Get Bit Review
Time: ~10-15 minutes
Times Played: 15+
What makes a game fun? Is it a game dripping with theme where you feel like you are the character you control? Is it a game where there are numerous actions you can take each round? Is it a game that is complex and has you thinking of strategies long after the box has been packed and put away? If you answered yes to these three questions, then I want you to expand your mind for a few minutes and read about the simplicity that is Get Bit!, because Get Bit does not answer yes to any of those questions.
Get Bit! is a perfect game. Now don’t mince my words; it is not the perfect game but Get Bit! knows its role and fills that role perfectly. It is the quintessential fast filler game of my collection and I have little doubt that it will finish in the top five most played games of 2017 for me. Depending on the version you have, you will either be a pirate or a robot trying to escape the expanding mandibles of a hungry shark. A Lego-esque shark, I might add. For the purpose of today, I am reviewing the deluxe version that features pirates, who I will more than likely call swimmers since that is the action they are performing.
Get Bit! comes in a small metal tin that houses the six swimmers, one shark, a rulebook (which doubles as the playing board!), 42 cards of six different colors and for the deluxe version, stickers that can be added to your swimmers to turn them into vibrant pirates. That’s everything. This game is small and compact in all the good ways.
Get Bit! is an elimination card game that can last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes, depending on the player count, which ranges from two to six. Each turn, the players simultaneously play a card from their hand (ranging in numbers from one to seven), with the lowest value card of all those revealed moving to the front of the pack. Once a card is played, it is discarded until a players card count reaches “one”. If a tie occurs when cards are played, none of the parties move and the next lowest number swims past their competition. The swimmer that is left at the back of the pack after that card placement, loses a limb to the ravenous shark trailing the pack of swimmers.
Each swimmer is detachable along many different joints but for the focus of the game, once all four limbs of a swimmer are removed, that player is eliminated from the game and play resumes until only two swimmers remain. When the player count is down to two, the shark immediately eats the player closest to its jaws (no matter how many limbs are left) and the swimmer in front is the victor.
That’s it. That’s the game. You can teach and play your first game of Get Bit! in less time it took you to put the pirate stickers on the figures.
But let’s talk about player elimination for a moment. In some games, it could be a death sentence for a night of fun. A player is eliminated and the game goes on for another hour while they are reduced to a spectator. Or worse, they come back into the game but so far behind that nothing will really bring them back into the game. Get Bit! does not have that problem. With the brevity of each contest, a player is out barely long enough to refill their glass or use the bathroom. And if they stay to watch the rest of the game, they might be left rooting against the player that feed them to the shark and hope for their demise.
The game itself is simple and quite simply, fun to play. When you are able to outwit an opponent to play a lower number and hear the satisfying pop as you pull a limb off the swimmer…it is as rewarding an experience as you’ll find in a game this short. The game is also incredibly social for a contest that doesn’t need words to be played. Laughing, taunting, groveling to the shark god’s, depending on your gaming group, this game meets all of the above. And lastly, while this doesn’t impact my gaming group at the moment (knock on wood), this is a game that can be picked up and played by relatively young players. I would be more fearful of a young person imitating a shark and swallowing one of the pieces than not understanding the rules.
I personally feel that the more people you have playing, the better Get Bit! is. The opportunity to play duplicate or triplicate cards increases and with that, the shock factor of ruining someones plans. Does the game work with three or four? Of course. But at five and six, each reveal is that much more tense.
So what do I think of Get Bit!? It’s a game that I have not had anyone say no to, it plays almost as fast as it takes me to go grab it from the collection and it perfectly resets the gaming atmosphere for your next heavier game. It might be my favorite filler game that I own and I can confidently say it falls in my fiancés top two (with For Sale being the competing entity). If unclear, I highly recommend Get Bit!