Bitin' Off Hedz
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Prehistory: hot, primordial, dull.
You've been dominating the earth for longer than you can remember. Of course, with a brain the size of a walnut, you've also been standing there for longer than you can remember.
Nevertheless, you're completely positive that it's been 10 million years since anything interesting has happened. So you decide to cajole your buddies into running a suicide race across Skull Island. The winner is the first to hurl himself into the big volcano in the middle. The losers are everyone who got their heads bitten off along the way.
Like we said, it's been hot and dull.
Game Synopsis: Everyone starts at the lowest point on the island, and races around to the top. There are mud pits to slow you down, a big gap to jump over, and lots of rocks to pick up along the way. You can spend your rocks to roll again, or you can throw them at other players to knock them off the track. When you land on another dinosaur, you get to bite off their head. The board is dino-huge! And in this second edition, all the dinosaurs have different special abilities.
Even if you're not a hobbyist gamer, you'll have fun with Bitin' Off Hedz. It doesn't have any confusing rules, and it only requires pawns and tokens to play.
Essentially, it's a basic racing board game: First to get to the finish space wins. Twists arise, however: There are split paths, spaces which slow you down, and the ever-present risk that you'll get beaned in the noggin' by a great big rock, or worse, have your entire head bitten off. Then you have to start all over.
There are also optional rules for more advanced play, giving different types of dinos special abilities. You could be a mouse, who can scurry faster than your lumbering opponents, but can't bite off anything larger than a toe. Or you could be a Pteranodon, who can fly over water and tar, but can't throw rocks. Either way, Bitin' Off Hedz is great fun that's easy to learn.
If you've got five or more people, and you're looking for something without the mental and emotional baggage of Diplomacy, this is the one to have. It's not that different from the games you played as a kid in which you roll dice and run along a path to get to the end, like Sorry or Parcheesi, but the dinosaur motif and ability to throw rocks at your opponents adds a bit of a twist to the theme.
Hint: The game is more fun if you get yourself some plastic dinos and a handful of gravel for props. This game's all about theme. If you've got five or more players, it should quickly degenerate into a rock-fest in no time!
Bitin' Off Hedz, like many other Cheapass Games, really can't be taken too seriously. To take this game seriously would be to completely miss the point.
Bitin' Off Hedz is basically a racing game, where each character plays as a dinosaur and tries to be the first to kill themselves by hurtling themselves into a volcano, while trying not to get their 'hedz' bit off (or hit with rocks, for that matter) along the way. There's a lot of dependance on 'luck of the die roll', and, even for a Cheapass Game, it's noticeably mindless, but, as usual for a Cheapass Game, you can't beat the price. Bitin' Off Hedz gets deliciously chaotic the more players you have participating (helpful hint: this game is pretty horrible with fewer than 4 people). Despite the heavy luck content, and the bad scaling of quality in terms of number of players, it's still a fun little game.