Fishing Party is a game by Samuel Garnier, published by Dolocus. It is for 2-5 players. In this game, players will be trying to catch the largest of 6 different types of fish. The player that is best able to do that while avoiding some very unlucky events will be declared the winner.
To begin, each player will receive a fishing rod card that they will place in front of themself with any extras being set aside. Players will roll a die to determine who goes first. All the remaining cards are then shuffled together. Each player is then dealt 6 cards each. The deck is placed face down and the top 6 cards are laid out in the middle of the table. The next card on top of the deck is laid face up beside the deck to begin the discard pile. Play can now begin.
On a player’s turn, they are allowed to do one of several different moves. The player can discard up to 3 card from their hand and draw the same amount from the deck. The player can swap up to 3 cards from their hand with the 6 face up cards on the table. They can play a special card. These cards can be very helpful one time use cards, cards that hurt other players or permanently helpful cards. Players can play a fish card and then try to catch that particular fish. This is really the heart of the game.
Here’s how player’s can catch fish and thus score points. First off, a player needs a fishing rod and a lure. Each player starts with a fishing rod so unless something happens to their rod, ie. a snap card is played against it, they will already have half of what they need. Players can play a lure card as a free action but it must be done at the beginning of the player’s turn unless they are playing a new fishing rod card. It must then be played at the same time. The fish card is placed to the right of the lure card. Each lure card shows what fish that it will catch and the dice roll required to catch that particular fish. The player will roll the die and try to match their roll with the roll needed on the card. If the numbers match, the player has caught the fish. That card is placed in the player’s fish pond to the left of their fishing rod. There can be only one type of each fish but larger fish of the same type may be caught to replace a smaller fish. The smaller fish card is then discarded. Once a player has caught one of all 6 kinds of fish, the game is over. Scoring then takes place.
Scoring is done by awarding points. Awards are given for having the most fish caught, the highest total weight of fish caught, and largest fish of each type. The points are all added up and the player with the highest number of points is the winner.
Mostly this game is just a set of cards and a die. However, these are some really nice looking cards. The version of the game that I received was not the finished production quality cards that will be included with the game. That said, they were still really nice. The production version will be a little thicker than what I received but these were still pretty sturdy. As I said, the artwork is really nice and have a great feel to them. The cards make sense with the theme of the game. This is definitely a fishing card game. The die is a beautiful little blue gem of a die. I’m a sucker for pretty dice and this little guy looked really nice. Another great addition to the cards is that they have the normal icons like a regular set of playing cards, allowing you to play any normal card game like Rummy, Go Fish or Poker. That was a very nice touch.
9 out of 10
The rulebook for this game is really well done. Everything is easy to read and looks really nice. There are plenty of pictures that describe how the special cards, lure cards and fish cards work. There are examples of the 6 different types of fish and specifics about length, where they are found and world record sizes. The rulebook includes rules for two player games, 3 player games, quick play rules and an additional game of Fishing Party Poker that can be played with the cards. There are also guidelines for family style as well as tournament style game play. Everything is well laid out and make it very easy to learn the game. The rules fit nice and neatly inside the small box of cards. I’m really thrilled with the look of the rules.
10 out of 10
The game is really simple and easy to play. It’s also a lot of fun. It’s not a game that is going to take a long time to play either. There isn’t a lot of interaction with the other players apart from a few special cards. Even so, it feels like you’re competing in a fishing tournament out on the lake somewhere. The little nuances of the GPS and the spray bottle just tend to place you a little deeper into the world that the designer has created. I really like how each lure will only catch certain fish, so to be able to catch all 6, you have to have a variety of lures just like in real life. The details that have been placed in this game really shine through and make for a really fun light game of fishing.
9 out of 10
Fishing Party is a light game of catching fish. It’s a really fun game that deals with hand management. It’s simple enough that pretty much anyone can play it. It’s a great warm up or filler game. The theme is present throughout the entire game. It has plenty of variations so that it can be played with any amount of players up to 5. The artwork is really beautiful and the fish cards are amazing. This is a really good quality game that I feel most anyone will enjoy. I highly recommend this game. It’s a definite must play game. Fans of games like King of Tokyo should enjoy this. I suggest you cast a line and snag yourself a copy of this game. It’s well worth playing.
9 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Dolocus at their site.
You can also back the game right now over on Kickstarter.