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Everyone has played Go Fish, right? I’m not alone here. But have you ever played Hanabi? Well, mix the two together and you have a fun party game, about releasing all of the fish from your hand, and it’s about to hit Kickstarter.
It is the craziest, most bizarre and silliest idea for a game I have ever heard of and yet it is pure genius and works on so many levels.
The artwork is simple and beautiful, like the painted style of an old school children’s book. Like an old school children’s book, you will fall in love with it and play it over and over again.
Each game contains 54 cards – four types of basic fish numbered from 1 to 10 – Goldfish, Dogfish, Rainbowfish and Clownfish – and four types of special fish (3 copies of each) – Starfish, Toadfish, Flying fish and Lionfish – and 2 easy play rules cards.
If you have ever played Go Fish, this game is similar to that with a slight difference. Like Go Fish, you deal each player 7 cards; you need to guess cards and the winner is the first person to get rid of their cards. But that is where the similarities end and the true intelligence of this game steps it into the next level.
Players take the role of fisherman. You and your fellow fishermen are having one of those days that all fishermen dream of. Fish practically leaping onto your boat, you have caught so many fish that your boat is overloaded and beginning to sink. To save yourself from capsizing, I mean to be a responsible fisherman and support sustainability fishing; you must start releasing your fish.
Shuffle the deck, but the top four cards faced down out of play (to stop card counters, like me). 7 cards are then dealt; you hold them up facing away for you without looking at them. You can see everyone’s cards but your own; you then have to guess what you have. If you do not have the card you guess, your opponents tells you ‘No Fish’ and you have to draw a card. If you do have the correct number the fish is released into the wild. As a reward for setting your fish free, you either take a free guess with no penalty or you can take a special picture card from another player and use its special action.
I only have 2 real complaints, which are quite minor, as this game just flows so nicely. Some of the games can sometimes be drawn out. The use of 10 numbers and 4 special cards to choose from mean there are a lot of choices, and we had several rounds of no one guessing correctly. This may just have been us, as we were playing with only two people. I think playing with more people will help this issue.
The other complaint is, that the game is for 2-6 players. I think you would have a hard time playing with six players, because each player is dealt 7 cards and 4 cards taken out face down at the start of the game. That would leave only 6 cards in the Fish Deck, which would make the odds of guessing correctly a lot easier, yet doesn’t leave a lot of wriggle room for people guessing incorrectly or playing special cards like the Toadfish and forcing a player to draw 2 cards from the fish pile. This leave the game a bit unbalanced, as there is no punishment for incorrect guesses, or for the use of special cards. Personally, I think 3-4 players is ideal, as a nice balance to the way this game plays.
No Fish was quite a risk to take, basing your game off an old favorite that everyone knows, loves and has a real history in so many people’s lives, and attempting to recreate it. As we have seen before with other genres such as movies, tackling an old favorite it can be pure craziness and more often than not, is disastrous. Yet Sean of 93 Made Games have taken an old favorite, reinvented it and made it into something special.
This game is a must have in your collection and should be a real hit as a fast and fun family game.
Dez of ATGN.com.au