Strategy board games are often quite complicated, with reems of rules telling you what you can and can’t do during your move. This often means that the more in-depth games are hardly accessible to new or younger players. Introducing: Hey, That’s My Fish! an incredibly simple strategy game which’ll have you pulling apart your family in just a single move.
Let’s face it, board games can bring families together, they can also tear them apart. We don’t even talk of the time the Monopoly board was thrown across the room one Christmas, in this house. And from a glance, Hey, That’s My Fish, hardly looks like a game that’ll tear your family to pieces, but you’ll be surprised.
The game is incredibly simplistic. You’re presented with a board made up of individual tiles each with a number of fish, some have one, others have two, and others have three. The aim of the game is to acquire as many of these tiles as possible without becoming stranded and losing all of your penguins.
Probably the most complicated and tedious part of Hey, That’s My Fish, is the set up process as you tiresomely piece together each hexagonal tile row after row in any order. The tiles are fairly small too which is a pain in the ass when you’re trying to pick up a tile surrounded by many others. Also, if one of you happens to knock the table, you’ll find that the tiles will quickly shift out of order, which again, is quite frustrating. This could be solved by a separate board in which the pieces slot into, but I’m just being picky here.
Once you’re all set up, you pick your penguin colour. There’s a choice of four colours each with four different penguins. The penguin pieces are actually really well designed and are gorgeous little models too. Once you’ve chosen your penguins, depending on the amount of players depends on how many penguins are placed on the board.
This part of the game is where you need to get your thinking cap on. Each player is required to place one penguin on any one-fish tile. If you’ve done the set up correctly, you’ve got a board with a nice jumble of different number of fish, so you need to place your penguins accordingly, so you can acquire the most fish before you’re stuck.
The objective is simple, collect the most fish. Actually doing so is a little more fun, you see, you only collect the tile you’re on, once you move to the next tile. So after everyone’s first move each player will have at least one fish per penguin. Now, as you’d expect, everyone will be likely gunning for the tiles with the three fishes, but there’s a few rules when moving.
Players can only move in a straight line and cannot change direction. Penguins can also block other penguins, and any empty spaces left by collected tiles, cannot be passed over. This can lead to some very interesting strategies as players can choose to collect tiles in order to separate and trap other players’ penguins from the rest of the tiles. Each round, players must move a penguin, if they cannot it’s the end of the road and that player removes their penguins from the game as well as the tiles those penguins are stranded on, adding them to their collection.
Once all penguins have been collected, players add up their collection of tiles as per the number of fish on each. The winner is the player with the most fish collected.
Hey, That’s My Fish! is a fantastic entry into the strategy game. Though clearly aimed at a younger audience, we also got a kick out of the game as we all had our own strategies – mostly involving cutting players off from one another. However there’s one small niggle. Games are over incredibly quickly, and once the game is over, you’ve got the chore of setting up the game board all over again.
Like I said before, it’s not necessarily a problem, but for those of us who’d like a game to last a little longer than the average of about 5 minutes and not spend 10 minutes lining up tiles, it can deter players from having another game or two.
Overall though, Hey, That’s My Fish! is a brilliant quick-play game, especially if you’ve been keen to get into the strategy game world but find the more complex games a little too overwhelming.
Hey, That’s My Fish costs just £9.99 and can be purchased from Amazon, or various other stores. You can check out if a store near you has the game available using Esdevium Games’ store locator.
The review sample of Hey, That’s my Fish! was provided to us by Esdevium Games.