I've never seen a flying hogfish. I saw one gliding once, but never flying, not actually flying.
Tyne & Wear
Tyne & Wear
I bought this for my daughter (9yrs) for Christmas, figuring that it looked fairly simple to play but was enagaging enough to also amuse my wife, a dedicated non-gamer of the highest order.
The game is well presented, some nice thick cardboard buckets and a huge deck of decent cards with cartoon animals decimating buckets in various ways. The rules run to four small pages and are nicely laid out and explained.
Each player gets three buckets of each of five colours. They also receive twelve cards, each of which shows and animal (colour coded - chickens are yellow, bulls are red etc.) and a value.
You take a look at your cards, see which colours you have a lot of or some high values and build your pyramid of buckets accordingly - if you've got lots of high value red cards, you want to place them nearer the base of the pyramid.
A turn consists of:
- One player (the 'Starting Player') plays one to three cards of one colour. They get to pick one card up from the deck to replace them, regardless of how many have been played.
- The next player (going left) has to play up to three cards of the same colour that exceed the value of those played by the previous player. If they can do that then the next player has to beat their score and so on, round the table.
- If a player can't exceed the last players value in that suit, then they loose the hand and have to discard a bucket of the same colour from their pyramid. This could cause other buckets, supported by the one removed to be discarded as well.
- The game finished when one player discards their last bucket - the player with the most remaining buckets wins the game.
Depth and Strategy
OK, so this isn't a game that's huge on strategy. However, your initial set-up of buckets is part of what will win or lose you the game. You need to not only exploit your initial cards, but also think about what can happen later on in the game, when you've played those cards and have a different hand. There are a few tricks, like placing one of each colour at the outside of the pyramid that can reduce the number of buckets falling when you lose, but there's also the luck of the draw which defines the cards you'll have later on.
The two key strategies for this game (as I see it) are to try to make your pyramid as robust as you can, and to try to figure out which cards your opponents are strong in, so you can play other colours.
Well, we've played a couple of games now, the scores are:
Grace, my daughter : 10 (she's loving the idea of animals knocking buckets over and hasn't lost a game yet)
Jacqueline, my wife and all-round non-gamer: 8 (not too difficult to pick up and fun to play)
Me : 8 (it went down well with everybody and was fun to play - I can see it coming out of the cupboard again)