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Fish StixGame Name: Fish Stix

Publisher: Peaceable Kingdom

Designer: Susan McKinley Ross

Year: 2009

Players: 2-4

Ages: 5+

Playing Time:  20-30 minutes

Retail Price:  $14.99

Category: Family Strategy

Contents: 

     72 fish sticks

     4 scoreboards

     24 fish tokens

     Instructions

Fish Stix is a fun game which everyone can enjoy. Simple enough that kids who can’t yet read can play and entertaining enough for adults. Object of the game is to advance all six different fish along your scoreboard 10 points. For this to happen you’ll be placing fish sticks on the “game board” to form schools of fish. For each group of fish you match – color and direction – your score is advanced that many points.

Setup up is so quick and easy you can have your child do it. Each player receives a scoreboard and six different fish tokens.  Place the fish tokens in the start column with the matching colors. This is where I have to applaud Peaceable Kingdom for using different icons (fish) along with colorblind friendly colors. Place one fish stick in the middle of the table which will be your “start stick”, deal three fish sticks to each player and use the remaining fish sticks to form a draw pile. I recommend using several draw piles since one pile with all of the fish sticks is three inches tall. I must also mention that with the cardboard thickness for the fish sticks you need to be careful not to bend them.  Select a player to start and play continues clockwise.

Fish Stix ComponentsDuring the player’s turn they will place one stick from their hand to the ‘board”, scores the turn by moving their fish token on the scoreboard and draws one stick from the draw pile. One thing, among several, kids should find fun is that there is no top or bottom to the board. Another is as the game is played the table will grow to look like a school of fish.

Placement rules for the fish sticks is easy enough. It can be played anywhere on the board so that at least one fish lines up with another. You can’t move any sticks that have already been played. On the rare occasions when you don’t have anything that can be placed you may still play one. Even if that means you end up blocking other players. This way you can always cycle through your fish sticks and have something to play next turn. Keep in mind that to score points you need to have the same colored fish swimming in the same direction. When you have two fish that meet those conditions you score two points for those fish and move your point tracker along the scoreboard. This is where a neat feature of Fish Stix shines, the next player can place a stick to score three points, the player after that can place a stick to score four points, etc…

A quote from Peaceable Kingdom: “This game was developed by the creator of the multiple award-winning game Qwirkle  – if you love Qwirkle , you’ll love Fish Stix!” , I agree with this and  Fish Stix could also be a good filler game. I enjoyed playing Fish Stix with everyone from children of four years old to those kids who get the senior discounts. With its easy setup and simple rules the children can play by themselves, the quick play time allows adults to get some gaming in with their busy schedules and gamers have another filler game to choose from.

TGG SCORE - 8.2

8.2

Simple enough for kids who can't even read yet but entertaining enough to keep adults involved.

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