Fishing for Terrorists
by Amanda Nettgen
Fishing for Terrorists Version 2.0
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
Footprint score: 4/5
Fishing for Terrorists is just like Go Fish, except that you are fishing for… um, terrorists. It also contains special power-up cards that make gameplay longer and more exciting.
The game and gameplay
Pretend for a sec that you are the FBI and your friend in the CIA, and that whoever has the most Osama Bin Ladens under their belt wins bragging rights for being the best at keeping the nation safe. That is, in a vague nutshell, what Fishing for Terrorists Version 2.0 is.
To play, first assign a number of cards to each person based on how many are playing. Put the rest of the cards into a neat stack rather than a messy Go Fish pool, as you are all part of government agencies now, mind you, where records need to be kept organized.
On your turn, you proceed in the same manner as Go Fish, except you don’t ask for any boring number values in this take, you query for terrorists. Ask a neighbor if they have any Apathetic Atheists, Certified Members of the Lunatic Fringe, or Militant Satanic Gamers (all examples of baddies in this game).
If your fellow investigator has a terrorist that you asked for, they must immediately relinquish that terrorist into your care. If they don’t currently have the terrorist, you pick up the top two cards from the Draw Pile.
The second part of your investigation involves the opportunity to play Turn Cards. Turn Cards may be something like getting to shuffle an opponent’s captured terrorists back into the Draw deck, receiving an extra turn, or getting to select more cards from the Draw Pile. Turn Cards can also be negated by special green cards, so be careful!
Anytime you have at least two of a terrorist set, you can lay them on the table so that you won’t have to forfeit them as part of another player’s questioning. Paired terrorists can still be stolen away if a special power-up card is played, however. You need to collect all four members of a particular terrorist regime for their fate to be sealed with you.
The quest is over when the Draw deck has run dry. Everyone then scores their cards based on their amount of twin terrorists and closed cases (all members of a bad guy ring). A point is lost for each unmatched militant left in a hand.
Pros and cons
+ Funny concept that makes classic Go Fish less brain dead.
+ The creators encourage you to ham the gameplay up by telling your opponents that your questioning is of national importance and/or to get out of your office.
– Having to get through an entire deck to end the game takes way too long with just two people. My husband and I play for a certain amount of time or particular number of matches.
Fishing for Terrorists is Go Fish for grown-ups. You’ll either find it clever or you’ll find it offensive, depending on what the War means to you.