North Star Games

Happy Salmon Interactive Card Game

Family Fun

If you want to dominate this fast-paced, so-silly-it’s-fun gestures game, it’s time to start practicing your happy salmon handshake.

For the uninitiated, the happy salmon is a type of greeting where you slap your pal’s forearm like, well, a salmon tail. Friends and game designers Ken Gruhl and Quentin Weir used to do it as kids,
and it inspired them to create this high-energy card game.

It’s easy to play, loud, and a little bit goofy—so really, everything you could want from a family game night. Each player shouts out the action on their card and tries to make a match with another player. When there’s a match, players do the action together—like a happy salmon, a high five, or a switcheroo. Everyone moves through their decks until the first to finish wins. You can even play silently, with just gestures, to make it a little trickier.

When you’re done, the game stores away in—you guessed it—a happy salmon bag. We dare you not to have fun with this hands-on game.
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As much fun as a room full of flapping salmons.

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Edoardo

    High Five, Grommet! I'm Edoardo from North Star Games and I’m very excited to tell you more about our new game, Happy Salmon! Just picture a salmon flapping its fins, and you'll know what we had in mind.

  • Siobhan
    9/8/2016 10:02 AM

    I am one of The Grommet employees who tested this product. I played Happy Salmon with my 12 year old daughter, 14 year old son along with their cousins who are 6 and 8. We had so much fun. It is one of those few games that work really well with varied ages. My question is just for fun -- what is the age of the youngest and oldest person you have ever played Happy Salmon with?

  • Edoardo
    Edoardo – Special Guest
    9/8/2016 10:10 AM

    @Siobhan Hi Siobhan! So happy to be here with you guys today. Great question! I have seen a 3.5 year old play (admittedly, with a little help from a parent), and a 90 year old grandma! We have a variant in the rules that states that if one is not able to "switcheroo", or physically switch places with someone, one can just swap that specific Switcheroo card and then discard it. And if the players want to, just that one person can sit and switch the cards that way while the others run around. It's the best of all worlds and everyone loves it!

  • Siobhan
    9/8/2016 10:35 AM

    @Edoardo Thanks. Good luck and I look forward to playing it again after I buy my own :-)

  • Jon
    9/8/2016 10:40 AM

    What made you think of using a fish for the packaging?

  • Edoardo
    Edoardo – Special Guest
    9/8/2016 11:07 AM

    @Jon Hi Jon! Well, just the name of the game, Happy Salmon, started us off. :) But it really came down to what would be dynamic and innovative and "pop" off the shelves (and screens). When you think of it, the game is 'only' 72 cards. How do you package just 72 cards and make the game look fun and exciting to both retailers and their customers. So given the name, from the start we always thought we would do a fish. Then it was all about how we create that fish - is it a box or tin shaped as a fish, or a bag or pouch? After a lot of trial and error, we came up what you see here.

    Happy Salmon

  • Bridger
    9/8/2016 11:46 AM

    How did you come up with the hilarious "Happy Salmon" action?

  • Edoardo
    Edoardo – Special Guest
    9/8/2016 12:02 PM

    @Bridger Hi Bridger! I, nor my North Star partners, can claim that we came up with the Happy Salmon action. The game was invented by two wonderful game designers, Ken Gruhl and Quentin Weir. They grew up together playing different sports and they always had celebratory actions like "high fives" and fist bumps. It was actually a friend of theirs who taught them the hilarious Happy Salmon shake. It wasn't until much later as they started creating games that they decided to incorporate the great shake into a game and introduce it to rest of the world.

  • Tracy
    9/8/2016 4:48 PM

    How long does the game typically take? Or does that depend on how many people are playing?

  • Edoardo
    Edoardo – Special Guest
    9/8/2016 5:20 PM

    @Tracy Hi Tracy! Believe it or not, the game lasts between 30 and 45 seconds long. Yes, seconds! In fact, we have seen people finish the game in about 25 seconds! It's fast and fun! We also suggest a couple of "cooperative" ways to play that goes against the clock and against teams. As a team of players, set a stopwatch and see how fast you can complete the game. You can also open up two games (packs) and have teams of players compete against each other - which team will be the first to yell FIN-ished!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.