I’m admittedly not all that fond of sushi, nor do I understand the point of all-you-can-eat sushi buffets. I mean seriously, how much raw fish can one person eat? Blech! Luckily, you don’t need to like or even know sushi in order to play “Sushi Go!”, a fast-paced card collecting game that will task you with earning as many points as you can. Before we take a look at this little gem, I’d like to thank Nora Meiners, the Marketing Coordinator at Ceaco/Gamewright, for providing me with a free press copy. For those of you connoisseurs out there, the pictures and content featured below are representative of the English second edition.
Cards – The game includes roughly one hundred plus cards depicting various sushi dishes. Each card lists its point value & requirements along the bottom of its face.
Setup & Gameplay
At the beginning of the game, the deck of cards is shuffled and placed within easy reach of players. That’s it. Honestly.
The game takes place over three rounds. At the beginning of each round, each player is dealt a new hand of cards. The number of cards a player receives all depends on how many people are playing the game. Throughout the game, these player hands are kept secret.
To start off a round, each player will choose a card from their hand and place it face down in front of them with the intent of scoring it. Once everyone has chosen a card, they flip them over simultaneously. These cards are kept in front of their respective owners for end-of-round scoring purposes. Once this is done, players will pass their remaining hand (face down) clockwise. Players will again play a card face down, reveal them simultaneously, and pass the remaining hand off again until there are no more cards to play.
Players then announce their scores for that round so that the scorekeeper (chosen at random) can keep track via pen and paper. After scoring is finished, everyone takes their scored cards and places them into a discard pile beside the deck. The pudding cards are the exception, which are kept in front of their owners and scored at the game’s end. Round two begins and concludes the same way, followed by round three. After three rounds, players will add up their scores (taking any dessert cards into account) and whoever has the most, wins!
It’s all pretty simple, though what I didn’t tell you is that each sushi/card type scores in slightly different ways. Some cards, like wasabi, have no point value on their own. However, when a nigiri card is played on top of a wasabi card, its point value triples. I included a link to the manual below so that you can see all the different card types and how they score.
“Sushi Go!”, I’ve come to realize, is more than meets the eye. It looks simplistic and easy to play (which it is), but the scoring system and the way the cards mesh together keeps this from being a mindless romp in the park. The game also encourages a little memorization, though if you are often forgetting your own age (guilty), you’ll be pleased to know that it isn’t required. Remembering what cards people have and what’s left can help you decide what combination to set yourself up for a few plays down the line, but you can just as easily play a card within seconds of looking at the hand and be done with it.
The card art was both aesthetically pleasing and informative. I’m glad the decision was made to put the scoring requirements right on the card as it saved me from having to refer back to the manual a number of times. I could have done without the tin box though…a regular card box would have probably meshed better with my collection in terms of stacking, though this is a minor complaint. Gamewright really seems to like their tin, so who am I to judge? As long as the game isn’t broken or affected negatively by the packaging (it wasn’t), then I’m good to go.
I’ll opt to keep the review short and sweet by ending it here. Normally I’d write more, but the game is so easy to pick up and play that I’d simply be writing filler and I’d rather not waste your time. I much prefer short, no-nonsense, and “to the point” reviews anyway. To that end, I’ll conclude this by saying that “Sushi Go!” is an excellent family-friendly card game. Amazon is currently listing this game for about ten to twelve bucks, making it an easy recommend.
Final Verdict: 9/10