Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Thursday 22 October 2015

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Hey, That's My Fish!

Game: Hey, That's my Fish!

Manufacturer: Fantasy Flight

Designer: Alvydas Jakeliunas & Günter Cornett

Year: 2003

Hey That’s My Fish is a game that we’ve come across in UK charity shops on a couple of occasions. As a game with such an endearing theme and cute penguin miniatures, it’s hard to say no. It is one of the games we were first introduced to back in 2014 and was one of the first to start our growing collection. It’s also avoided our recently instigated ‘one-in-one-out’ policy so far – so why is it still hanging around?

Hey That’s My Fish is a light game about strategic and tactical movement. The aim of the game is for your group of penguins to collect more fish than your opponents. The board is made up of a grid of hexagonal tiles, each of which represents one, two or three fish. On your turn you may move one penguin as far as you like in a straight line, without jumping other penguins. You collect the tile on which you started your movement. The game continues until there are no more legal moves for any penguins on the board.

The game set-up for two players. Most penguins are located in a starting position so they can waddle in a straight line towards a tile with 3 fish.
What makes the game interesting is the way that the ice flow slowly disappears as penguins start to move. What I really enjoy when showing the game to new players is the moment at which they realise the tactical and ‘take-that’ aspects to the game. With some quick thinking you can isolate an opponent’s penguin, leaving them trapped with only a couple of fish on their icy island, alternatively you can try to deliberate trap yourself as the sole greedy penguin on an island full of fish. Sometimes when teaching the game it can be hard to hold back and not reveal these tactical elements during the penguin placement, but it’s always worth it to see a new player’s reaction to their impending entrapment. The game is quick enough, that you can always play a second game on a more level playing field.

At this point, the rest of the game is a foregone conclusion as the penguins hop around their islands collecting the remaining fish.
That’s really all there is to the game; move your penguins, eat your fish. It’s such a simple game, easy to teach to non-gamers, but there are enough tactical decisions to keep a gamer interested in this one as a light filler. The game scales really well with the number of players, as with more players, each player has fewer penguins, so the board does not get over crowded.

That said, this is not a game I ever feel a need to bring off the shelf for us to play. The only time we’ve used the game recently  is as a gateway game, and we might try it with my parents at the next opportunity. Cute penguins can only get you so far and a game this simple doesn’t warrant many replays now that our collection has expanded. It’s great to play as the yellow penguin with arms full of fish, but the Yellow Meeple rates this one a 6/10.

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