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Subject: Rulebook Review: Hey, That's My Fish! rss

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Erik Capps
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Welcome to this Rulebook Review! Today we're looking at Hey, That's My Fish!, an award winning abstract strategy game in which players want to catch as many fish as possible with their waddle of penguins. The player who collects the most fish wins. You can learn more about it here.

But how does the rulebook stand up? Let's find out! If you'd like to follow along, a PDF version of the rules can be found here.

Organization and Layout: The rulebook unfolds but there is no complicated rulebook origami here. The folding doesn't effect the organization and ease of use in any way. The rulebook is also perfectly organized, everything is done in order and it really shows in how well it flows. Nothing is out of place.

Clarity: Nothing was confusing within the rulebook, and the most difficult part to read (in Create the Game Board) still wasn't difficult to work through plus...

Graphics: ...there was a great graphic to help explain it. There are only three major pictures but all of them are perfect, placed in relevant space, and explain things clearly. Honestly many gamers could probably learn to play the game just from the pictures alone which speaks wonders.

Depth: The game does cover the few tiny what ifs but it's almost entirely done in the section about ties and it does so quite well.

Writing: No typos, no fluff, and is clear and concise. I have no complaints at all about the writing, this is the kind of writing all rulebooks should strive for.
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But what does Susan our resident rulebook expert and mustache think? On the Susan Rating Scale this game gets:


Two Curls Up!


Susan's Explanation: There's just nothing I can find wrong with this rulebook. It's incredibly accessible, even younger players could probably learn the rules easily. This is the kind of rulebook every rulebook should be. The kind of rulebook that is:



It's nice to have a high rated rulebook that even got Susan Approved! If you are writing a rulebook this one is definitely a great example to look at. But maybe there is some glaring flaw we missed or you just want to chime in with your agreement, so leave us a comment below! If you want to keep up with the review on BGG, subscribe to the Rulebook Review Geeklist! If you want to see more Rulebook Reviews, come visit our website! Thanks for reading and remember: Every Game Deserves A Good Rulebook.
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John McD
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I am not clear if you've played the game, I often find rules that seem clear are anything but when you start to play.


That said, the FF rules are improved on the previous publishers.
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Russ Williams
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BlackSpy wrote:
I am not clear if you've played the game, I often find rules that seem clear are anything but when you start to play.


That said, the FF rules are improved on the previous publishers.

That sounds like you're saying the FF rules (linked to in the review) are nonetheless unclear...? They seem clear to me. Am I missing something?

(The only lameness I see in them is the instruction to set up by shuffling the tiles face down and then turn them face up, which is a pointless waste of time... but still, it's not unclear.)
 
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John McD
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I think the review is fine and I have played with current and earlier rules. My comment was really by way of feedback on the approach, I should have been clearer.
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Russ Williams
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BlackSpy wrote:
I think the review is fine and I have played with current and earlier rules. My comment was really by way of feedback on the approach, I should have been clearer.

Ah, I see, thanks!

I.e. a review of a rulebook usefully includes information gained from having played the game (by following the rulebook), and not only on information gained by reading and analyzing the rulebook.

Agree, it is indeed useful (and probably more fun as well) to put the rulebook to the test of playing.
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Randall Bart
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The proof of the rulebook is in the playing, and as long as this review implies it was written without playing, it is of dubious value.
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Erik Capps
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Woah wait a minute, who says I haven't played the game?

Playing the game is definitely a good way to make sure the rules work well, I sit down to the games I'm reviewing to play them yes, I'm just not reviewing based on gameplay, only on the quality of the rules.
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Russ Williams
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Capps wrote:
Woah wait a minute, who says I haven't played the game?

Playing the game is definitely a good way to make sure the rules work well, I sit down to the games I'm reviewing to play them yes, I'm just not reviewing based on gameplay, only on the quality of the rules.

Cool; I didn't assume you'd not played it, but I agree that it is not clear from the review that you did play it: might be worth making that clear in future reviews. In any case I'm glad to see attention paid to rules quality; I agree that good clear rules are important!
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Erik Capps
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russ wrote:
Capps wrote:
Woah wait a minute, who says I haven't played the game?

Playing the game is definitely a good way to make sure the rules work well, I sit down to the games I'm reviewing to play them yes, I'm just not reviewing based on gameplay, only on the quality of the rules.

Cool; I didn't assume you'd not played it, but I agree that it is not clear from the review that you did play it: might be worth making that clear in future reviews. In any case I'm glad to see attention paid to rules quality; I agree that good clear rules are important!


I already put out another review today, but I'll be sure to make that clear in other reviews. Thanks for the advice!
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John McD
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Capps wrote:
Woah wait a minute, who says I haven't played the game?


I was not saying you didn't play, but I do not think you said you did play. any appreciation of rules is best when it is clear they have been properly tested.
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Erik Capps
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BlackSpy wrote:
Capps wrote:
Woah wait a minute, who says I haven't played the game?


I was not saying you didn't play, but I do not think you said you did play. any appreciation of rules is best when it is clear they have been properly tested.


I'm definitely going to say in the future that I do sit down and play the game as part of the process, I'm glad to get this good advice early on in writing, so thanks for bringing it up man.
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bernadette paramita
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hello, My friend gave me this deluxe version.
I'm confused since the rules book missing.
the two side of ice floes (front and back) is the same.
it's doesn't have water pattern at the back (like in the rules I have read before)

is the deluxe version rules different from the regular one?
 
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Russ Williams
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Nthe wrote:
hello, My friend gave me this deluxe version.
I'm confused since the rules book missing.
the two side of ice floes (front and back) is the same.
it's doesn't have water pattern at the back (like in the rules I have read before)

is the deluxe version rules different from the regular one?

The backs of the tiles have no meaning. Only the visible=top side matters.

The back/bottom side of the tiles can have a copy of the front/top side, or a uniform water pattern, or a portrait of Queen Victoria, or a map of New York City, or whatever: it makes no difference to the rules or game play.
 
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Adrian Brooks
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Nthe wrote:
hello, My friend gave me this deluxe version.
I'm confused since the rules book missing.
the two side of ice floes (front and back) is the same.
it's doesn't have water pattern at the back (like in the rules I have read before)

My version of the rules say "place the tiles upside down, then turn them over". I guess yours do, too. But it takes an enormous amount of time to do with no real benefit.

The deluxe version has double-sided tiles so as to put them out as quickly as possible. So do that. If someone starts looking at the tiles to arrange particularly large areas of three-fish tiles or somesuch, discourage them.
 
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John McD
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Slow Dog wrote:
Nthe wrote:
hello, My friend gave me this deluxe version.
I'm confused since the rules book missing.
the two side of ice floes (front and back) is the same.
it's doesn't have water pattern at the back (like in the rules I have read before)

My version of the rules say "place the tiles upside down, then turn them over". I guess yours do, too. But it takes an enormous amount of time to do with no real benefit.

The deluxe version has double-sided tiles so as to put them out as quickly as possible. So do that. If someone starts looking at the tiles to arrange particularly large areas of three-fish tiles or somesuch, discourage them.


Not only does it take time, the hex pattern gets all messed up. So slow, frustrating and entirely without benefit.

Setting up the game with clumps and what not isn't a sneaky way to victory either as everyone plays on the same board and the set up is done with the board fully visible. Somehow planning for everyone's penguins set up and moves and the board layout stage isn't viable.
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