Everyone love pirates. It’s why those Johnny Depp movies make so much money even though they’re kind of terrible. And everyone loves sharks. It’s why Discovery runs Shark Week every year even though they’ve long since run out of new stuff to show. What happens when you combine the two? How lovable is that?
Get Bit! Deluxe* is a fun little game about pirates getting eaten by a shark with dismemberment as a gameplay mechanic. Oh, and did I mention it’s a perfect game for kids?
In the (really nice looking, embossed tin) box you get eight pirate figures, a shark, a set of cards and a sticker sheet to customize your pirates. The pirates are very similar to MiniMates, but slightly taller. The shark is just adorable, with his articulated jaw. The sticker sheet gives you two options for each color figure. When we were setting up our game, we opted not to use either of the intended decos for the brown figure, as they’re both… well, kind of racially iffy. (There’s also a not-particularly-flattering Asian design.)
To play the game, everyone chooses a pirate and gets a hand full of cards that match that pirate’s color. They all put their pirate in a line on the table with the shark behind them. Then everyone places down one of their cards, the person with the lowest card moves to the front followed by next lowest and so on until the person with the highest card is in the front. Any players whose cards tied don’t move. The shark then takes a bite from the player at the back of the line and removes one limb. The person in front when someone loses all their limbs is the winner. (There are slightly more rules, but that’s the gist of it.)
Get Bit! Deluxe is simple enough for kids (who will love the figures and the safe goriness of the limbs getting eaten), while still having enough of an element of strategy for older players (who, let’s face it, will also love the little pirate figures and the limbs getting eaten).
While clearly designed for four to seven players, there are rule variants for two or three. For this review, I played the two-player version. While definitely fun, it was easy to see where it was it not meant to played that way. I look forward to playing it again with more people, and absolutely playing it with some of my friends’ kids. Because if ever there was a game to get the 6 & up set into non-Parker Bros games, this could be it.
* – The original Get Bit! does not feature pirates, but instead has stickerless “robots”, otherwise it’s largely the same game.