A downloadable game
A surrealistic tabletop board game of the celestial, earthly, and aquatic wrapped with chips in a freely copyable print of Paul Klee’s now-public-domain Fish Magic (1925).
1-5 players invent magic fish (or fish magic) with Klee’s painting as a playspace, using random and deliberate word choices, combined into magical morsels of fishy fishness.
“In Fish Magic, Paul Klee creates a magical realm where the aquatic, the celestial, and the earthly intermingle. A delicate black surface covers an underlayer of colors, which the artist revealed by scratching and scrawling designs in the black paint. At the center of the painting, a square of muslin is glued onto the canvas. A long diagonal line reaching to the top of the clock tower is poised as if to whisk off this subtle curtain.”
—Philadelphia Museum of Art
I'm very pleased to note that this won the Best Analog Game award in the Gaming Like It’s 1925 game jam. The judges commented:
"David Harris is our one and only returning winner this year: he won the same category in Gaming Like It's 1924 with his previous game, The 24th Kandinsky, which as the name suggests was based on the artwork of Wassily Kandinsky. This year's entry, Fish Magic, continues in a similar tradition, but now drawing inspiration from Paul Klee's 1925 painting of the same name. The game itself is very different, but just as captivating: it turns Klee's painting into a game board which players navigate to collect words, then tasks them with inventing new kinds of "fish magic" or "magic fish" with the words in their collection. Where The 24th Kandinsky was tailored to Kandinsky's abstract art, with players focused on manipulating the shapes and forms of his compositions, Fish Magic's gameplay is more suited to Klee's surreal and expressionist style, shifting the focus to the magical ideas and mysterious underwater world evoked by the titular painting. Our judges were immediately drawn to this clever and original premise, and impressed by how complete and well-thought-out the final product is, making Fish Magic a shoe-in for the Best Analog Game."
You can read about the winners in other categories here.
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