Happy Salmon is one of my absolute favourites.
The game is super simple and it takes only a minute or so to play a round. This is for ages 6 and up and for 3 to 6 players. The Green and Blue packs are pretty much identical except the card stacks have different colours. If you buy both fish you can play with up to 12 people. I almost immediately bought both.
Each player gets 12 cards of the same card color. Keep the cards face down in your hand until the start of the round.
In each hand there are 4 types of cards.
- High 5 – For this card you give a high five
- Pound it – For this card you lightly bump fists together
- Switcheroo – Two players switch places
- Happy Salmon – Lightly slap the other player’s forearm 3 or more times
To start the round count to three and flip over your stack so your stack is now face up. The goal is to find someone with the same card then complete the action. Once the action is done, drop that card and move onto the next. If no one has a match and you’d prefer to pass, place that card on the bottom of your stack and continue on. First person to run out of cards wins the round. It’s that easy.
There is no taking turns, everyone plays at once so you’ll need to be heard. This game gets loud, very loud, so you need to be able to grab players attention, so speak up. You can even yell.
If after a couple rounds the noise gets to be too much, you can always opt to play the alternate way and have a silent round. Instead of talking you can use hand signals to try and get everyone’s attention
This game is simple, but that’s what makes it universal. The rounds get loud and chaotic immediately, it can be a pretty big adrenaline rush so I wouldn’t count it out for adults. In fact the groups of adults I’ve played with seem to like it more than kids. It’s incredibly fast to play a round so you can squeeze it in before a longer game, or any group activity. As a head’s up you’ll want to play more than one round. You can use this as an ice breaker or just to pump people up. Either way you need to buy this one. It is unbelievably fun.