If Wishes Were Fishes Review
Honestly i interested in this game because of the artworks. Yes, indeed, the artworks and illustrations are beautifully drawn and attractive. The illustrations are incredibly cute and funny, quite potential to attract girls and kids. So, what am i? Nope, i’m not a girl not even a kid, just like that kind of illustrations. Okay, enough about it, let’s go to the deep waters and go fishing shall we?
1. The Theme
I would say it’s very original. Players take the roles of fishermen, each want to sell as many fishes with highest profit in the market. The fisherman who has the most money win the game. The theme is really suitable for kids since it looks simple before the eyes. Who doesn’t like a theme about fishing, fishes and wishes?The game concept which taken from the title is about wishes. Fisherman capture fish and let it go free and the fish freed want to thank the fisherman by granting the fisherman’s wish. This idea is pure dead brilliant i would say.
2. The Artworks
The artworks really put this game into the shelf. Funny characters of the fishes and the beautiful painting color style made the game so attractive visually. Well it’s the first way to sell the game at least. Christof Tisch really put semantic into works, from the illustration of the fishes (angel fish, monk fish, clown fish, sword fish, king fish and star fish). The board is nice and colorful, creating a fun background and ambiance to the game.
3. The Game Components
When you opened the box, you will find a 3 folded board which illustrated the fish market with a stall for ever fish. Then the wooden component of fishes (15 wooden fishes in each colors) and 5 wooden buyers. The last and the most precious component in the game is the gummy worm. Yeah, Did i say gummy worms? Yes i did, the worms are came out with the unexpected quality. The worms are elastic and made from organic material, so just imagine purple gummy candy with worm-like shape. So cool man, this is the main attraction of the game. A thumbs up for the designer and everyone behind this in Rio Grande.
4. The Game Play
Each player choose his own color and take his boat card and fish tokens and also 6 worms. Set the board in the middle of the table within all players’ reach. Set the buyers in the market randomly, and arrange the ocean deck (1 draw deck as ocean supply and 3 cards face up next the deck as the ocean (the first card nearest the deck is called deep water, and the farthest is shallow water). Each player has 3 possible actions:
- Catch a fish from the ocean (based where the fish is, the player use his worm to catch the fish. If he take the first / shallowest card, he put the worm on that card and take it into his boat (also the worm). If he want to take the fish in the deepest part, he must put 3 worms in each card and take the last card (with his worm in it, which thus sacrifice 2 of his worms). When the next player wants to take the fish, he must use his worm based on which part of ocean he want the fish is in and gain that card with all the worms left above the card. Players cannot take card from ocean if their boat is full.
- Sell 1 fish from his boat to the market (normal price of each fish is 2 dollars, let’s assume the currency is in dollars). The price can be modified by the buyers presence in certain market. If the player want to sell a fish in the market and in that fish market there are buyers presence, the price is added with the bonus from the buyers (black small buyer add +1 in total selling of the fish, gray medium buyer add +2 in total selling, and the white large buyer add +3 in total selling).
- Catch a fish and say a wish by release the fish to the discarded pile. You have that wish shown in the card you take. The fishes have several wishes with different benefits. Each type will be explained below.
Here is the list of the wishes in each fish:
- Boat wish – this fishes can be turned into 1 additional boat to store more fishes.
- Sell 1 kind of fish – when you say this wish, it let you to sell 1 kind of any fish into the market from your boats.
- Move 1 black buyer 1-3 space clockwise and sell 1 kind of fish.
- Move 1 gray buyer 1-3 space clockwise and sell 1 kind of fish.
- Move white buyer 1-3 space and sell 1 fish only.
- Spread all buyers and gain 3 dollars – this instantly spread all the buyers into different markets, in the end of the process there must not be more than 1 buyer in each market. And when spreading the buyer, only move the smaller ones, the bigger stay on the market.
- Sell one kind of fish as this kind of fish – this grants you to sell one kind of your fish into the kind of the fish stated on the card.
- Move fish and sell 1 fish – this grants you to move 1 fish token (any colors) from the market to the garbage heap or move any fish token in the spoilage out of the board.
- Double Fish – this fish gives you double fish (2 fish at 1 card) if you sell it to the market from a wish effect.
- Worms into money – gain a dollar for each worm in possession and give each other player 1 worm afterward.
The Market, each time you sell fishes there are chances that the market can be closed (this is called market limit). Market limit vary throughout the game, it start with the lowest limit (4 fishes in 1 market) up to the highest (7 fishes in 1 market). When a market is closed (the fish quota is due), then the players who have most fish in that market score the first bonus listed on the market card, and the second most have the lowest bonus score. When 2 players or more have the equal most fish in 1 market, then the two bonus is summed and divide into 2 and given to the players with the equal fishes. Players can still sell fishes to a closed market, with normal and bonus price, but they put the token in garbage heap.
The game ends if the highest market limit is used (7), or the garbage heap is full (there is 10 fishes in the garbage heap). When the second condition is met, the players who have the most fishes in the garbage -10 dollars to his score and the second most -5 dollars. At the end of the game, each player count the worms in their possession. Player who possess the most worms gain 8 dollars and the second most gain 4 dollars. Player who score the highest money win the game.
5. The Replay Value
I believe this is a great game. Maybe at first i thought that this is game for children, not to challenging and easy to play, but i was mistaken. The game is easy, simple to explain and to play, but it has deep planning and strategy in store to win the game. So you can say it’s still challenging for normal players (the visual and the artwork is deceiving right?). I played again and again, and the game is still interesting with different opponents. You can play safe or take risk by dealing serious problems to other players and so on. This game is great for a filler and suitable for family but also giving what gamers really want, a challenge, even it’s not meaty enough..
My Thought of The Game
I love the game, i love the illustrations and man i love the gummy worms, enough said! Even the illustration and the package seems fairly for children and girls, i must strongly disagree, since this fun game can be fairly fun and challenging for anyone. Don’t judge the fish by the ocean right? Enjoy the game in the seafood restaurant would give you nice ambiance to add the game feel.
You can also view this review on boardgamegeek.com here.