When I was in college I owned a fish tank. Not being happy with the typical betas and guppies, I opted for a pair of piranhas from our local pet store. In most northern states they are still legal to own, but southern states have different rules. If they were ever released into the wild, because of the warmer climate, they could flourish and harm native species.
While game-hunting at our Goodwill, I spotted a toy/game featuring these invasive fish called Piranha Panic. It was priced at only $1.88, so I was sure there were pieces missing. After thoroughly going through the box at the store, I happily confirmed that everything was present – right down to all the custom marbles with different fish on them! Into the basket it went!
It took a little cleaning to bring it back to new once I got it home, but the effort was well worth it. Piranha Panic is a simple game for up to four players where you are trying to be the first to get your fish to the top of the river.
When assembled, the “board” is a large blue plastic ramp with areas for your fish to climb. These aren’t stable, however, as they can be flipped over by piranha in a frenzy, dumping your marble back to the beginning.
On each turn the active player rolls the custom die and either moves one of his three fish one or two spaces (a “1” or “2” on the die), moves zero spaces (friendly fish) or potentially starts a Piranha Panic by rolling a piranha! If a piranha is rolled, then the die is rolled again to see exactly what happens.
A friendly fish signifies a false alarm and nothing occurs. A “1” or a “2” means that one or two piranha will be placed at the top of the ramp. Another piranha rolled means all four are placed at the top. The lever is then pulled and the piranha race towards the bottom, gobbling up any fish in their path!
Any fish that make it to the top of the ramp jump over the piranha and land in a pool, out of reach of the carnivorous piranha. The first player to get all of their fish to the safety of the pool wins Piranha Panic!
You won’t find Piranha Panic at the stores or new on Amazon any longer, but you can find quite a few on eBay for around $20. If you have young kids, this is one you’ll want to watch for at yard sales or thrift stores as the Piranha Panic is fun to watch and exciting when they miss your your fish and opt to eat your opponent’s!
Have you ever seen a live piranha?