putting the fun in functional

Happy Salmon Holidays!

Few months ago I went to SPIEL ’16 [web] in Essen; the biggest board game fair in the world. Ever since I’ve been obsessed with a new game I discovered there, Happy Salmon [BGG].

It’s one of the fastest games I’ve ever seen. One can explain it in one minute and play it in the next. Considering it only takes two minutes, it brings a huge amount of joy and instant gratification, making it my default energizer in workshops, trainings and other sessions now.

Before you start a game both the name and the package already bring joy to the table. Happy Salmon comes in a fish-shaped container as you can see above. Once I explain the Happy Salmon move, people really start cracking up. But no time to lose, the more fanatic you play, the sooner you’re fin-ished! It’s a huge hit with fellow coaches as well as the company I introduced it at, so the eight packages I bought at SPIEL are already running short. I can tell you there’s little as much rewarding as seeing colleagues at your current client greet each other with the Happy-Salmon-signature-move, haha.

Happy Salmon will surely be in my backpack when I give a workshop or visit an event next time. For more ideas to put the fun in functional take a peek at My toolbox [blog]. Below you can see Happy Salmon being scaled to over 20 people.


  1. nativewired

    Dec 30, 2016 at 21:13

    Guess I know one of the games I will learn at p4a 🙂

    • Heard Eddy brought the game to Agile Testing Days indeed. 🙂 Went to SPIEL with him, so he also was an instant fan!

    • nativewired

      Jan 2, 2017 at 19:05

      Yeah but I missed out on playing it with him; so guess I have to settle for you 😀

  2. Thorough review of Happy Salmon. By thorough I mean you could play four rounds with sorting in between, but it really discusses all aspects of the game, including user comments near the end!

  3. Hey Jordan, we did the same for an energyzer in an agility training : in french

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