Appearances to the contrary, Get Bit is a game of cunning strategery, requiring poker-like deadpanning, anticipatory face-reading and much stalwart limb-losing.
Each of the 4-6 players has a hand of cards, numbered 1-7 and a color-matching, limb-detachable, plastic robot-like doll. In addition, there’s a Get Bit shark card, and a plastic shark with articulated jaw silently shrieking menace.
The shark is placed on its shark card, the temporarily fully-limbed robots are positioned, randomly, in a line in front of the shark; players collectively contemplate their cards, and, simultaneously, take their chosen card, placing it face-down with pokerish stoicism. At the agreed-upon moment, everyone turns their card over. The player who played the lowest number card moves her robot to the front of the line, furthest away from the shark. In case of a tie, neither player moves (a highly undesirable consequence if one takes into account the strategic significance of shark-proximity). And so on and so on until all cards are revealed, all robots moved or not. The robot closest to the shark loses a robotic limb.
The next round ensues in like manner, except that each player has one card less from which to choose. Played cards are left face-up, so that all players can, with slightly increasing certainty, can predict the likelihood of their success. The game ends as soon as one robot achieves limblessness. Until that time, should a player find herself with only one card, she gets to pick up all her cards and continue the next round with a full hand.
And on and on until there are only two robots. The robot closest to the shark is considered conceptually consumed.
The toy-like robots and shark set the stage for a light-hearted, playful experience. Because the game does require moments of deep reasoning, light-headedness is not encouraged, though, depending on the nature of available refreshments, the game is fun enough to keep people playing even though their robots have become as conceptually incapacitated as they.
The instructions include a two- and three-player version which we found insufficiently bloodthirsty. We definitely recommend the game for at least 4 players. Depending on your competitive needs, you can also play as teams, so when a player has join the ranks of the conceptually consumed he can put his new-found wisdom into practice with the still living.
Get Bit is best with 4-6 players. It was designed by Dave Chalker, illustrated by Gavin Schmitt, with robots by Ken Lilly, and is available from Mayday Games