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Bites... An ant invasion!

Picture this, a beautiful park, the sun high in the sky and you've just finished setting out the perfect picnic. You turn your back on the food for what felt like seconds to admire the view and by the time you look back, the ants have begun to explore your feast!

Bites board game set up

In Bites, you're working with the ants to recover food back to the ant hill to feed the colony and earn the most points. It's a set collecting game with a twist.

First Impressions

The box is fairly unassuming and doesn't give much away, with it's gingham cover and bold title, it certainly intrigued me as to what the game was about and how it would play. The components are of a really nice quality, with wooden ants and a double thickness punch board for the food pieces along with a strong cardstock that has been used for the cards, it certainly gave a good first impression. The rules felt rather light, but I have to admit they were well explained and the variation of some of the rules, based upon which cards are picked during setup, certainly made the game all the more intriguing.

Game Play Overview

Bites Board Game choosing pieces

Bites is a set collecting game at it's core, however the mechanics that are used to enable each player to collect food items towards their sets, was a new one for me. In this game, the value of the food items is unknown until the ants reach the ant hill but can be influenced throughout; all players have access to all ants whilst they are on the trail; depending on which cards are chosen depends on how a few of the rules will affect the game. Players take it in turns to pick an ant and move it along the trail to the next food item matching the ants colour and then take a food item from one side or the other of where the ant finished their turn. In taking food items, you'll be gathering food towards your final score, but also reducing the trail and impacting the movement options for the ants as you go and therefore the access to other food items for not only the other players but also yourself. When any of the ants have no further food items to move to, a player can instead move them onto the ant hill, onto the level dictated by the anthill card chosen for the game. Each level of the ant hill is worth a different number of points and once all ants are on the anthill, the game ends and all players calculate their scores based on the number of food tokens they have collected for each ant multiplied by the value of the level each ant is on. The player with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.

Pros and Cons

Bites board game final anthill

Bites is a very clever game, it can be frustrating at times and after your first game, you'll probably have an epiphany of how you should have strategised to further your chances! With every game having a slight variation to the rules, you'll have a different game each time you play and depending on the strategy used each time, you can have a very different game even with the same rules cards out. It's not difficult to pick up the basic mechanics of the game, however it can take a bit of getting used to and can be a little confusing the more you take out of the trail as to which is the next adjacent food token that you can take. The food can be tricky to punch out of the punch boards when you first get the game but are a delight on the tabletop.

Final Verdict

Overall, I thought it was a really interesting game with plenty of variablity to the game play due to the cards changing the rules and a nice amount of strategy for a lighterweight quick paced game.

In conclusion, we would rate this game an 8.8/10


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