Under The Microscope – Hey, That’s My Fish

This time on Under The Microscope I examine Hey, That’s My Fish.

Designed by Alvydas Jakeliunas & Gunter Cornett
Published by Phalanx/Mayfair Games, FFG

Abstract: Hey That’s My Fish is a fast, fun, and surprisingly strategic family game. It is quick to learn but takes some time to master.

Materials – What You Get:
3 page rules booklet
60 hex tiles showing ice blocks floating in water. A block depicts either 1, 2, or 3 fish on one side and blue water on the other.
16 wooden or plastic penguins in 4 colors

Methods – How You Play:
Shuffle all the tiles fish side down. You start by laying out all the tiles fish side up in an eight by eight fitted grid. Now choose one player to place their first penguin on any tile he wishes. Continue around until all penguins are placed. You are ready to start playing.
A turn looks like this:
• Move one of your penguins
• Pick up the tile that penguin left from
That’s it, almost. Penguins can only move in straight lines but as many tiles as you like. If you run into another penguin you have to stop. You can not jump other penguins or empty spaces and two penguins cannot occupy the same tile. You cannot turn either. Once you move, pick up the tile that moved penguin started the turn on. Place it in front of you. This tile will be scored at the end of the game. When you cannot move any of your penguins, you are finished for this game. You pick up all your penguins and tiles they are on. These tiles go into your score pile. Everyone else continues until no one can move and everyone has removed all their penguins. Now everyone counts the fish on their tiles. The one with the most fish wins.

Discussion – What I Think:
This is a fun game. It is very quick to learn but there is hidden strategy here. It also has a ‘take that’ aspect. You can isolate other players’ penguins so that they can’t move and are thus out of play. There in lies the strategy. How to take others out while keeping that from happening to you. My kids took to this game quickly. They enjoy it very much and are learning to think ahead and consider what others may do on their turn. It’s thinky but not too much.

There are numerous variants of this game. They can be found on the Geekdo listing for this game. Our favorites are:
• Floating – instead of moving a penguin, you may float an isolated penguin back to the main flow
• Holes in the ice –
o use the blue water side of several tile to create holes in the flow. Penguins may not travel over holes.
o Alternatively your penguin may jump into a hole and pop up in another. Used to travel in non-straight lines.
• Bumps – you may move your penguin to bump another penguin into a hole or off the flow. The bumped penguin is either out of the game or is placed back on the ‘board’ by the bumper.
• Polar Bears and Orcas – there is a print and play variant where you print several polar bears and orcas. These are attached to the blue water side of a tile. When the tiles are flipped to build the flow, mix the tiles first so that the bears’ and orcas’ locations are lost. Game plays normally. After determining your score, flip your tiles. If you have a bear or an orca subtract one point from your score.

Hey That’s My Fish is a fast, fun, at times vicious, surprisingly strategic game with a theme that families will enjoy. It is quick to learn but takes some time to master. The variants add a lot of replayability.  The game also comes in a deluxe version that has plastic penguins.
Hey, That’s My Fish has its home site here.  And the BGG site here.

Microscope Rating:

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(all pictures sourced from BGG)