AKA: It's Mine!
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Those pesky bugs just keep coming at you! Your job is to SWAT them right when they score the most points. But be quick or your fellow players will SWAT them first. Do you go for Sure Stings, or wait for Double-or-NoStings? Or maybe you try to get the most Swat-or-Nots or Zappers, since these can be worth even more points.
SWAT! is about capturing cards. A dealer turns over cards one-by-one, until someone decides he wants the exposed cards and hits the colorful "SWAT!" board. That player then becomes the dealer and the same process continues until all players have “swatted” three times or the deck runs out. Your challenge is to remember what you have already swatted and decide how far you can push your luck before another player swats the stack. The artwork is fun, imaginative and might get a little bit under your skin!
- 110 playing cards
- 1 Swat mat
Average Rating: 3.5 in 1 review
Design by: Reiner Knizia
Published by: Gryphon Games
2 – 7 Players, 20 – 30 minutes
Review by: Greg J. Schloesser
Reiner Knizia appears to be the undisputed master of getting his games published and republished … again and again and again. Well over a dozen of his previously published games have been re-published, often with new names, themes and artwork. While these cosmetic changes likely mean more dollars and Euros in the pockets of publishers and distributors – and Herr Knizia – they often cause confusion amongst the buying public. I can't help but wonder how many unsuspecting folks have actually purchased a game, only to discover that they already owned an earlier version that was published under a different name.
In spite of this potential confusion, it is good to see good games brought back to life. The latest of Reiner's reincarnations is Swat! from Gryphon Games, which was previously released by Winning Moves as It's Mine! I've enjoyed this family-friendly game for many years, and am happy to see it once again available.
Packaged in a colorful and compact tin, the game features a deck of cards depicting a variety of pests and bugs. Cards depict either positive or negative values, and some cards require the collection of two identical cards in order for their points to be scored or subtracted. In addition, there are numerous special cards in the deck, including wild cards which must be matched with cards requiring a match, bug zappers which earn increasing amounts of points based on how many a player collects, and "swat or not" cards, which reward the player who has collected the most, while penalizing the player who has collected the least.
The idea of the game is to grab cards which result in a positive score at the conclusion of the hand. One-at-a-time, the dealer reveals cards from the deck. When a player decides he would like the collection of cards revealed, he slaps his hand to the table. The first player to slap – or swat – the table gets the cards. If more than one player slaps the table, it is up to the dealer to decide which player slapped first. It is not uncommon for several players to slap the table at once, making it difficult to determine who was first. We decide this with a quick match of "rock-paper-scissors" between the contesting players.
When a player collects a batch of cards, he places them face-down in a stack. The player is charged with the task of attempting to remember which cards he has collected so that he can maximize his total in future hands (similar to the idea used in Schnaeppchen Jagd). A player can collect at most three stacks of cards per round, so one must be careful on when to slap the table and take a collection of cards.
The player who slapped first and collected a set becomes the dealer and repeats this process. Once everyone has collected three hands (or the deck of cards expires), points are tallied from all three stacks and recorded. Three rounds are played, and the player with the highest cumulative scores wins the game. Of course, players can play more or fewer rounds based on their preference or time constraints. The original It's Mine required a player to win two rounds to capture the game.
Swat! is a game of deciding when to pull the trigger and take a collection of cards. There is the persistent temptation to hold off slapping the table until just one more card is turned. Slap too early and you may miss out on a valuable card or two. Slap too late and an opponent may beat you to a nice collection. Of course, waiting can also backfire if a few negative-valued cards are revealed. As each card is revealed, the tension mounts and the butterflies in one's stomach increases. This tension is what really makes the game click.
Swat! can be played in twenty-to-thirty minutes and is ideally suited for family play. All but the youngest of children can play competently, but there is enough fun and decisions present to keep adults entertained and engaged. I've had great success playing the game with my gaming group and family and friends, and it has been universally enjoyed by all. The new packaging and theme is nice, making it even more appealing. Kudos to Gryphon Games for re-publishing this entertaining game.
It's Mine! Or is it? You will have to decide quickly. Seventy-eight colored cards represent positive and negative points; some need to be collected in batches to score. The starting player turns over the cards one by one, forming an ever-growing row. When you like a collection, slap the board and take them as a facedown stack. It is now your deal. You can take no more than three batches. The victor is the first to score the most in two hands of play. To exercise your memory, try this exhilarating game by dealing the cards in a stack rather than a row.
Browsing through the games shelf at the local toyshop, I come across an interesting-sounding card game with two crucial words on the box -- Reiner Knizia. Another two words catch my eye -- five pounds. I buy. Grab [AKA It's Mine] is a simple card game comprising a deck of 5 types of card (Sure Thing, Double or Nothing, Wild cards, Toast or Most and Jackpot) and a mat to slam down on to claim the cards. The objective is to collect the good whilst avoiding the bad.
The oldest player starts off as dealer. He turns one card face up at a time, quite quickly, placing them in a row to ensure that are all visible, until one of the other players shouts "Grab" and slams his hand down on the mat. That player takes the cards, places them face down in a separate pile (which may not be looked at until scoring) next to him and becomes dealer for the next round. As soon as one player has 3 piles (4 in a 3 player game) he cannot take any more cards and becomes dealer until the next hand. When only one player can still take cards, he gets the remainder. At this point, scoring starts. Each player gathers his facedown cards and calculates his points. Sure Thing cards score the value marked on them and range from +4 to -1. Double or Nothing require 2 identical cards to score and range from value +6 to -4. So a single +5 scores nothing but a pair of then score +5. Similarly a single -4 will lose you nothing but two of them will. Wild cards must be used to make up a pair, even if it has to match a negative card. Toast or Most cards score +10 to the player who has collected, logically enough, most of them. Finally Jackpot cards score points according to how many you have -- 1 scores 0 points, 2 scores 1, 2 scores 3 all the way up to 7 scoring 40 points. The player who has scored most points wins the hand. The first player to win two hands wins the game.
Sounds familiar? It's Ra-lite. Sure Thing cards score like Gods and gold, Toast or Most like Pharaohs and Jackpot cards like Monuments. And that's a fair way to sum it up. You have to quickly evaluate the cards on offer and hope to grab them before someone else appreciates their value. Grab is a fun game that plays quickly and now holds position, in our group, as regular session ender.
SWD: Neil didn't send me a note of such things as publisher, number of players etc and at the time I didn't think to ask, because such things are easy enough to track down later. That isn't how it has worked out this time and my last minute attempts to contact him have failed. However, it is fairly clear from the description that Grab would seem to be a British edition of the game that was published in the States last year by the company Winning Moves. They called it It's Mine. That being the case, it is a game for 3-5 players.