Sounds Fishy makes a splash! Big Potato Games are quick to learn, play, and share with others, and Sounds Fishy, their fish-themed bluffing game co-created with Rob Piesse, is no exception. Touting ‘One real answer. A sea of red herrings’ as its catchphrase, Sounds Fishy players take turns asking trivia card questions and quickly creating convincing bluff responses to gain points.
The rules for Sounds Fishy are very colorful and straightforward. One player is designed as the Guesser, and the other players secretly draw face-down fish to determine if they are a True Blue Kipper or a Red Herring. There is only one True Blue Kipper in the game, and that player must use the true answer provided on the back of the card to try and bluff the Guesser into believing that it is merely a red herring. The Red Herrings have 15 seconds to invent an answer that the Guesser will think is true. At the end of this time, each fish will provide their answer to the guesser in turn.
After all fish players answer the question, the Guesser attempts to reveal all of the Red Herrings before the True Blue Kipper. Points are awarded based on the number of flipped fish at the table with the Guesser receiving a point for flipped Red Herrings and revealing the True Blue Kipper last. Unflipped Red Herrings receive a point per flipped fish, and if flipped, the True Blue Kipper receives a point for each unflipped fish on the table. The number of recommended rounds varies between one and two depending on player count, and the person with the most points at the end of the game wins.
While Sounds Fishy does not list an estimated play time on the box, the game has very little setup and can play in under 15 minutes. The mechanisms are similar to old familiar games, yet players may find the design innovations lacking; reading the back of the card quickly and discreetly can be difficult—especially in larger parties.
The fish theme works well for the art, components, and title of Sounds Fishy. The plain cards lack form and function; it would have been great to see the theme carried through to the included cards and useful to somehow discreetly indicate card facing direction. If cards are not pre-placed in the dispenser carefully, the guesser could accidentally view the true answers while pulling cards. Additionally, players must be careful with the included fish, the Red Herrings and True Blue Kipper, because they can be easily marked and the highly reflective color can unintentionally reveal the player’s role.
Overall, I liked the theme and tactile game components but found the concept execution lacking. The theme and components speak to a younger audience, yet many of the questions feel tailored to an adult drinking game and do not translate as well into a family-friendly game with school-aged children. I absolutely love that this company, Big Potato Games, is actively supporting green initiatives in packaging and in reversing deforestation, working with Ecologi to plant trees for every game they sell through their shop.
Listed as a 4 to 10 player game, Sounds Fishy scales very differently for small and large player counts, both in scoring points and auditory/visual requirements. Gameplay will heavily vary depending on group social dynamics and creative quick thinking.
Sounds Fishy flips the traditional bluffing game into a more party-friendly, quick to play version, but component design and player scaling can significantly limit gameplay.
- Easy to learn
- No writing needed
- One Game One Tree
- True Blue answers difficult to see
- Bluff components easily marked
- Unlisted estimated play time