Food is a wonderful thing. It nourishes us. It gives us pleasure. It provides an excuse to be social. It’s also something that you should have around when you’re playing some games. Here we have a game themed around food and one of my favourite types of food too!
Sushi Go! is a card drafting game were players will draft cards with cute pictures of sushi on them in order to form sets. Different sets will score different amounts of points. The person with the most points at the end of 3 rounds will be the winner.
Sushi Go! was first released in 2013 by Gamewright. My kids and I first saw it played on TableTop. After that it was something that they just had to play. So the first chance that I go to purchase it, locally, I got it.
For the TL;DR version click here.
Opening the Box
Specs on the box
The game comes in a rather nice looking tin. I’m not sure if it’s just my copy or not but I find that the lid of the tin does not snap shut very securely. So if it were to tip over the lid will fall off. I just used a rubber band to hold it closed and now it reminds me of a bento box.
Inside the tin we have 108 cards and a rule book. The cards sit nice and snugly in an insert, which I’ve had to get rid of. My cards started to show wear alarmingly quickly so I had to buy sleeves as soon as possible. This means that they don’t fit into the insert quite a well as they should.
The idea of the game is that you and your friends have gone out for a meal of sushi. The cards that you pass around are like a sushi conveyor belt and you need to pull off (draft) what you would like to eat. A nice touch is that the puddings are only scored at the end of the whole game, unlike the sushi which is scored every round. So it’s like a real meal with dessert at the end.
Sushi Go! has one of the problems common to most games of this type. The cards get clumped into their sets and need a good shuffle before or after each game to keep them random. Once that is done you are ready to go.
Each player is dealt a hand of cards. The number of cards will vary based on the number of players. Then each player will select a card and keep it face down. Once everyone has done this they reveal the card that they have selected. So everyone can see what sets they are trying to build. Then they pass the remaining cards in their hands to the play on their left. Repeat the process until all of the cards have been used.
At the end of the round the sets are scored e.g. every set of 3 sashimi that you have will get you 10 points. Every 2 tempura will nett 5 points. If however your sets are incomplete then they will score 0. Some cards score on their own, others can provide multipliers and some sets will go to the person who has drafted the most of them during that round.
After the score for the round is done, everyone will get a new set of cards and then start drafting again. This time it’s advised to pass the cards to the right, for round 3, pass the cards to the left again.
At the end of round 3 the puddings are scored. The person with the most pudding will get 6 points and the person with the least will lose 6 points! The scores are totalled and the person with the most is the winner.
Fast, fun, easy to learn and easy to teach. It is also very compact so it travels very easily and it does not require much space to play. I would have liked some means of keeping score though, like a small note pad and a pencil. A smart phone will do in a pinch though.
Despite being so easy there is actually a surprising amount of strategy in this game. You need to remember all of the cards so you can track which sets are still available and decide if you want to hate draft, take a card that someone else needs but you don’t, or if you should switch sets etc.
The chop sticks are a nice touch too, they are worthless on their own but they can allow you to draft 2 cards in a turn, if you put them back into the cards that you are passing on.
This one is a firm hit with the kids. It even made them try sushi for the first time. However I don’t see it growing to anything more than a filler game with my regular gaming group.
Can I braai with this?
Yes you can. I have done that multiple times already. It’s very easy to play and you can pause and take breaks, although you may not want to.