ToysBulletin.com looks at what might be the hottest new game of 2016 from North Star Games.
This past February at the New York Toy Fair, there was an enormous buzz about a new game, and it was a loud buzz too. North Star Games had been demonstrating its new game, “Happy Salmon,” and it was noisy and crazy all around the North Star Games booth for four straight days. There were huge crowds of attendees just wanting to see what was going on. The Toys Bulletin staff was lucky enough to get a chance to play the game ourselves, and yes, we were very impressed.
“Happy Salmon,” designed for 3-6 players ages 6 years old and up, comes packaged in a neat little cloth bag shaped like a small salmon, complete with fins and tail. There is a zipper on the top and inside there are 72 high quality cards (6 sets of 12 each). The cards measure 2″ wide x 3½” long, and each set of cards is identical except for the back of the cards being a different color for each set. Each set also includes just 4 different cards (3 of each one), a “High 5” card, a “Pound It” card, a “Switcheroo” card and a “Happy Salmon” card.
To set things up, each player receives a set of 12 cards, shuffles them up and keeps them in their hands. To properly play the game, the players should all be standing around a table with no obstacles in their way and the table completely clean and empty. At the count of three, all players simultaneously turn over their top card, and shout out the action shown on the card, trying to find another player with a matching card. When a match is found, the two players must perform the action between themselves, and then discard their matching cards anywhere on the table. To perform a “High 5,” the two players must slap their hands together up high, to perform a “Pound It,” the two players must make a fist and bump their fists together, to perform a “Switcheroo,” both players must changes places with each other, and finally to perform a “Happy Salmon,” players tap each others forearm multiple times, much like a flapping salmon.
Remember, this is all going on among all players at the same time, so it is wild and nuts all around. If a player cannot find another player with a match right away, he is allowed to put that card on the bottom of his stack and try another. The first player to find 12 matches, perform the actions, discard all of their cards and yell out “finished” is declared the winner.
Now, let us tell you that this is crazy fun for all ages. The Toys Bulletin staff went nuts for “Happy Salmon,” and a game can be completed in 2-3 minutes. This is just an exhilarating experience for everyone playing, and a must own game. “Happy Salmon” retails for $14.99 and can be purchased directly from the North Star Games website. This game will likely sell out quickly, so keep checking back.