Cast For A Bite
A fishing board game for all the family for all those times when you daren't go near the PC over Christmas!Now that the winter nights are drawing in this often means shorter sessions, unless, of course, you still go night fishing. Combine this with the fact that Christmas is just round the corner you will no doubt be told that it was time you spent more time with the family instead of on the bankside anyway.
So what can you do to keep the family happy and at the same time ensure you do not suffer withdrawal symptoms? Well, if you enjoy a good board game this may well be the way to keep in the good books and do something fishing orientated at the same time.
There are various video and PC fishing type games available for handhelds and PC's but they still really adhere to the solitary ways of fishing, whereas a board game takes you away from all the technological stuff for a while and allows the whole family to sit down together and join in the fun (if you like fishing games that is).
Cast For A Bite
The object of the game is to catch as many fish during the match, which is timed using the supplied electronic timer that can be set to any period you wish. Another plus factor of the timer (thoughtfully, it comes complete with battery) is it can be stopped at any time throughout the match to allow a break, so when the match is resumed there can be no arguments. This is done by travelling round the board using the double dice until you land on any of the instruction squares. These are either yellow or red Bait Card squares and the red Snag Squares and the all important Cast For A Bite (blue) squares.
On your way round you will also encounter various forfeit squares ranging from taking a meal break, visiting the tackle shop, or the most probable in real life, actually popping into the tackle shop for some goodies.
Each player starts by taking three Bait Cards from the pile. This could be anything from the trusty maggot, casters, worms, cheese, bread, dog biscuits or boilies, right up to lures or flies. Most baits are available in single double or treble options to appeal to the wide range of species you may come across. Throughout the game you can build up your bait selections in one of two ways, the first is to land on a yellow Bait Card square. This allows you to take a Bait Card from the top of the pile although this is totally random. The better of the two Bait Cards is the green squares as these allow you to either select a random card from the pile or, even better, have a good look through your opponent's baits and take one.
As in any match the idea is to catch fish, and this is where the Cast For A Bite square becomes the most important square on the board. On landing on this type of square the player rolls the Fish Dice lettered S,M,L (for Small, Medium or Large fish) and then select a relevant card. If the bait mentioned on the card matches one in your collection it's another fish for your net. The fish is yours and the successful Bait Card is returned to the bottom of the pile and so on throughout the game.
Along the way you will no doubt encounter some Snag Squares, there are two in this section, one for rivers and one for lakes.
The Snag Cards carry various good fortune and forfeit cards. Your luck can be in when an angler packs up and gives you his bait or, if it's a river snag, you may have to miss a go due to debris floating down, resetting your tackle or the dreaded bailiff checks tickets and realises you haven't got a licence! So, off to the licence office where you must attempt to throw a double six to get back in the match or, if not, then you forfeit some bait.
The lake Snag Cards are similar including kicking over your bait and running out of hooks, which means a quick dash to the tackle shop.
The game is over once the buzzer sounds and, as in real fishing, the player with the highest weight wins the day. If there is a tie then it is down to the best specimen caught by the two competitors. The final point totalling is a lot easier than adding all the weights together as each Fish Card has various values depending on the weights. It is these values that decide the winner.My family had a few goes with Cast For A Bite and we found it to be very enjoyable; the rules being simple enough to be picked up very quickly even by the youngest boy who is 11. As with any board game it takes a little effort from the players to bring out the best in it, and the usual bankside banter soon started after we had raided each other's bait boxes a few times!
All in all a cleverly designed game with a different approach to all the electronic ones available in that this one can be played by the whole family at the same time, plus it brings the family back from the technological age once again if only for a short while.
If I have any criticisms of the game it would be that the printers spelt Barbel wrong, spelling it 'Barble'. This will make the purists frown but most of us will just smile and enjoy the game - maybe that was the plan ☺. It would also have been nice to have included angling-type players pieces instead of the plastic skittles. But that apart, everything is of high quality and colourful. If you are really into board games this could well be for you.
Cast For A Bite is available from www.castforabite.com and for a limited period the price is £ 24.99 with £ 2.50 p&p. Ordering can be done via secure online or through the post.