“Oooo…. it comes with little men and a shark toy!”
It’s not always hard to impress gamers. We like cool components, it’s practically genetically encoded in us. So when we opened the box to find articulate plastic men who we could pull apart, we were pretty sold.
So why are there small men we can destroy? Because it helps keep the score and keeps track of the order. You see, the whole goal of the game is to swim away from a shark that is on your tail. Remember the old adage? “You don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your friend.” Well that applies here. Who ever falls to the back of the pack gets a big bite taken out of them, causing them to loose a limb. Lose all your limbs and you are out.
The game play itself is very simple. Everyone has a hand of numbered cards. Everyone picks one card and plays it out face down. Then everyone reveals their chosen card at the same time. If you chose the same number as someone else, you are both out of luck, and neither of you swim that turn, which puts you in real danger of falling to the back of the pack. Everyone else gets to move their swimmer up in the pack line. The person with the biggest chosen number will end up at the front of the line, and everyone else will fall in behind them in numeric order. Whoever ends in back gets made into dinner by the hungry shark. The rounds continue like this until there is only one person left swimming.
This card choosing, and trying not to match, mechanic is exactly like what we find in the game “Worm Up“. Except in Worm Up you aren’t being chased by a blood crazed shark! However, because the mechanic is so similar, and the game really isn’t graphically gory, you could likely play this game with the same age bracket as you play worm up: Small kids, typically around 5-6 and older. Although, every parent must decide for themselves if biting off limbs is a concept that would be too frightening to their children.
My group of adults were so-so on the game. It was entertaining, for a while, but it wasn’t a smash hit. The game is pretty simplistic, so it doesn’t hold a ton of interest with “hard core” gamers. The components were really what was the most enjoyable part to us. Given that my group is made up of lively people in their 20’s and 30’s, one of the first things that occurred, and continued to occur throughout the game, was putting the little plastic men in suggestive positions. But what group of gamers could really help themselves when given six small plastic poseable men?
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