Oar Else! logo

Oar Else!, the card game

Stranded in shark infested waters, race to shore or find the items necessary for an immediate rescue. Play as a "team" or jump overboard and go it alone, overcoming torrential storms, blabbering parrots, pirate attacks, and simply losing your mind. Horde food for an end game bonus. Oar Else! is a "cooperative" card game for 3-5 players.

Typical game length is 30 - 45 min. However, there are a couple cards that can "reset" the game.

Suggested game price: $20.00
Suggested expansion pack price: $3.00

Rules PDF:
Combined Set-up card
(addition 2.10.14; 4.65 MB)
game rules (revised 2.19.14)
game rules: original

Purchase direct: online store.

Oar Else! is in the news -
Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Oar Else! shark

Game creators:
Jason Fleming, Bob Heubel
Julia Huff
Game artist:
Mike Gray 

Video created by BlueOnly.tv.

Local gaming

Support local game stores
Buy your copy at:


Online stores

Come play Oar Else!

Oar Else! is available in all the game store libraries listed above and GameHäus Cafe ~so, stop by, play, and buy.

Thanks to my awesome friend Kirsten, Oar Else! is now in two gaming libraries in Henderson, Nevada: MaximuM Comics and Action Comics and Sports.

Write a review

Thank you to Chris Baylis at the Games Gazette for writing this great review of Oar Else!. I appreciate his honest and constructive feedback and have since revised the rules in the hopes to make learning the game easier.

Support Oar Else! by writing a review at Boardgaming.com or rate it at Boardgamegeek.com.

Oar Else! cartoon

Oar Else! cards

Oar Else!, the card game, artwork
© Pencil for Hire

Games of Berkeley
Oar Else! game set-up
Photo credit: Casual Game Revolution

Games of Berkeley: Locally Grown Games Section
Inspired by the locavore and farmers market movements, Games of Berkeley introduces a Locally Grown Games Section to their store.

Gaming at CelestiCon 2014Gaming at CelestiCon, 8.30.14

Produced by:
Flatcar6 Studios logo

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Support gamers

The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund auction has ended and people are receiving their goodies. Learn more about the fund.

The fund is a not-for-profit with a simple goal: raising and distributing funds to help gamers in their hour of need.

The auction ended Nov. 25th. Congratulations and thanks to Chris for making a generous bid on a copy of Oar Else!

Extra Life 2013

Board Gamers Anonymous supported the Extra Life 2013 children's hospital charity event this Nov. 2nd. Many games were raffled during the event to support the cause. Here are the lucky winners. Listen to the podcast.

Game ideas in the works

We're starting to play around with some Oar Else! expansion ideas, like...

  • adding an alternate set up card to track paddling

    ~ some ideas we are kicking around:
    set-up card v.1
    print v. 1

  • adding a second boat to expand the game to support ten players and boat wars (I think, it'd be funny for people to be jumping in and out of boats.)
  • adding castaway packs
  • Notes about the game

    With any game there are always variations of game play that pop-up as game players have different interpretations of rules and cards. Here is a list of notes from gamers and the developers:

    • Saving trees - The instructions were printed out of order. To save trees, the pages were cut apart instead of being reprinted. The first page has the picture of the box art. The last page is the URL.
    • A player's "hand" are the cards in hand and any face down cards bungeed to you.
    • "Discard a paddle card" means to move your paddle marker back one space on your paddling card.
    • Cards that are played face up in front of a player are at risk of being discarded when attack cards are played. For example, the "pirate attack" card could be used to force a player to discard a "bungee" item card.
    • Guidelines for bidding? What's your comfort level? Everyone with cards must bid; one up, five down.. it's all up to you.
    • When Immediate Rescue cards are played, they are considered out of play and are no longer at risk of being discarded by attack cards. Deciding when to reveal your scenario can be tricky; revealing will put those cards out of play so no risk of loosing them, but everyone now knows what rescue scenario cards you are trying to collect.
    • Players may only play Immediate Rescue cards towards their individual or the boat's Immediate Rescue Scenario. If the Immediate Rescue doesn't match your objective, then it probably matches someone elses scenario. Discard or use them to bid for Food cards, a way to discover what other players are searching for.
    • The Pack Rat Ability Card allows you to retrieve the cards that are discarded when a "thrown overboard" card is played.
    • The Thief Ability Card enables the user take a card from another person's hand; this doesn't include items that are face-up on the table.
    • The hair glue card should have a "discard" on it~ infinite extra turns.. ah, no.
    • Interpreting cards ~ Oar Else! provides avenues to create your own house rules about how cards can be played. If uncertain, decide as a group to set up a house rule and be consistent.
    • Some day set-up cards will have a different backing than the rest of the cards. Sorry, not with this first run of 1,000 though.
    • There is a copy error in the first twenty-five decks on the "Fairytale Ending Immediate Scenario" set up card. It reads "Any Means Immediate Scenario".
    • I can't count so the contents list card count is off.

    I'm currently inquiring about distribution.

Copyright©2011 Flatcar6 Studios