Bites doesn't fit neatly into the categories of board games we often talk about like "worker placement", "deck builder", or "roll and write". Let me just throw some phrases at you that describe the game.
But the mechanism for this interactive-manipu-specu-game isn't buying and selling saffron and sailing boats in the Mediterranean (not that there is anything wrong with that), but it is ants, taking bites of food, and walking back to their ant hill.
As you move these ants, nothing takes place in isolation. Everything affects everything else. If you want to pick up an apple because you think they are going to be the most valuable type of food, then you are going to have to move the purple ant forward, and that means grapes MIGHT become more valuable. It also affects what the player to your left is going to do. Now that grapes are looking better, maybe they should jump on the bandwagon and grab a grape token. Or maybe they should turn in their chocolate token to move the purple ant backwards to hurt the players who already have grapes.
The are many ways to go about it. Different levers to pull. You have to push your own strategy as well as ride the tide caused by the ripples from the other players at the table.
And the next game, the food will be laid out differently on the trail, and the rules cards will completely change your options. It will be a whole new puzzle for your group to poke at.
The two videos below are previews that we paid for. They should not be considered unbiased reviews. However, we still think it is valuable for you to hear about the game from other points of view. We did not instruct them on any specifics to say during the video, and we think both did a great job explaining what it feels like to play the game so that you can make your own decision.
Brief intro at the beginning. Rule explanation at 0:28. Final thoughts start at 4:25.
"This theme does it a lot of justice. It's adorable. It makes me want to play it with my family, and it helps you make sense of the rules a little bit."
"I also really appreciate the four different type of cards they have. I like that it helps skew the age range so that you can either play very young and simplify the rules or make it a little more complicated. And also it helps with replayability a lot."
Starts with brief summary. Rules explanation starts at 1:03. Final thoughts at 8:25.
"The strategies are different every time."
"That's what this game does best, is keeping you engaged."
"Engaged on off turns, and reading/reacting the entire time. ... Strategy, strategy, strategy. And more than meets the eye type strategy."
"Just a fun experience."
Besides the game play, these tokens are the thing in Bites that I am most proud of.
No one has ever done something quite like this in a board game. Dual layer tokens, where both layers are die cut, so the food doesn't just have the appearance of being 3 dimensional. The tokens are truly 3 dimensional.
We print all our games with Panda Game Manufacturing. For my money, they are the best in the business. They had never made tokens quite like this before, but they love new ideas. We sent over our art and patterns, and then waited three weeks for them to come back to us. They tested every aspect they could think of before committing to being able to do it. Panda likes pushing the envelope, but in my experience, they are also conservative about what they promise. With Panda on board, I am just as confident as I am excited about these tokens.
And they are bigger than you think. I mean I can't read your mind. But these tokens are 1.5 inches wide. That is about 50% bigger than they are being shown on your monitor (probably, depending on your resolution and screen size).
We think it looks cool. Don't you? It's also practical. It makes it easy to keep track of how many points everything is worth.
Maybe there are other ways to do that ... but they didn't seem quite as good ... nor quite as good looking.
These cards are what takes the game from good to great. They change the game from a fun interactive puzzle into a fresh experience every time.
The highly interactive game gives you space to explore different strategies with different players. You can test and stretch the interactions to see how your opponents respond. And then you can try the same thing in your next game to see if they respond differently this time.
Remember, Bites is only 20 minutes long, so there is a good chance you'll be able to play a couple of games back to back.
But the rule cards give you another axis to explore. Something that was clever with the "Tip toe" and "Miner" card in play might be a horrible move with the "Slow poke" and "Craver" both on the table.
The variety gives you more strategies to find, but then also asks you to decide which game is right for which strategies.
Yes, I realize the first two goals are at $12k, which is the same as our funding level. Really cool features that are worthy of being stretch goals, but I like them so much, there's no way we're going to do the game without them.
Do you have ideas for other special rules cards, or wine scoring cards, or chocolate power cards? Let's hear them in the comments. We reserve the right to change or modify them if playtesting proves that necessary.
These are the last stretch goals. They have all been reached!! Thank you everyone, you are getting the best possible version of Bites that we can make.
This campaign has really taken off the last few days. I hear your pleas for more stretch goals, but at this stage in the campaign it would be irresponsible to add new stretch goals. And I think the game is top notch as it is. It is too easy to over-promise in the midst of the excitement and get the project into trouble. We aren't going to do that.
However, there is some good news:
- Some people have suggested linen finish cards as a stretch goal. We are already planning on linen finish cards. So consider that stretch goal reached.
- We should be able to offer a draw string bag and a picnic blanket playmat as add-ons in the pledge manager. I don't have our costs on those items yet, so I can't say the price. But I will make sure Kickstarter backers get a discount.
- We are having so much fun playtesting these new rule card ideas. There is a chance that we won't be able to narrow down our favorite and we will sneak another card in there.
If you're looking for a longer game, with a little more time for the story to develop, then we've got just the thing for you.
D ... D ... D ... D ... DOUBLE BITES
For $13, we'll throw in a second set of those lovely double layer food tokens. And then you can play Bites with a trail that is twice as long.
Most of the rules are the same, but the game and strategies have a little more time to develop. There is more arc, more ebb and flow.
Same game, but doubled up.
Bites is based on an 11-year old game called Big Points. But this is far from a straight reprint.
Big Points was a pure abstract with a wooden disc and wooden pawns. I think the "Ant at a picnic" theme really adds a lot to the game.
More importantly, the rules to Big Points were the same every time. The rule cards added to Bites add a ton of variety. Playing with the "Overachiever" card is completely different than playing with humble ants. And the other 3 decks mix to change the subtleties of the game each time.
I'm not trying to dog on Big Points. I love the game. That is why I tracked down Brigitte and Wolfgang Ditt to license it. But even more, I was delighted to learn that they had these cards to add to it. To make it fresh.
And I'm not the only Big Points fan. Read these reviews from BoardGameGeek. Then imagine it being taken up a notch.
Chad DeShon is the owner of BoardGameTables.com. Wrote most of the words on this page. The co-organizer of the world renowned Age of Steam Con. And the person who sought out this game to publish.
Katy Adams is the head of the complaint/compliment department. If you have a complaint (or question, or lost shipment, or dented box) email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you out.
Wolfgang and Brigitte Ditt are the game designers behind Bites. Their other designs include Nautilus and Solaris. They like to travel quite a bit.
Anca Garvil is the co-artist for Bites. She was also the artist for the other two games we have published: On Tour, and QE. Additionally, she did the heavy math to figure out how to get these dual layer tokens to link up and made all the graphics you see on this page.
Filip Garvil is Anca's husband and the other half of the artistic duo for Bites. He specializes in the 3rd dimension. Filip designed the stand up ant hill and made the video at the top of this page.
Look. I'm just going to level with you. We are publishing some really great games.
Three of them now.
All of them play in less than 20 - 45 min. They all have 4-page rules books. And they are all deceptively strategic. Short games that are easy to learn, but really make you think.
If you are only interested in Bites, no worries. Skip this section. For the rest of you, we are offering a special combo. It includes:
- The extra tokens, so you can play Double Bites
- On Tour
- 8 Extra Player Maps for On Tour so you can play 12 player games
In On Tour, players compete to take their band to as many states as possible. You'll be writing a number in each state to book it for that date on your 100-day tour.
Each turn, dice determine which numbers you write and cards restrict where you can write. Players write simultaneously on their own maps, all using the same dice rolls and cards flips.
Everyone is getting the same inputs, but how you choose to deal with them will determine your success.
QE takes place during the 2008 recession. Each player acts as a central bank. You are enacting "Quantitive Easing" (QE) measures to stimulate the economy.
That just means you'll be spending money to bail out companies. Since you represent a nation, there is no limit to what you can spend. You get a marker and a blank check. Write any number you want.
Bid $1 and laugh at your competitors for overpaying. Or just keep writing zeros until you get tired. Maybe $1,000,000,000,000,000,000.
Every time you win the bid, you'll get more victory points.
But there is a catch.
At the end of the game, you will total up all your winning bids. Whoever paid the most total during the game loses. They are out. Then, the rest of the players score points based on collecting sets of companies, and the player with the most points wins.
Before the campaign ends, Kickstarter allows you to cancel your pledge, for any reason, no questions asked.
After the Kickstarter ends, but before your game ships, we will refund 100% of what you paid, for any reason, no questions asked.
After we have shipped your game to you, if you think Bites doesn't live up to what we have promised here, then we will refund 100% of what you paid. We might ask a question, just to better understand, but we will refund you.
BRICK AND MORTAR RETAILERS - We do not sell through traditional distribution, but if you email email@example.com, we will send you information on how to buy wholesale directly from us.
The prices in the Kickstarter are special for the Kickstarter and will be higher after this campaign is over.
This project is USA, CAN, and EU friendly!
Risks and challenges
The art for this game is very nearly complete. Previous versions of this game have garnered great reviews of the game play.
Panda Game Manufacturing will be printing the game. They are industry leaders, and that removes a lot of risk. They have done a test production of the double layer cardboard tokens.
This is our 5th Kickstarter (2 have been board games, 2 have been tables). Things have not always gone perfectly, but we do whatever we need to make it right for our backers. Our first board game shipped on schedule, and our second board game is on track to ship on schedule (July).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)