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Continuing our series on games for Halloween, on today’s Short Bite we’re reviewing Jaws, a board game adaptation for the classic horror movie and novel. In this game, players work together to chase down and stop the shark before…well before the swimmers get…(QUEUE THE MUSIC) Da Na! Da Na!

🎂 Age 9+
👨‍👩‍👦 2-4 players
⌛ 45-60 min
📐 Skills: Probability, strategy, cooperation, resource management

In Jaws, players work cooperatively as fisherman Quint, scientist Hooper, or Sheriff Brody against a player assuming the role of the titular Great White himself. This is really two games in one. The first act takes place on Amity island with our heroes attempting to save swimmers, find the shark, and tag him twice with barrels to trigger the second act. While three against one may sound like overpowered odds, the shark is stealthy. His moves are secret with only the occasional buoy alarm, fish finder, or munched swimmer to indicate his presence. As the shark stalks the waters off Amity Island, Chief Brody, Quint, and Hooper are trying to minimize the casualties and find the shark. Quint and Hooper patrol the water in their boats, saving swimmers and deploying barrels. Brody gets barrels to his teammates, looks for the shark at beaches, and can close beaches to prevent any new swimmers from entering the dangerous waters.

After the shark has been tagged with two barrels, or nine swimmers have been eaten (yikes!), the game board is flipped over and the action continues on Quint’s boat, the Orca. Just like the movie, the crew has gone out to hunt the shark and it’s hunting them back. Based on how well the shark and the crew did against one another in the first act, they have a better starting position in the second act. Several possible surface locations are drawn and the shark secretly decides where to pounce and whether to use some extra power tokens to have a bigger impact on the boat and its crew. The heroes aren’t without resources of their own, however. Each member of the crew has weapons they will select to use and will position themselves where they think the shark will surface. Then the attack happens and the crew defends themselves. The crew and shark will continue to trade blows round by round until either the shark is killed, all the crew members are killed, or the Orca sinks.

We loved the adaption of this IP into a game. It matches the movie so well. Each player has the abilities that make sense for their character and the game is well balanced. It’s a fun and sometimes grizzly challenge to face off with the shark, but we loved every minute! This is a great game to play in the lead-up to Halloween. Watch the movie first and then see how well you fare against this killer shark!

Show Notes
Jaws –
(Homeschool Together Book Club) Jaws by Peter Benchley –
He was a speech writer for the Johnson Administration! –
Eye of the World –
Eye of the World Trailer –

Horrific Show Notes (avoid at all costs) a.k.a. Grandma Feeding Ground
Baby Shark Sweater –
Baby Shark Song Puzzle –

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