Fish Stix: Peaceable Kingdom’s Non-Cooperative Game

Fish Stix

is not a new game — it’s been out since 2009 (I believe) so we’ll call this an early 10 year anniversary post!  The great thing about games is that they don’t start feeling stale or old unless they are based on some sort of trendy property or have technology that starts to feel dated — and Fish Stix has neither and feels like it could have been just released this year.  The theme is classic, the game play is fun and not overdone and it feels “fresh” (which is so much better than a stinky game about fish.)

Fish Stix game box and pieces

How to Play

Fish Stix is super easy to setup (whoohoo!) and play. 

Give each player 3 fish sticks and and a scoresheet, now place 1 in the center of the table.  Whew, setup done.  The goal is to cross off every box on your scoresheet –so that means you need to cross off 10 of each color fish.  To cross off a box, on your turn you must place a fish stick next to, above, or below another fish stick so that at least 2 of the same fish are headed in the same direction in a horizontal line.  It doesn’t count if they look like they’re kissing.  Once your fish stick is placed, you cross off boxes based on which fish you’ve created horizontal lines of.  A line is 2 or more fish headed in the same direction and because there are 4 fish on each fish stick, you can often score more than one line of fish.  Then the game ends when someone has filled their entire sheet with Xs.

Fish Stix game pieces in play showing groupings of fish

My Thoughts

Fish Stix

says it’s for ages 6+ but my just turned 4-year-old and I have played a couple games and both enjoyed it and I didn’t blow her out of the water.  I’m sure I could have if I tried a little harder, but I wasn’t trying to block her and instead was only trying to make the best moves for myself, which was still enjoyable.  I’m sure when she turns 6 we’ll have some nice cut throat games of Fish Stix, but for now it’s helping her with her adding and some sort of visual pattern skills and problem solving.  If you have older kids or like very light strategy games, I definitely found that playing Fish Stix with another adult took this game to another level because we were constantly looking for ways to score but also block the next player.  So like Qwirkle, it’s a simple game but it’s a nice mix of luck, strategy, and seeing the perfect spot to play.

Fish Stix Stats:

~ $15 at Fish Stix on Amazon and some local retailers (note, the box art might be different as there’s a light blue box that’s a bit older)
2-4 players
~15-20 minutes (could be longer depending on decision-making time)
Ages 6+