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Penguins are jumping from ice floe to ice floe hunting fish. As they do so, they try to block their opponents to secure the best fishing grounds for themselves. Whoever has caught the most fish at the end of the game wins.
Players: 2 - 4
Time: 20 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 867 grams
Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).
- 60 ice floes
- 60 stickers
- 13 penguins in 4 colors
Pingvinas is a very easy abstract game with a penguin theme. The 60 white wooden hexes (quite nice these as they are fairly chunky) are arranged in one contiguous land mass. As these are going to simulate an ice floe melting, the hexes will need to be picked up and you need to leave space between the hexes to do so. Each ice floe hex has a symbol of one to three fish on it. Players take turns to place their penguins on the hexes until all penguins are placed.
Each player now moves one of his penguins in a straight line along one of the hexsides as far as they want, but avoiding gaps (water) and other penguins. You score the number of fish from the hex that you left and remove it from the board. The ice floe board disintegrates in this way and you keep moving until no-one can move any further. The last hex of fish counts towards your score of fish, with the winner being the person with the most fish.
It is extremely quick to play and the white hex tiles make the feeling the ice flow almost real with their coolness. The disintegration system is so good and simple, that you wonder whether it has been done before. It's one of those 'it's so obvious, I wish I'd thought of that' types of systems. And it works of course.
I've played the game several times but enjoyed it with four people best as there is more carving up more quickly and this type of game needs to be played fast. Replayability is high as the board is different each time, and the tactics seem to resolve around getting the three point fish hexes (obviously) and isolating a large flow that no-one else can get to, so that you can concentrate on movement of your other penguins. Pingvinas is light, amusing and a slightly charming way to spend 20 minutes with a game. It's also easy to introduce to non-regular gamers.