Swim hard or die trying!
Can you outswim and outmanoeuvre the ultimate huntsmen of the deep, the feared and revered Great White Shark? Probably not. Luckily for you, in Get Bit you don’t have to swim faster than a shark. You just have to swim faster than your friends! Get Bit delivers a simple, fun and fast paced card game. It's enriched with the addition of physical components that are mutilated before your very eyes.
The goal of Get Bit is to be the last surviving member of your friendship group after you are ambushed whilst out for a casual swim. Each player takes control of a Lego-like “dismember-man”, a plastic humanoid whose limbs represent lives left in the game. Pursuing your hapless swimmers. Included in the box, will be the plastic embodiment of their worst nightmares. A hungry shark that is complete with an open and close jaw! It is these plastic components, that while not absolutely necessary to play the actual game, make the whole experience so much more fun and thematic.
For the gameplay, you and your fellow swimmers will each have a set of numbered cards (1 to 7) that will dictate in what order you will use a burst of speed to race ahead of your companions. However, beware, because if you play the same valued card as another player then neither of you will get to move! Should you risk playing a low card and hope that other players clash and don’t move?
Or do play your high cards immediately, hoping everyone else deems them too valuable? Make sure you choose wisely because once cards have been played, you and your friends will have to look on in horror as the shark mercilessly chomps a limb off of the trailing swimmer. Cue shark noises, the Jaws theme tune, feigned screams and the endless mocking of whomever is currently at the back of the pack.
This is a simple game, so is there any strategy? Will it be good for more competitive players? Absolutely. The mechanic that makes Get Bit work so well is that cards you have previously played are visible to all players. Have Michelle and Ben played their 7’s already? You definitely do not want to lose another limb, maybe you should play yours? But wait, Claire still hasn’t played hers, she is currently out in the lead, would she play it now? Gulp.
Trust your instincts and maybe you will avoid becoming shark food. A further mechanic that might impact which cards you play is that when there are only two swimmers remaining then it is down to sudden death. One card, one final bite, the shark eats the slowest swimmer whole, regardless of how many limbs they have left! So, watch your opponents, guess and second guess their actions, learn to bluff, bluster and ride your luck to victory. This is Get Bit and only one brave swimmer can survive to tell the tale of his dismembered friends.
What makes it fun?
Get Bit is an entertaining warm up game, an ice breaker, something that allows people to loosen up and enjoy their time. This is a game that is fun regardless of whether you win or lose. However, due to its simplicity, you get as much back as what you put into it. This is a thematic game but with modest components, so it works much better if you really get into it. Be goofy, make shark noises, cheer when your friends are dismembered, be the host who makes Jaws references and most of all make sure to practice your agonising cries because no one escapes Get Bit unscathed.
House rules or game variants are something that many households or game groups employ. They are a change or extension to the existing rule set which either makes the game more interesting or more accommodating for different players.
Variant for children
The age range printed on the box is age 7+. However, I have played with both of my children (4 and 10 at the time of writing). Both of them played and enjoyed the game just fine. The caveat being that my 4-year-old was not as good at the strategic side. She instead enjoyed playing her high cards frequently. Hence, for children it is possible to remove the strategic element and instead shuffle the cards and each player plays their top-most card. This creates an entirely luck-based game, yet the theme remains the same and it adds an extra level of fun/fear since you have no idea who is going to be left behind!
Variant for adults
The core game is perfect for adults as it is, so it is not necessary to add any additional rules. What makes this a variant is the addition of alcohol! I said Get Bit is a good ice breaker game and what better way to get the drinks flowing and everybody acting silly than to turn it into a drinking game. The rules are simple: Play the same card as another player and drink for the number of players who played said card. Get a limb torn off by the shark then numb your pain by taking two drinks. Finally, the player who gets swallowed whole by the shark (when two swimmers are remaining) finishes their drink. Enjoy!
I first encountered this game whilst watching Wil Wheaton’s TableTop series on Youtube. I immediately searched for the game, added it to my ‘to buy’ list. Shortly afterwards bought it for the family from Zatu Games. We played it quite a few times over Christmas and it was never boring. Get Bit can be played and replayed many times which makes it a bargain when you consider its low retail price.
Moreover, it is a game that you can play whenever you like. It is suitable for all ages and does not require a specific set of people or characteristics to play. It’s entertaining, great for children and most importantly is fun even when you don’t win. For those of you who would like some slightly better artwork, a more robust casing and some stickers to customise your dismember-men then check out Get Bit Deluxe here at Zatu.