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Hey, That's My Fish!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Freshly Funny Fishing Fun rss

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Champion Eternal
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From the moment I noticed this game on BGG some months ago, I know I’ve gotta have it. From the BGG pictures, this game oozes quality. Furthermore, the cartoony box art showing penguins scurrying around collecting fish, with one of them slipping on an ice floe and being laughed at says it all – a fun game.

My local distributor brought this in yesterday and went over and bought a copy straightaway. After playing Reef Encounter and trying out Viktory II with him, which also just came in, I went home, ripped open the shrinkwrap and looked at the components of Hey! That’s My Fish! My initial apprehension of component quality after of seeing the Mayfair games logo on the cover was relieved when I felt the solid ice floe hexes, which are beautifully printed with nice art, and the wonderful wooden penguins. Fantastic! This probably has to do with the Phalanx Games logo which is next to the Mayfair Games one.

I read the rules in two minutes and I am ready to teach this game to the family. I managed to rope in generally-non-game-playing mum with ease (probably due to the cute penguins). The set up was a little long for a game whose theme is targeted mainly at children. Mind you, I am also a wargamer who does not mind three-hour set up time, but arranging the ice floe hexes, which took about 4 to 5 minutes, is a slight dent to an otherwise wonderful game. Children can be impatient at times, especially when they have nice wooden penguins in from of them and hexes with fish. They will grab one penguin and push this penguin’s mouth onto the nicely-laid out hexes, making gobbling sounds, ruining the nicely-laid out hexes…

The 60 hexagon ice floes tiles are arranged in 8 rows, each comprising of alternating 7-tile and 8-tiles. This eventually makes a game area of roughly 8 by 8 hexes On each ice floe, there are pictures of 1, 2 or 3 fish. The 3-fish ice floes and the 2-fish ice floes should be distributed evenly, so that there are no clumps of these large scoring floes together.

The players then take the number of penguins, depending on the number of players. Two penguins per player are used in a 4-player game, three penguins in a 3-player game and all four penguins in a 2-player game. The youngest player starts by putting on of his penguin on a 1-fish ice floe. The next player to his right does the same with one of his penguin , and so on, until all players have placed all their penguins on a 1-fish ice floe. Then the first player starts by moving one of his penguin. The player may move his penguin in a straight line along orthogonally-adjacent hexes as far as he wants. The only restrictions are:

1. The penguin cannot change direction
2. It cannot enter an ice floe which has another penguin (including any penguin belonging to the moving player) on it
3. It must stop before entering an ice floe containing another penguin
4. It cannot enter any empty space (e.g. the space beyond the playing area).

After moving a penguin, the player removes the ice floe that the penguin that he just moved was on. This removed ice floe is his and will count towards scoring at the end of the game. The next player takes his turn and so on. The game ends when no player can move his penguin. This is due to all the players’ penguin being isolated on single ice floes. Scoring then begins. Each player counts the number of fish depicted on all ice floes that he owns. The player with the highest number of fish is the winner. If there is a tie, the player with the most number of ice floe wins. If this is still a tie, the result is a draw.

Apart from the set up, this is a fast and fun game for the whole family. We like it so much that we played it three times in a row. A game with 4 players lasts about 20 minutes. The game length is shorter, of course, with fewer people.

There are various ways the penguins can be used in the game. The obvious use is to grab ice floes to increase one’s score. Another use is to block an opponent’s penguin from reaching 3 or 2- fish ice floes. These two uses can be combined to trap opponent’s penguins on the edge of the playing area by blocking and removing ice floes that connect to the central parts of the game area. Likewise, one can use his own penguin to isolate his own penguins in an area with lots of ice floes from other players’ penguins. This game is fairly deep in relation to its theme, with lots of strategy options.

This is a good gateway game to wean children away from the traditional roll-and-move games that they may have started out with. It’s a good introduction to strategy games and the mechanics of the game encourage decision-making. Once a child realizes that he can move any of his penguin as far as the rules permit without relying on the result of a dice throw, he will have that Eureka! moment of ‘Hey! There Are Other Games besides Snake and Ladders!’ The nature of the game also encourages the child to plan ahead. Which ice floe shall he move onto this turn so that he can grab that ice floe when his penguin leaves it in the next turn? Which penguin shall I move this turn to block Mummy’s penguin who is heading for that 3-fish ice floe? How do I isolate Daddy’s penguins?

Overall this is one fun game for the whole family. The high-quality components complement the theme of the game. All this wraps up nicely with the simple-yet-elegant game mechanics and the whole gaming experience oozes with atmosphere. This game deserves a microbadge. It’s a game I will take with me on a skiing holiday. The box says it’s for ages 8+, but this game can be enjoyed by 6-year olds as well as 66-year olds. I suspect my copy won’t stay in the shelf for too long. After all, today is Saturday…





 
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Mark Buetow
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McHenry
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Very nice review, however there's an error:

Quote:
The players then take the number of penguins, depending on the number of players. All four penguins per player are used in a 4-player game, three penguins in a 3-player game and two penguins in a 2-player game.


You've got it backwards. The rules state:

Quote:
Depending on the number of players, take 2-4 Penguins.
* 2 players: 4 penguins each
* 3 players: 3 penguins each
* 4 players: 2 penguins each


I think four players with four penguins would be too crowded. Two players with 2 penguins wouldn't have enough action.

 
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Champion Eternal
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Oops! Yes, you are right - I got it backwards.
I have now edited the review. Thanks for the heads-up.
 
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