desperate attempt to survive.

Get Bit! Deluxe, designed by Dave Chalker and published by Mayday Games, is comprised of 6 Pirate figures (in 6 different colors), 1 Shark figure, and 42 cards (in 6 different colors, 7 per color). The Pirates have fully articulated joints and can be posed or easily removed (which is important to the game). Included with the game are stickers you can apply to the Pirate figures to give them some character, but have no impact to the game play. The Shark is a small plastic Pirate eating machine, complete with opening and closing mouth. The cards are as thick as your standard playing cards and have images of the Pirates in the game having a really bad day in the ocean. The entire game comes in a solid and colorfully illustrated tin box, which not only makes the game portable, but durable. The game is wonderfully produced (some would even say “over produced”) and is a lot of fun to look at. My little geeks often play with the Pirates and the Shark on the floor when the game is not being played at the table.

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How my little geeks wanted the pirates

Game Set Up

Note: Prior to your first game, you can apply the stickers to the Pirate figures if you like. They have no impact to the game play, but do add to the game’s already enjoyable visual appeal. It also allows you to customize the Pirate figures, which is sure to bring a smile to your players.

To set up the game, first sort the cards into their different hands. Each hand is comprised of 7 cards of a single color. If playing with 4 players, remove the “6” and the “7” cards. If playing with 5 players, remove the “7” cards. These cards are not used in the game and can be placed back in the game box.

Second, have each player select 1 Pirate figure of their choice (making certain that each Pirate has all their limbs attached) and all the cards that match the Pirate figure’s color. Any Pirate figures and cards not selected are returned to the game box. Players should take their cards and keep them hidden from their opponents until played.

Third, have each player place their Pirate figures in a line in the middle of the playing area. Order does not matter when the game begins, but will be VERY important as the game progresses. All Pirate figures should be “swimming” in the same direction and players are welcome to pose their Pirates as they like.

Fourth, place the Shark figure at the end of the line. Feel free to hum the Jaws theme song at this time.

Note: The game’s rule book can be used to represent the island the Pirates are attempt to swim away from, the ocean they are swimming in, and the boat they are attempting to swim to. However, it’s use is not necessary to enjoy the game. Any flat playing surface will do.

This completes the game set up. Time to swim like mad!

Swimming Hors d’oeuvres

Get Bit! is played in rounds with no set number of rounds per game. Each round has 3 phases. These phases are summarized here.

Phase 1: Play a Card

Each player selects 1 card from their hand and places it, face-down, on the table in front of them. As the game progresses, cards played will remain face-up in a single row in front of the players. New cards played are placed next to the card row. You can also place your cards in a “stack”, but make sure all the number value are clearly visible to your opponents.

Example of some of the cards in the game

Example of some of the cards in the game

Previously played cards DO NOT return to the player’s hand until their Pirate suffers a shark attack or they only have 2 cards left in their hand.

Phase 2: Move Pirates

All players now reveal their played card by flipping it face-up and placing them at the end of their card row. The player with the LOWEST number value moves their Pirate figure to the front of the line. The player with the next LOWEST card value moves their Pirate figure behind the first player. This continues until all the players have moved their Pirate figures, shifting the position of the swimming order.

If two or more players play the same card value (a tie), their Pirate figures DO NOT MOVE!

Phase 3: Get Bit

For the first round of the game, this phase is skipped. During the second and all subsequent rounds, the Shark figure now “bites” a chunk out of the last Pirate figure in the line. The owner of the player must remove 1 “arm”, or 1 “leg” from their Pirate and then places their Pirate at the front of the line. Finally, the player takes all their previously played cards, returning them to their hand.

The removed appendages are kept by the player until the game ends. Each appendage on the Pirate figure is attached to the torso using a simple “ball and joint”. This not only allows for easy removal and reattachment of the limbs, but also provides the Pirate figure with a great deal of flexibility for posing.

If the Pirate has their last appendage removed (no more arms or legs), the Pirate is swallowed and the player is out for the duration of the game.

This completes the round. A new round now begins with phase 1 noted above.

Rescued!

The game continues until only 2 players remain. The Shark figure automatically eats the last Pirate figure in the line during phase 3, regardless of how many appendages the Pirate still has at the end of the round. The other player is the winner, being the sole survivor of the rescue.

Game Variants

2-Player Games

During game set up, each player selects 2 Pirate figures and removes the “6” and the “7” from the cards. Each player takes 2 hands of cards and will play using their 2 Pirates as normal.

3-Player Games

During game set up, each player selects 2 Pirate figures, but no cards are removed from the hands. Each player takes 2 hands of cards and will play using their 2 Pirates as normal.

To learn more about Get Bit! Deluxe, visit the game’s web page.

Prediction

Get Bit! Deluxe feels like the quintessential “game filler” to me. Light and easy to play, but its light game play doesn’t sacrifice strategy or tactics. Games like this often do very well with all three of our groups. I see no reason why Get Bit! will be an exception to the rule.

For the Child Geeks, the Pirate and Shark figures are going to be a HUGE hit. They are fun to hold and play with. I’ve already spent a number of hours simply playing with the Pirates on the living room floor with my little geeks. The game itself is not complicated and moves fairly quickly. This will appeal to the Parent Geeks who are always up for a casual game. The game’s tactics and strategy are not terribly deep, but they are there. Players must manage their hand, take risks, and do their best to position themselves in the race. In Get Bit!, you don’t have to be the fastest swimmer to survive. Just not the slowest. The Gamer Geeks will recognize the need to play the odds and bluff their opponents to get the upper hand. As such, they should be most pleased with the game play, in addition to the macabre humor of the game itself.

Honestly, the only aspect that I would consider “questionable” about the game is the removal of pirate body parts, which might raise the eyebrows of our more conservative players. Violence is certainly being portrayed, although not in a bloody or overly dramatic way. I’m sure players will add in the missing sound effects and blood curdling screams. I know I will.

Teaching Get Bit! is best done by demonstrating a practice hand. Make sure players understand that only the LAST Pirate figure gets bit. If you don’t, players will incorrectly play their lowest cards right form the start and make it difficult to survive. You should also mention how the game ends (only 1 Pirate survives) and how the cards are returned to the player’s hand. Note that the game does not require a player to read, but they must be able to count up to at least “7” and understand which number is greater than the others.

After teaching the game to my two oldest Child Geeks, I asked them their thoughts on Get Bit! so far.

“Ha! So awesome! I love how the pirates actually lose their body parts!” ~ Liam (age 9)

“These are really cool pirates, Dad! Can we play with them after we are done playing the game?” ~ Nyhus (age 6)

The Pirate figures are very cool. Let’s play the game and see if the game’s charm extends past its bits.

Final Word

The Child Geeks loved Get Bit! They never liked it when they were knocked out of the game, but they busied themselves with their Pirate figure while the other players swam to survive. Oddly enough, most of the Child Geeks were only vaguely aware of what was happening to their Pirate figure when the shark “bit” off an appendage. Better put, they understood what was happening to their Pirate, but they never felt any emotional tie to the figure. They laughed when they had to remove an arm or a leg. Not sure what that says about “today’s youth”, but it was pleasant to see that the Child Geeks weren’t taking the game seriously. According to one Child Geek, “What I like about this game is how much fun it is to see your pirates get eaten!” Yep, dark, but the mood at the table was always fun and the air was filled with laughter, as well as overly dramatic voice acting. All the Child Geeks voted to approve the game.

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My little geeks laughed, cried, shouted, and all agreed that it was a pretty great way to spend an evening

The Parent Geeks also enjoyed the game, both with their peers and with their families. More so with their families, as Child Geeks are hilarious individuals, but the game served as excellent casual entertainment for just adults, too. According to one Parent Geek, “This is a very silly game, but you have to think about what cards you are going to play. It’s not fluff, but I never felt overburdened, either.” Only one Parent Geek voiced concerns over the game’s depiction of violence. I challenged her assumption and invited her to play the game. She didn’t think much of it, but she also admittedly that her dislike was primarily based on how the game went about keeping score and not what the game was about. All but one of our Parent Geeks voted to approve the game.

The Gamer Geeks loved the dark humor of the game and were just as loud and dramatically over the top as the Child Geeks. All the Gamer Geeks immediately recognized the game’s depth as being a bit shallow, but there was more than enough to splash around in. According to one Gamer Geek, “This is an excellent example of a game filler. Light and easy to play with just enough challenge to keep you engaged. Excellent stuff and wonderfully produced!” All the Gamer Geeks agreed and gave the game a solid thumbs up.

Get Bit! Deluxe is a great game to bring out and play with the family or with friends. I bring it to the office, too, and it always draws a crowd. The game’s difficulty is moderate, at best, but the difficulty is based on your opponent’s ability to play cards smarter than you. If you don’t watch what your opponents are doing, you’re going to find yourself with an overly bitten pirate in no time. The game also allows its players to take risks and get bit on purpose. As the game progresses, the players will lose their cards and choices. All a player needs to do is sacrifice and arm or a leg to get all their cards back. But limbs don’t grow back and there is only 1 winner. Towards the end of each game, things get strangely intense as each played card could mean the end of a pirate. Remember, at the end of every round, a pirate WILL get bit. There is no way to avoid it. The only thing you can do is keep in front of the slowest swimmer and pray like made that you played your cards right.

Get Bit! Deluxe is excellent and I highly recommend it. It’s fast, fun, feverish, and has never left me disappointed, despite being shark food more times than I care to admit.

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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