Unplugged: Fish Fish Squish! (Boardgame)

fish fish boxA good kid’s game will involve a bit of actual thinking (looking at you Candyland) and a bit of physical interaction (to help those squirrelly ones.) Fish Fish Squish! has a bit of both, matching cards and smashing play-doh fish as a reward for success. This makes it fun for kids and agreeable to parents playing along.




Fish Fish Squish!
Publisher: Winning Moves
Ages: 5+
Players: 2-4
Time: 20 mins
(Review copy provided by Winning Moves)


Fish Fish Squish! has cards showing one of three colors of fish. As preparation, each player uses the provided fish-molds to create five play-doh fish of their color. These are set upright on their player card. The cards are laid out in a grid and players reveal one card on their turn. If that card manages to create a “three cards in a row” (straight or diagonal) consisting of one of each colored fish, the turn is a success. No bonus is given for multiple matches. On a successful match a player reaches across the table and gets to crush one of any player’s fish. I have to mention that squishing the fish is a very satisfactory experience. Players who run out of fish are eliminated (not all that bad as the game goes fast.) Play continues with the next player flipping a card, and possibly squishing a fish, until only one player (the winner) has fish left standing.

FISHFISHsquish_large setup

While concentration requires a bit of memorization, only one card per turn is flipped in Fish Fish Squish! and it is left face-up. Thus the only “strategy” left to a player is to look at the revealed fish on the board and try to choose a location with the highest probability of a successful match. (This usually means looking for a place where more than one type of fish would result in a 3-card match.) While that gives something an adult to think about, it isn’t an extreme advantage. This is good and bad; younger players can still “do well” in the game but it isn’t as interesting to older players. The key equalizing factor is the fish-squishing. Playing with more than one player will quickly lead to “kingmaking” where players will gang up on whomever is leading. Of course, a parent is frequently the target, even if they’re not winning.


Due to the “squishing” element, Fish Fish Squish! is great fun for younger kids. The game is playable even with very young players as they can get lucky and make the occasional match. Older kids or adults will not find it overly engaging, but there are a few things to think about so it isn’t like playing a no-brainer like Candyland. Thankfully, the game goes very fast so after a few plays, if an adult is getting bored they can pass the game off to the young kids to play on their own. At its price point (roughly $10), it is inexpensive for a boardgame and is better than many other offerings out there – the squishing element is definately what makes the game stand out from others.
Kid Factor:
Not much to see here, unless you can’t handle violence against fish. Don’t let your kids eat the play-doh, although I think it’s non-toxic anyway…

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