Reviewed by: Herb Levy
(Gamewright, 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, 15 minutes; $11.99)
7 Wonders is a game that appeared several years ago (and featured in the Winter 2011 issue of Gamers Alliance Report) to garner rave reviews and a slew of awards. Justifiably so. At the core of its design was the game mechanism of card drafting, i.e. having a bunch of cards in your hand, choosing one to keep and play and passing the rest along to the next player. Inspired by that device, Sushi-Go! boils 7 Wonders down to its essence.
Sushi-Go! comes packaged in a small colorful tin that holds a deck of 108 cards and a colorful instruction book. The cards represent different Asian culinary treats: Tempura, Sashimi, Dumplings, Maki Rolls, Wasabi, Salmon, Sushi and Egg Nigri, Puddings and, in keeping with the theme, Chop Sticks. The deck is shuffled and, depending on the number of players, each participant dealt a starting hand of 7 to 10 cards.
Each turn, all players simultaneously selects one card from their hands and pass the rest to the player on their left. The selected card is revealed and placed in front of each player. This is repeated until the last card is played ending the round. At that point, we score.
Different cards score differently. Maki Roll cards display 1, 2 or 3 of them on each. The player with the most Maki Rolls when the round ends will score 6 points; the player with the second most gets 3 points. Each set of two Tempura cards will award you 5 points but 1 card is worth nothing. Similarly, three Sashimi cards will add 10 points to your score but one or two are valueless. Dumplings get multiplied; one is worth 1 point but two are worth 3, three worth 6 and so on. The Nigri and Wasabi work together. Individually, Salmon, Sushi and Egg Nigri are worth 3 points, 2 or 1 but, if you already have a Wasabi card, you can place any of these Nigri cards on your Wasabi and TRIPLE their value! And then we come to the Chop Sticks and Puddings.
A player who has chosen a Chop Sticks card to play gets a “double pick” on his next turn. Rather than choosing just one card from the hand passed, that player places TWO cards from that hand into his display, replacing the second card with his Chop Sticks card which is then passed along.
Playing the last card ends the round. All played cards are collected and discarded – except for any played Puddings which stay with the player who placed them. Puddings get scored at the END of the third round. The player with the most Puddings at that point gets 6 points and the players with the fewest LOSES 6. The player with the highest total score wins!
One of the best things about Sushi-Go! is that the play transcends age. The game is colorful and easy to learn. Both children and adults can enjoy the action. For kids, this puts the “fast” into “fast food” with play time generally within its promised 15 minutes. In helping keep play time down, all cards carry reminders of how they score, a deck full of play aids as it were. No constant referencing the rulebook. For adults, watching who is collecting what adds an additional consideration in deciding which card to choose. Grab a card you need to make a set or triple your points? Or take a card that the next player is collecting to stop an opponent’s point juggernaut? That’s part of the fun. And you can’t be sure just which card will be in play since not all of the 108 card deck will be used; bad news for card counters. Speaking of cards, the card stock used is first rate and will stand up to a lot of punishment.
It’s always great when a game can provide fun for kids and still offer something to keep adults interested. Sushi-Go! manages to fit nicely into the niche. Whether or not sushi is to your taste, GO get yourself a copy.
Spring 2015 GA Report Articles
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