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Fish Eat Fish
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Fish Eat Fish

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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 20-30 minutes 2-5

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Publisher(s): Out of the Box Publishing

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  • WARNING: Choking Hazard - Small Parts

Product Description

In a wave of challenges and bluffs, players compete for control of the sea. Play your cards right, and watch your stack of fish grow. But just when you think you're the big fish... a bigger fish comes along. Gobble up the most fish and you win!

Quick and entertaining, Fish Eat Fish will have you hooked!

Product Information


  • Game Board
  • 55 Game cards
  • 35 Stackable Fish
  • 1 Starfish Token
  • Full Color Rules

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 4 reviews

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You may not want to go in the water
April 15, 2005
We typically enjoy games designed by Knizias, so we gave this one multiple chances. We found the games typically to be somewhat predictable and lopsided. And in the end no one enjoyed it.
Artistic components add to a mind-bending game
February 09, 2005

Our gaming group loves this game because of the colorful board and pieces. The little fish that are included are great and really add a lot of fun to the game. The whole theme is carried out brilliantly, and all the components are very cute.

But when you get right down to it, this is a mental war. Don't get me wrong, the rules are so simple that young kids and adults alike can comprehend very easily. The trick is predicting what your opponents will do. Some of it is memory, simply knowing which cards your opponent has played. But prior to that it is very tricky predicting how strongly people will fight to eat your fish.

The Vicious Fish of Ugly Sea
December 11, 2003

Great concepts for short, interesting family games seem to be rare. There are a few good ones out there, but all too often a family game is so lucky as to make decisions virtually meaningless, or so skillful that the parents win most of the time to the frustration of their children. Here, Reiner Knizia has created a very tense age-spanning game that should have the whole family excited to play.

The board is very plain and simply displays an 'aquatic' grid with highlighted intersections which players will play their fish pieces on. The fish pieces are cute plastic pirhana type things that stack nicely -- a feature inegtral to gameplay. Since the title of the game is Fish Eat Fish, you won't be surprised to learn that this game is an out and out marine massacre as players move their fish to neighbouring intersections trying to eat as many fish as they can.

What makes the game click is the 'battles'. When a player wants to eat an opponent's fish, he sets the starfish marker between the two pieces (or stacks) and the players then compare 'strengths'. At the beginning of the game, all fish are singles, so the starting numbers would be 1 to 1. Then they secretly select a card from their hand to add to their number to resolve the battle.

Now, most of the cards are numbers that get added to the strength of the fish stacks. But there are 3 other cards: 1 Shark card that beats any fish number card played, and 2 Octopi cards that 'smother' your opponent and cancel the battle -- even the effect of the Shark! Players reveal cards simulataneously and add the effect of the card into the battle. The winner gets to hop on top of the losing fish, thus devouring it and becoming more powerful (strength 2, in this case). So the more times you win, the more powerful you stack gets, and the easier it is to win battles.

On top of that, each card may only be used one time, so selecting which card to use is vital, because if you burn through all your high cards early, you won't be able to keep your stacks alive later, and the end of the game is when it is important to be able to stay alive.

This game mixes strategy with a blind-bidding system that relies on intuition and reading your opponent. It bears a striking resemblance to one of the designer's previous titles, Lord of The Rings Confrontation. But that is an excellent comparison to an excellent game, and Fish Eat Fish plays 2-5 players, which is a huge boost to my enjoyment of it. There is only one downside to the entire game that I can see and that is the visuals. There seems to be 3 types of graphics: the board and cards, the pieces, the starfish piece. They all look like they came from different games, and the board and cards are particularly ugly in my opinion. That does detract from gameplay a bit, but it is a very good game from a smaller publisher, so you'll just have to look past that, because I don't think families will want to miss out on this one.

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