Reviewed by Emma Salmon
Described as a “Sub-Zero game of Fishy strategy” and with a box illustration featured penguins very similar to those in the Madagascar film, this would appeal to younger children who know this story.
My two children, aged nine and fourteen, and I enjoyed playing this game. It is recommended for ages eight plus, and can be played by two – four players. The aim of the game is to move your family of penguins across the ice floe, collecting as many fish as you can – there were three of us, so we had three penguins each – you have more or less in your ‘family’ according to how many people are participating.
There are sixty hexagonal tiles which have one to three fishes on them, and which are arranged at random to create a starting board. Each player takes it in turn to place their penguins onto a piece with one fish, and once all the penguins are in place it is time to play. You can move your piece in a straight line to where there are more fish, removing your starting place as you go. As play progresses you realise that the board is getting smaller, and that if you have not been careful, you have cut off your penguin from being able to move. The strategy is to try to plan a route where you avoid being cut off, or where you can prevent your opponents from moving, so that by the end of the game you have the most fish.
The game is quite quick – it takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to play, so it is great for younger children who may get bored easily – and its length is also ideal if you want to play in rounds. The tiles were quite fiddly to pick up, especially in the earlier stages of the game, without destroying the layout, but this is only a small criticism. Although it come in a small box, the lack of a board and the size of the tiles means that it could be packed in a compact bag to take away, and I could see it being a handy game to have on holiday – it would even fit nicely on a seat tray on a plane!
It was simple but enjoyable to play, and both children picked up the strategy element by the second round, which enabled it to become quite challenging. We shall certainly be packing it into our travelling bag!
Available to buy from Amazon here.