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Game night just got a whole lot… fishier?

With Winning Moves GamesFish, Fish, Squish!, it’s squish or be squished.

This family game includes a deck of 54 colorful fish playing cards, four re-sealable bags of safe modeling dough, four plastic fish molds, four player mats, and an illustrated instruction set. Each playing card features either a small red fish, a medium yellow fish, or a big purple fish.

To start, players choose a bag of brightly colored modeling dough and a colored mat to match, then mold school of five fish, and place them in the designated spots on their mats. Molding my five fish took me about five minutes, but with four plastic molds, every player can form their own school fish simultaneously, making the process quick and easy. Keep in mind that like any other games involving dough, things can get messy. It’s probably best to avoid playing this game on the carpet, but a kitchen or dining room table would do just fine.

Once each player has molded his or her fish, the oldest player shuffles the deck and places 36 cards face down in the middle of the table in a six-by-six grid. And with plenty of leftover cards, there’s opportunity for larger grids, longer games, and more fishy fun!

Once setup is complete, it’s time to cast off!

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The youngest player kicks off the game. He or she gets to flip any card over, leaving it face up within the grid. Play then passes to the left, and the same action is repeated. Once a player flips a card that creates a set of three different color fish in a row (horizontally, diagonally, or vertically), he or she has earned the right to squish one of the opposing player’s fish! So if you want to last, it’s best to make friends (not enemies) with your opponents. Once all 36 cards are face up, whichever player has the largest school of “unsquished” fish wins the game.

Designed for kids ages 5 and up, Fish, Fish, Squish! offers kids the opportunity to reinforce their pattern recognition skills and physical awareness as the cards are turned over. They can also build strength in their hands and fingers as they manipulate their dough and mold their underwater companions. Though some kids won’t like having their fish “squished” by their friends, brother, or sister, it’s pretty fun to be the one doing the squishing. Bending the rules and allowing kids to squish their own fish instead might go over a bit more… swimmingly.

Dare I say, they’ll be hooked?