Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sturgeon - A Review

Today I played the new card game from "Minion Games" called simply "Sturgeon". I played with three but this game does cope with up to five.

It's an odd name for a game, but the game behind the name is pretty good.

It's not really a gamers game, but a more family orientated light filler. Once your first learning game is out of the way I think you'll get through a game in about fifteen minutes. That length feels just about right for the variety of mechanics and decision making involved.

The theme of the game is fish, yes fish. Not fishing, just fish. The table in front of each player represents a part of a shared lake. Each player wants to get two Sturgeon ( thats a fish! ) in their part of the lake. The first player to get two of these big fish wins.

You turn is pretty quick and pretty easy. You start by drawing a card into your hand, you can then play as many cards as you can, with a limitation being that you can only play one fish card. Then if you happen to have more than five cards in your hand you discard down to five. That's it.

You play fish cards down in front of you. You can simply play a "Minnow" into your part of the lake. However to play a "Bass" which is a bigger fish you have to eat ( discard ) two "minnows". To play the mighty "Sturgeon" you have to eat ( discard ) two "Bass".

However you don't just have to eat fish in your own area of the lake. Ther is another type of card, a "Swim" card. If you play a swim card as you play a Bass or a Sturgeon you can eat a fish from another part of the lake, play two "swims" and you can eat two fish from someone else part of the lake. Normally a swim card can only allow you to reach an adjacent player, but if you double up the swim cards you can reach further around the turn order.

There are other cards in the deck, one revserses the order of play, which also effects how "swim" cards are played. Another card is the Fisherman, which you can play to remove another players Sturgeon. Also you can protect your fish with "Weeds" or by making them into a school.

And thats about it. It's a simple path to victory and the play is certainly not going to strain your brain. It's a light and quick to play game, ideal for family play or as a simple filler. You might even play a round to see who'll be your start player of the next game.

The game comes in a nice shiny tuck box featuring a Sturgeon leaping out of the lake, and the game is made up of 60 cards. The cards are themselves are standard weight and thickness and feature some nice cartoon fish, and I just love the minnow hiding in the weeds, he's so cute!

The rules cover 1 side of a sheet of paper with the rear side of the same sheet containing examples of play.

All in all its a nice family game, well presented, clearly explained and all for under 12 US Dollars. At that price you can't complain, it's simply a bargain!