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board game review, card games, drafting, food, japanese

Board Game Review: Sushi Go!

Sushi Go!

Designer: Nan Rangsima, Tobias Schweiger, and Phil Walker-Harding

Publisher: Gamewright

Players: 2-5

Weight: Super Light

Play Time: 15 minutes

Type: Card Drafting, Set Collection

Sushi Go! is a very quick and easy card drafting game. On a turn, players will select one card simultaneously, collecting delicious looking Japanese foods in order to score points. Players will then pass their remaining hand of cards to the person next to them. This will continue until all cards are played face up. The game lasts over three rounds and the player with the most points at the end wins!

Why review Sushi Go!?

Part of my ethnicity and culture is Japanese culture. As I plan to have a family some day, my partner and I have discussed the culture and values we want to have and the environment we want our children to grow up in. I plan on playing games with my children from a very young age… if they end up gamers, great! If not, I will be happy just to be able to share one of my hobbies with them. I have noticed culturally appropriate games seem to be in the minority (no pun intended). As I look for new games to try or add to my collections, I first investigate themes that will celebrate our culture and allow our children to grow up around our cultures traditions: one being food! This game features sushi (maki and nigiri), sashimi, wasabi, tempura, dumplings, ohashi (chopsticks), and pudding.

Overall Rating 8/10

This game will be in my collection for the foreseeable future. Sushi Go! Is a cute, fun, and fast filler game and I have been using it as an introduction to the drafting mechanism for more complicated games. In addition, this game fits into my much needed category of culturally appropriate games for my family.

Component Quality 2/2

I love games that come in tins. They might not be the most accessible or best packaging, but my attention is always grabbed in board game stores by tins. The cards are very high quality and the artwork is fantastic. I have seen the different Sushi Go! artwork based on region and I love them all. The artists did an excellent job and I have gotten many people to play this game on the artwork alone.

Theme 2/2

The theme is exactly why I purchased this game. There are games and toys out there about cooking and food – but many have food representative of American culture. Whenever I find a game accurately representing one of my cultures, it is almost an instant buy. Theme and social justice play a huge role in what games I will be interested in. Don’t worry – I also love strong gameplay mechanisms. When I think about cultivating a multicultural family, Sushi Go’s theme is exactly what I am looking for.

Mechanics 1/2

Okay, I will be the first to admit, there is nothing particularly special about the game mechanics of Sushi Go. The game features a drafting mechanism and different combinations of cards score you points at the end. In a two player / three player game, a “memory mechanic” is lightly present – a player might score more points if they remember what cards are in each hand. Even with the memory aspect, the overall player interaction is low. An opposing player may select a card on purpose in order to block another player from scoring points, especially if the player may score sashimi (worth 10 pts.)! However, if you do not pay attention to what others are doing, there is no real loss in the gameplay. The tin says this game is for players age 8 and up. A younger child may be able to grasp the mechanism of selecting one card per turn, but they may not fully understand the scoring and may need a little guidance. I believe this game could be played as a family with young children. While the mechanics are simple and the scoring is straightforward, the gameplay is solid and engaging. A huge part of the charm is the clean design.

Engagement 1/2

Sushi Go! can overstay it’s welcome if played too many times in a row. One quick three round game as a filler keeps the game engaging. There are promos available to add cards and scoring mechanisms (soy sauce!), but I think Sushi Go! Is a great game right out of the tin,

Fun 2/2

I have a lot of fun when I play this game. It is simple, quick, and celebrates a piece my cultural heritage. I automatically have more fun playing a board game when I can personally connect to a theme.

See more at http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/133473/sushi-go

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