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Let Them Eat Shrimp!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Great Game For Teens And Younger rss

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Eldon Nichol
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Prineville
Oregon
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Let Them Eat Shrimp! by Steve Finn and published by Doctor Finn's Games is for 2-5 players ages 8 and older. “Swim, spawn, and eat shrimp while avoiding sharks!” Players place fish tiles (in various geometric shapes) in an effort to spawn (by covering fish eggs on the board) and receive more fish tiles. The fish can also eat shrimp (to gain victory points) and must avoid sharks (which will eat your fish, fish eggs, and shrimp. Eat the most shrimp, increase your school of fish and avoid the sharks to be declared the winner.

There are two ways to play - the beginner's game for younger players (my 6 year old played and enjoyed it) and the advanced version (see below for the changes), which adds more strategy and depth, as well as more danger (players can be eliminated early in the game by not spawning quickly enough and/or having their eggs devoured by the sharks). The board is made up of three pieces which can be mixed and matched for variety and various skill levels. The double sided board is for playing the beginners game or the advanced game version. The number of board pieces depends on the number of players, 2 pieces for 2 to 3 players and 3 for more. Taking a triangle shaped fish tile for each board piece you drop it on each board section and place it on the nearest space where it landed. Each played is given a player shield, three egg tokens and four fish tiles (one in each shape). The eggs and fish tiles are kept behind the shields. All other game pieces are placed near the board for easy access. Choose a starting player.

On a player's turn, they will place a fish tile and then take the required action for the place where the tile was placed. If the player has no tiles to place, they must return 1 of their egg tokens to the supply and then may take a tile of their choice to then play on the board. If a player is unable to place a fish tile and has no eggs to trade in for a fish tile, then the player is knocked out of the game. When placing a tile, the player must make sure that at least 1 side of the placed tile touches at least 1 side of another tile. This was the most difficult part for the younger players to understand. If more than one item is covered, the actions will take place in the following order; fish egg/shrimp, starfish, and shark. When covering up a fish egg or shrimp space, the player takes the corresponding shaped tile from the supply. It is then placed behind their player shield. Covering up more fish, egg or shrimp results in gaining more tiles and more points at the game end. Covering a starfish or shark (or a portion of a shark) means the player will roll the die. For covering a starfish and rolling a fish shape the player takes the appropriate shaped fish tile; rolling a starfish results in taking a fish tile of their choice; rolling a shark results in receiving nothing. For covering a shark or even part of a shark and rolling a fish shape the player must take a fish tile matching the shape from their supply and return it to the main supply; rolling a shark results in returning a fish tile of their choice to the main supply; rolling a starfish is results in nothing happening. If a player is unable to return the correct type of fish tile, they must return an egg token instead. If they have no more egg tokens to return, then they are knocked out of the game.

The game can end in 3 different ways. First is if all the other players have been knocked out of the game, then the remaining player is the winner. A second way is if at the start of a player's turn there is no place to legally place a hexagon shaped fish tile, the game ends and scoring then occurs. The last way is if at the start of a player's turn there are no more fish or shrimp showing on the board, the game ends and scoring then occurs.

Points are given to a player for each set of fish tiles that they have, scoring from 1 to 5 points. Players also score points for any shrimp tiles they acquired. Egg tokens can be used as a wild token for whatever type of token is desired. Once all the points have been added up, the player with the most points is the winner.

The advanced game uses player mats which must be filled with fish tiles of each type at the beginning of each round. They must then place each tile from their mat on the main board following the rules of placement as in the basic game. Players can be knocked out if they can't fill up the tile or return an egg to make up for the missing tile. A round ends after each player has taken four turns. There is a different starting player for each round. When a shark is covered, the player has to roll the die for each triangle covered that has a piece of the shark in it. Another difference is that if a shark is rolled the player loses an egg token while a starfish causes the player to lose a tile of their choice. The rest of the game play is exactly the same. Ending the game and scoring occurs the same way with the winner being the player with the most points or being the last man standing (fish tiles on a player’s mat are counted as being in their supply).

Lasting less than 30 minutes, it is a good short filler game for adults. Not too complex but there is some strategy in the advanced game. My grandkids and I loved the art. Found it simple to teach and learn especially for those 8 and older. A few adults found it too easy and boring but most found it to be fun. Replay ability was high for the grandkids but so-so for adults. I give this game 7.5 out of 10.
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Bart R.
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This is a great filler game. The Shark vs. Squid expansion adds another way to score points and I highly recommend it.
 
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