Thursday, January 5, 2012

Preschool Game Review: Go Fish!

For Christmas this year my three-year-old received pretty much the most perfect gift for her (thanks, Amanda!), and I thought I'd tell you about. It can be hit-or-miss with kids games, so when I find a good one, I want to share it. The Go Fish game from Playchest Games is actually two games in one. There is a color matching game that's perfect for any little one who knows their colors. It's a fast game, which is perfect for kids (or parents) who have a short attention span.  Fish cards are spread out on the table face down. Players take turns using the fishing pole to fish for cards. If you catch a fish that matches the color of your boat, it goes into your boat--it's a keeper. If you catch a different color, you release it back into the "pond." My daughter and I started out playing the matching game. I've been playing matching games with my daughter for almost a year now, but she's just now finally starting to get it and pay attention and remember where things are. In fact, I left to throw in a load of laundry one day and told her to set up the game. I sat down to play and she got three matches right away. I started to get suspicious when I went to fish and she started smiling and shaking her head. She said, "that's not a green one!" I said, "Hey, you can't cheat. Did you look at the cards when you set them up?" She said, "Mom, it's supposed to be a memory game!" So technically she's starting to get it, but apparently we need to work on the details. This game goes quickly. There are only four slots to fill on your boat, and there are eight cards of each color.  The odds are pretty good. There are also three lose-a-turn cards (a boot, an anchor, and a rubber tire). Two to four players can play.

We quickly graduated on to the second, slightly more difficult game, which is Go Fish pretty much as you already know it.  This game ignores colors and requires the players to be able to recognize numbers. The cards are spread out face down and each player picks six cards for their boat. Oh how I wish there were six slots in each boat. It's taken my daughter several games to figure out how to keep her six cards in the four-slotted boat, and she still occasionally forgets to check the cards that are hidden behind other cards. BUT, she's learning. The fish cards are numbered 1-8 (thank you Playchest Games for not making us distinguish between 9s and 6s! I noticed, and I appreciate it.). Matches are placed face up next to your boat. The youngest player goes first and asks for a number. If the player has the number, the asker gets the card and the match and goes again.  If the player does not have the number asked for, the asker gets to "go fish."  

The fishing rod is awesome. It's got a firm line and a suction cup under the worm that works surprisingly well to catch fish. The line can be angled for the best possible catch and the worm and line can even be "hooked" to the pole for storage. My daughter loves when she has to "go fish." Today when we were playing she pretended to jig, set the hook, and reel in. Cute. She's also made up stories for the fish and the worm. "That fish is hungry, he's licking his lips! The worm is scared, look." I don't know if it's because the youngest player gets to go first, but my daughter legitimately beats me almost every game. Stomps me, is more accurate. Notice in the photo below I am blue and she is purple. I have one match and she has seven.

Another great feature of this game is the storage box. Everything fits easily, and the sturdy box closes securely, so there's no dropping the game and pieces going flying. Is that only a problem in my house? There's even a handle.  I love this game. I've played it at least once a day and usually several times a day with my daughter since Christmas, and I don't mind it one bit. On the box it shows three other Playchest Games: Penguin Plunge, Silly Story Maker, and Once Upon a Castle. I think I'm going to look into those next!

*I was not paid for this review, I just really like this game!


  1. Levi would love this! I'll have to put this on his birthday wish list.

  2. Nice, you don't have to ream out the insides of the worm while it writhes in agony or rip the lips off a fish to get the hook out. Wait, Olivia probably misses that part . It really is a more fun way to play Go Fish!
    Very cute.