Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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(Note: this review is based on the iPhone version of this game, though the app is universal.)
Hey, That's My Fish! has a whimsical name and cartoony graphics featuring adorable penguins. But don't be fooled by its cheerful, seemingly kid-oriented exterior. Hey, That's My Fish! is an iOS incarnation of a surprisingly complex strategy board game that pits players against each other or computer opponents in a quest to collect the most fish.
The game board is composed of hexagonal tiles, each with a number of fish marked (one, two, or three). In the beginning of the game, players place their penguins on any unoccupied one-fish tile. From then on, each turn a player may move one penguin in a straight line to an unoccupied tile. (Hopping over other penguins is not allowed.) After a penguin leaves a tile, the tile falls into the ocean and said player receives the number of fish (points, really) marked on the tile. If your penguin runs out of moves, an orca whale will appear to swallow the poor bird up. Whoever has the most fish at the end of the game, wins.
It's a bit of a silly premise, but there's actually a lot of strategy involved with Hey, That's My Fish! With a bit of careful planning, it's possible to break the floating island of ice into many smaller chunks, effectively isolating the other penguins...or yourself. Likewise, determining whether to go after more fish or to block off the other penguins is a constant consideration. The computer is relatively intelligent, and quick to take advantage of openings. A number of different "maps" keep things interesting and allow for different schemes. Some remain locked until their corresponding achievements are unlocked. Achievements include things like "beat three opponents without any three-fish tiles" or "beat three opponents on hard ten times."
Hey, That's My Fish! supports playing with anywhere from 1 to 4 players, with any combination of humans and computers, though there's no online play, which would be a lot of fun. There are also three difficulty levels.
In terms of issues, sometimes the game lags a bit while it's loading the main page, or when it's calculating which penguins need to get eaten. However, the lag has never been a real problem for me; no crashes, and no absurd waiting times. Other than that minor problem, Hey, That's My Fish! plays perfectly.
Hey, That's My Fish! is a surprisingly fun strategy board game, with a lot of replay value. So much depends on the other penguins' moves, and the placement of fish tiles is random, so replaying the same board doesn't get too boring. More than that, though, the premise is simply fun. As a casual strategy game, Hey, That's My Fish! is easy to recommend.