- Gene Dixon(dixonge)United States
I have been looking for a game that my 6 yr old can play that is still interesting to the rest of the family. Games like Hungry Hungry Hippo and Memory can only be tolerated so many times before the rest of us get sick of them. "Hey, That's My Fish!" is almost perfect in that regard.
I had actually played it a couple of times with some adult friends of mine beforehand and knew right away that it was strategic enough for me to have fun with yet easy enough for my kids to pick up the rules quickly. I explained the rules in about four minutes providing visuals for the wife and kids (including penguin waddling of course). The rules are so simple that even four minutes was almost too long. It took about the same amount of time to mix up the pile of hexes and lay them out in rows.
Both kids at first put all their penguins right next to each other at the edge of the board near them on the placement step. After explaining the problem, they replaced them to more accessable spots and seemed to understand why that wasn't a good idea.
For the first game, I decided to employ a very simple strategy in order to make the game enjoyable for the rest. On my turn, I alternated penguins and went for the tile with the most fish nearby purposely trying to not block them in. I assumed the kids would go for the multifish tiles first but that was not always the case. I could tell some of their moves were whimsical.
For the four of us, each round was about one minute making the first game roughly 10 minutes. My 6 yr old made all legal moves but didn't catch on to the strategy until the next game. He sometimes blocked himself in small sections by mistake. Even still, he had fun jumping his penguin around the board and counting his fish later. My 10 yr old had an easier time with how to move in order to not block himself in but sometimes moved one that was blocked in a section when he could have been moving the other. Both of them learned quite a bit by the end of the game so I think things clicked easily.
There comes a point late in the game when you have no choice but to "be mean" to the kids although they are forced to do the same. This point is when they figured out how to screw people! In the end of the first game, I had won even while trying to go easy on everyone.
By the second game, I could tell they had learned a lot from the first. Each of them placed well and went for the bigger fish tiles on their turns. They also had to stop and think about blocking themselves in sometimes which told me they understood quite a bit more than the first game.
What made this game more fun for me was that my wife and I had our own sort of mini-game going where we were trying to block each other in while trying to go easy on the kids, at least at first.
After a few rounds, my 6 yr old had managed to block two of his penguins in but to a fairly good sized part of the board. My 10 yr old did about average. He was more spread out and kept trying to block my 6 yr old in, which he did. It was a bit more thinking on the kids part and fun for the adults. My 10 yr old won although all the scores were really close.
Overall, it was fun for both the kids and the adults. It was a fast game for rule explaination, setup and gameplay. I could play this with the kids and not feel like it was a chore as well as play with adults and feel like I was in a fun chess match.
- [+] Dice rolls