Sushi Go! is a drafting and set collection game from designer Phil Warker-Harding. It’s been published by Adventureland Games, but it’s not readily available here in the Netherlands, so I’ve printed the cards and started playing.
(edit: there is a Dutch version available right now from White Goblin Games and if you’re Dutch you can read all about it when you click the flag above!)
The game is all about drafting. There are 108 sushi cards and, in a four player game, every player gets eight cards every round. In your turn you will choose one card from your hand, place it in front of you and pass the rest to your neighbour. There will be three rounds and at the end of every round players score points according to the cards they have gathered. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. Dead simple.
There are basically eight sushi types, these different treats score differently. There are Sushi Roll cards, on these cards you find one, two or three Rolls. You can collect these cards and at the end of the round, the player with the most Rolls in front of him gains six points and the player in second place gains three points. Then you have Tempura and Sashimi. They work about the same. Individually they are worth nothing, but when you’ve collected two Tempura or three Sashimi, they are worth five or ten points respectively.
Now look at those delicious Dumplings! These score more points when you have more of them; one when you have one, three when you have two, six when you have three, ten when you have four and a whopping fifteen points when you have five or more Dumplings on your plate.
Nigiri, another Japanese speciality, is worth one, two or three points, depending on the type. We have egg, salmon or squid Nigiri. You can make Nigiri much more delicious when you put Wasabi on your plate first. Put a Nigiri on top and suddenly it is worth three times as many points. Squid Nigiri with Wasabi is worth 3×3 is 9 points!
To finish the meal we can have Pudding. Pudding! They are worth nothing during the game, but at the end the player who can eat the most puddings gets six points and the player that has eaten the least puddings receives minus six points. OK and how do we eat Sushi then? Well, with Chopsticks of course. They aren’t worth any points, but you can eat super fast with them. You can place these chopsticks in front of you and later in the round you can shout ‘SUSHI GO!!!‘ and then you can place two cards from you hand in front of you. The chopsticks go back into your hand before you give you stack to your neighbour.
This is a wonderful game. You can teach it in a minute or two and really everyone can play it. The only negative I could come up with is that Sushi Go! maybe is too easy? But then again what’s wrong with a game that game bring gamers and non-gamers together to play a quick little card game.
The art is cheerful, sweet and inviting. Smiling rice, it really shouts: ‘Come and play!’
You don’t have to make difficult discussions during the game. Just think about what you want to collect and what your neighbour is collecting. Do you collect more points for yourself or do you try to give your opponent cards he doesn’t need or both, that would be best.
The fewer players, the more tactical the game will be. After all, you can keep a closer eye on the cards that might return to you later on.
The different ways you can score are nice. There’s a push your luck element when you collect Tempura or Sashimi , because they aren’t worth any points when you have one or two of them. With the Sushi Rolls you have to pay attention to your opponents, because you want to have more than they have, but not many more. Having many more Sushi wont give you many more points! You just need one more roll. The Dumplings can give you a lot of points, but you have to collect five of them. Is it worth it? And when someone puts down Wasabi, everybody thinks ‘well I have to pick the Squid Nigiri now or otherwise he will get nine points’. Look!, the first Pudding is placed on the table. Now the pudding race begins. No one wants to be the one with the fewest Puddings! Or do you? It’s only minus six points and maybe you can score a lot more when you focus on other types. So as I already said above, the choices aren’t difficult, but you still have to choose between different ways of scoring points and that’s important.
Yes, I really like it. Sushi Go! is a great, light card game for everybody! If you can get it, do.