OBJECTIVE OF DISCOUNT SALMON: Seek to salvage your contaminated fish to score points or prevent the other players from scoring points by contaminating their fish even more.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 5 Players
COMPONENTS: 25 fish cards, 81 modifier cards, I deep fryer card and a rule sheet.
TYPE OF GAME: Trick-taking Card Game
AUDIENCE: Ages 8 and Up
OVERVIEW OF DISCOUNT SALMON
Players are fishmongers who have to fish from a contaminated lake and try to salvage or cure the most fish to win the game.
Shuffle the fish cards and spread them out face down in the middle of the play area to simulate a pool.
Then shuffle the modifier cards and give five to each player.
Divide the remaining into two equal halves and place them on opposite sides of the pool
A first player is chosen and gets the fish fryer card.
The first player chooses a card randomly and flips it quickly for all to see.
The flipped card is now in play.
The players look at the card to see if they can cure the fish problem(s) with their modifier cards or instead worsen it to make it more difficult for another player to cure.
A player can play up to three cards from the cards in their hands and depending on what he wants to achieve, they can play all good cards to resolve the issue with the fish or all bad cards to frustrate other players, or a mix of both. Once played, cards cannot be removed. The only exception is invalid cards, these must be removed.
A card is invalid if
- Though positive, does not fix the existing issue of the fish, for example, if a fish is toxic, one cannot play a makeup card as makeup only cures an ugly fish or;
- If negative is a replication of an already existing issue. For example, if a card is already ugly, playing a mustache card is invalid.
As cards are played, the closest to the base of the stack is considered to have been played first and determines the fate of all other cards played on it.
Some cards come with multiple problems that need fixing and players may fix one or all the issues to claim the card.
Players must immediately refill their hand deck after they play cards to always maintain a hand of five cards.
Once a card is totally resolved by a player, i.e all issues with it are sorted out, whether they were originally assigned or brought about by other players, that player claims the fish card and all the valid modifiers played on it.
The player who won the last card reveals the next card to be resolved and play continues until all the fish cards have been resolved.
Some cards are special cards and have certain effects;
- A blender card resolves all the issues with a card at once. Whoever plays it, wins the card and all the other modifiers earlier played on that particular card and flips the next card to resolve.
- Andrew the hungry cat runs away with our fish card. This means that whenever this card is played, all the modifiers and the Andrew card itself are placed in the discard pile and no one scores any point for that round. The player that played the Andrew card reveals the next card to resolve.
Sometimes during the game, a card may be revealed where no one player has all the cards needed to resolve it and no one is willing to partially resolve it, giving another the advantage to cure and win the fish card.
When this happens where no player plays any card and there is inactivity for up to five seconds, the player with the deep fryer cart will usually claim the fish and any other cards on it. They then have to pass the deep fryer card to the player on their left.
All the players then discard two cards from their hand and replace them from the deck to decrease the chances of another stalemate.
Scores or points come from the number of fish cards a player was able to claim. If there is a tie, the negative modifiers claimed come into play. If there is still a tie here, then the number of positive modifiers also claimed are then counted.
END OF GAME
The game ends when all the fish form the lake/pool of cards have been used up or there are not enough modifier cards for each player to get a complete set of five.