May 2018 be all you dreamed it would be and be all that you dreamed...
All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.
Fish Eat Fish allows up to 5 players to battle it out for the right to be called ‘Biggest fish in the sea’ – literally! Each player controls a group of 5 fish and the action takes place on a seaboard that contains a 5 x 5 grid with a circle on each intersection. Each player places their fish on these intersections and the remaining spaces are filled with neutral purple fish. Each player then takes an identical set of 11 cards made up of the following; 0, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, two octopus cards and two shark cards. These cards are used to determine the outcome when two fish challenge for the same space (of sea as it were).
On a player’s turn they must select a fish and move it to another circle on the board. If this brings them to a space that contains another fish then a contest is fought. If the fish is neutral victory is guaranteed, no cards are played and the player places their fish on top of the eaten fish, thus making their fish bigger. However if the fish being attacked was owned by another player then things will not be so easy.
Both players must select a card from their hand and place it on the table face down. When both cards have been selected they are revealed and the result is calculated. If a player used a number card then they add the card number to the number of fish they have in the conflict. For example if they played the number 3 and had a stack of 4 fish, then their total would be 7. The opponent does likewise and the highest total is declared the winner. The used cards are discarded from the game and the victor can happily eat his opponent’s fish, which will make him bigger and stronger for future conflicts. The game continues in such fashion until only one player remains on the board or all players run out of cards to play.
When a player runs out of cards they are out of the game and take their fish from the board for scoring at the end. At the end of the game it is the player with the most fish that will win. To keep the game from stagnating into a case of best memory wins (i.e. what cards do they have left) the game includes the shark and octopus cards. A shark will guarantee victory against any other numbered card. Although powerful, each player only has two and must be careful to use them wisely. If the octopus card is played, it cancels any outcome from being decided – both players remain where they were and all cards played are lost.
This is a great way to stop an opponent from using high valued cards and the shark and it allows players to develop strong bluffing and counter bluffing tactics. By the way if the total of both sides cards result in a tie, then both sides get eaten and both sets of fish are removed from the game!
The Final Word
Fish Eat Fish is a great family game. It is easy to set up, can be played in 20 minutes and takes less than 10 minutes to read and understand the rules. Young players will begin to understand the importance of bluffing as a skill and the need to mix offence with defence - if they hope to win.
The game is well made and the ability to stack fish and see the results of hard won conflicts is novel. All in all this game is a great way for families to get together and have a bit of fun.
- Last edited Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:45 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Jan 3, 2007 8:21 am