Fishy Tactics: Family Friendly Fishy Fun

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Fishy Tactics Featured, Image: Sophie Brown
Fishy Tactics Featured, Image: Sophie Brown

Fishy Tactics is a pocket-sized game for two to four players aged four and up. Players collect fish from their boat, watching out for the Croc, and for other players trying to steal their catch.

Components

  • 1 Printed Fabric Board
  • 1 Fish Die
  • 1 Wooden Arrow
  • 1 Wooden Crocodile
  • 24 Wooden Fish (9x Blue, 7x Orange, 5x Yellow, 3x Red)

How Do You Play Fishy Tactics?

Setup

Each player selects a colored boat to fish from. The wooden Croc is placed in the center square of the board, and the colored fish are placed at random until all the other squares contain a single fish.

Fishy Tactics Starting Setup, Image: Sophie Brown
Fishy Tactics Starting Setup, Image: Sophie Brown

Gameplay

Each player’s turn is made up of two actions:

  1. Roll the Arrow and move the Croc one space in the direction it points. If the croc lands on a square containing a fish, the fish is eaten and joins the croc’s pile. The Croc cannot move off the board, so if the arrow would direct it that way, he Croc stays still for that turn.
  2. Roll the Fish Die and move a fish up to that number of spaces up, down or sideways – fish cannot move diagonally. If the fish moves into your boat, it is added to your collection. Rolling the fish symbol allows you to steal a fish from another player’s collection (not from the Croc) without looking at its color.

Fish of different colors are worth different points. Blue fish are worth one point, orange fish two points, yellow fish three points, and the rare red fish a whopping five points. Players attempt to move the fish around the board and into their boat to increase their points. Fish can be stacked on top of one another and even move through the Croc safely as they move around the board.

The player whose fish are worth the most points when the final fish leaves the board is the winner.

Fishy Tactics During Gameplay, Image: Sophie Brown
Fishy Tactics During Gameplay, Image: Sophie Brown

Why Should You Play Fishy Tactics?

Fishy Tactics is an incredibly simple game aimed at children from four-years-old and up, it is unlikely to enthrall many adult gamers but it is a cute addition to your family games cupboard and has far more to it than most roll and move games aimed at a similar age group. It was originally funded via Kickstarter and is now available through the Mushroom Gaming Co. website.

The game does include a certain level of elementary strategy to it because players must choose which fish to move on their turn. They can move fish into their own boat, or, they could choose to use their roll to move a fish away from an opponent instead. They could even choose to intentionally feed a fish to the Croc, denying other players the opportunity to catch it for themselves.

I would have liked to see a small counter included for each player to note which boat is theirs for instances in which players cannot sit around the board in alignment with the printed boats on the board. The Croc is also very large compared to the squares so it doesn’t sit neatly inside one. Although it looks great, I felt it would be practical if the Croc was smaller. My biggest issue with the game is that the fish are placed at random at the start of the game, meaning that players can easily influence the game in their favor by intentionally placing higher value fish closer to their boat. It isn’t too difficult to find ways around this problem, but it is something that needs to be watched out for, especially if you’re playing with people who like to bend the rules now and then.

Fishy Tactics Packed Away, Image: Sophie Brown
Fishy Tactics Packed Away, Image: Sophie Brown

Fishy Tactics comes packaged in a small, drawstring bag. Printing the board onto fabric rather than cardboard means that it can be folded down very small and packed away into the drawstring bag along with the other components. This makes the game ideal for travel, and also means it doesn’t take up lots of space to store. The playing pieces are all of a high quality. All the animals and the Arrow are made of wood while the custom Fish Die is made from plastic.

This is a cute game and an ideal gift for those with young children. Its simple rules make it easy for even non-gamers to play so it is a great introduction to independent game design for those who might be tempted to simply pick up Candyland instead.