Get Bit! Game Review


Get Bit! has received a facelift in the hands of Greater Than Games and it’s cuter than ever. Join Bob to see how it plays in this Meeple Mountain review.

Disclosure: Meeple Mountain received a free copy of this product in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. This review is not intended to be an endorsement.

On the one hand, I have to wonder how Get Bit! has survived 17 years and numerous print runs. It is a silly thing after all. On the other hand, I understand the desire to have this little thing around because it is silly. With every reprint, the personality grows and the world gathers for another peek. The latest run by Greater Than Games incorporates the Sharkspansion, allowing for a 7th player to join as the shark. Sadly, there are no pink robots or zombies.

Get Bit! begins with a line of swimmers on the table and a shark approaching the rear. Players select one of their cards, numbered one through something (the high number increases with the player count), face-down on the table and reveal together. Any matching cards take no action, while the remainder are resolved in ascending order, with divers leap-frogging to the front one by one. The diver in the back loses a limb. 

Literally, the limbs pop off. Make no mistake, this is the highlight of the whole ordeal. In fact, losing is fun because you get to choose the altered state of your diver. Bit divers pick up their cards and move to the front of the line ahead of the next play.

The only two ways to pick up your cards are to get bit or to play down to one card. In this way, there is increasing information at the table about what cards might be played. This knowledge means you can take advantage of the fact that Connor is only holding a two and a five. Sometimes you use the knowledge to get yourself ahead. Sometimes you use it to match someone else, knowing they’ll lose an arm. 

Once someone is limbless, the player in front wins. That’s the game. 

Get IN the water?!

Get Bit! is plagued by justified accusations of luck dependency. But if you sit down to play in hopes of using perfect information to outwit your friends, you’ve missed the point. Get Bit! is all about that one time during the game you played a four because you knew Mateo would play a four and get eaten, and everyone would get a laugh. If you manage to get five or six swimmers at the table—and, really, you should always aim for five or six—there will be several moments like that. Friends and family will laugh, and fifteen minutes later, you’ll be done or playing again. 

No matter what you read on the box, do not play with two. At two players, the rules suggest controlling two divers each. This exercise, which amounts to giggly human sacrifice, lacks all the silliness of the higher player counts. The aim is for one diver to survive, raising unfriendly and occasionally interesting strategic choices, but it’s just not as fun. More humans are the main trick. 

Likewise, controlling the shark is interesting on the surface, but the whole endeavor feels like an attempt to make silly-toys-fleeing-a-shark feel serious or intentional. Delirious illusions of control are the other trick. With six at the table, someone is always at serious risk, and the surprises are worthwhile. 

Regarding the toy factor, Get Bit! is cute as all get-out. It’s a kiddie bathtub setting. The shark is portly and charming. The divers are lanky and the limbs are pop-a-licious. My kids love putting arms in place of legs, like Sid from Toy Story. The card art is super playful. The pastels are maybe a bit light on the cards, but so are bath bombs. The whole experience screams for the little ones to join the mix and for everyone to pretend it matters. Most often, we play twice and then move on. The box is tiny, and it’s there when you need it. 

Get Bit! has had folks swimming for their lives for nearly two decades at this point. It inhabits a category of simplicity and silliness that will likely keep it from being among the highest rated games. But as long as there are kiddos and adults with awkwardly playful hearts, there will be a place for this limb-shedder at the table. It may not be the centerpiece of your collection, but it serves its aim nobly and delivers on its promising moments.

About the author

Bob Pazehoski, Jr.

On any given day, I am a husband and father of five. I read obsessively and, occasionally, I write stories of varying length, quality, and metrical structure. As often as possible, I enjoy sitting down to the table for a game with friends and family. I'm happy to trumpet Everdell, in all its charm and glory, as the insurmountable favorite of my collection.

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