Base Game Review
Play Time (Box): 15mins
Play Time (Goof): 20 – 30mins
Designer/s: Phil Walker-Harding
I’ve often said if I had to pick a single food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be sushi. I don’t often mention it’s cheating to pick a form of food that has such a wide range of variety and types which fit the category. But it’s so damn delicious. I love everything about sushi. From the experience of going to the sushi train where you don’t always know what’s in front of you but nine times out of ten your tastebuds will appreciate it anyway; to the fact you could eat it a year straight and never eat the same thing twice (actual facts may differ, but you get the point).
On the other hand, I wasn’t thrilled at the concept of playing a game where you get the fun of going to the sushi train but lack the actual eating component. I mean sure, you could eat the cards but that has its own issues: like the fact you can’t play it again and soy sauce doesn’t really compliment the cardboard.
Sushi Go! is sort of like drafting- okay…it’s exactly like drafting. You get a bunch of cards and decide on which one gives you the most points while simultaneously lessening the points of your opponents before passing the cards to the left. It’s a simple concept and can be taught before you even pull the cards out of the box. I played this game with my family, which included three of my younger siblings; and it took no time at all before we were all up to speed. I would put this game under “things you can play with the family” and it’s great for a quick filler game in between heavier games, like a palette cleanser.
I’ve played this game in a number of different combinations: two, three and five players. And interestingly this game changes hugely depending on the amount of players you have. In a two player game it becomes very mathematic, on your second hand you know every card and you have to deduce what they will pick and the likelihood of you completing sets. In a three player match it’s a little more of a deduction game, working out what the other two will pick and blocking those choices. In a five player game it becomes chaos, like it’s Friday night at the sushi train and if something goes past you there is almost no way of knowing if it will make it back around.
Pros: +Simple, +Deduction
Cons: -Too chaotic at larger numbers
I haven’t played a single game of Sushi Go! where someone hasn’t mentioned they want sushi afterwards. Given the game simulates the experience of going to a restaurant, even so much as to leave the puddings until the end, this actually speaks volumes for the theme.
Drafting is not a new concept but I’ve never equated drafting to the experience of a sushi train. It works really well. Food goes round and you tend to only grab one plate off at a time. Next time I go I might even start allocating points, although subjectively I suspect I’ll always win.
I’m the sort of gamer who likes violence, strategy, teamwork and just a little hint of luck to keep things interesting. A game about eating at the sushi train doesn’t really get me up and excited. I’d rather go to a real sushi train (although this was is cheaper). However I really want to judge this game on its own terms. And thematically those terms are actually almost perfect.
Pros: ++Excellent Theming
What is it with the back of cards and companies seemingly not realising what a great opportunity this is to have some fantastic artwork? In this case it wouldn’t even be too hard. The logo for the Sushi Go! box is pretty decent. I do not understand what the train of thought was here. The back of the cards have maple leaves on them. Maple syrup and sushi don’t go well together, I tried.
The artwork on the front of the cards however is vibrant, cute and consistent. I’m a big fan. It’s very kawaii. If there were faces on real sushi it would be delightful…actually I take it back. That sounds absolutely horrifying.
The cards also serve as a functional reminder of what each card is worth and what you get for having sets. This is done in a way which isn’t invasive and yet sticks out enough to be valuable and easy to explain. I’m a super-fan of game components which serve as reminders for the rules.
There’s not a whole lot to the production of this game. It’s 108 cards that come in a tin. Maybe it’s just a personal thing but I hate tins.
Pros: +Great artwork, ++Functional artwork
Cons: –The backs of the cards suck
If you’re a hardcore gamer then don’t expect too much from Sushi Go! And that’s not inherently a bad thing. It’s a fun, quick simple game that you should absolutely not play on an empty stomach. Personally this serves the purpose of a quick game with the family that I can enjoy, or if I’ve got a few minutes to spare while waiting for someone to arrive for a bigger game.
I give Sushi Go!:
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go eat sushi.