Monday, September 29, 2014

Sushi Go! from Gamewright

Sushi Go!

Today, I'd like to introduce you to a cute little card game!  Sushi Go!  This is a game for 2 to 5 players and is recommended for 8 and up.  There are 108 cards included with a variety of cute sushi characters, like tempura and dumpling (our favorite!)

Each game is played for 3 rounds and goes pretty quick.  Depending on how many players you have, you deal out a certain amount of cards.  (I just realized we played with 10 cards instead of the 9 required for 3 players, but it still worked out ok!)  Players look at their cards, pick one to keep and hand the rest to the next player.  Everyone reveals the kept card at the same time and then picks up the next hand and does the same thing.  You keep passing hands until all the cards are played in front of you.  That constitutes one round.

After each round, you score your hand based on the different things that you might have collected.

Here's Ginny's hand after one round.  She's got a salmon nigiri for 2 points, 2 sets of tempura for 10 points, and another salmon nigiri on top of a wasabi which triples the value for 6 points, for a total of 18 points.  The cards all the way to the right are puddings which are only counted after the last round.

This is my hand.  I've got 4 sashimi, but I only need 3 to get 10 points.  I also have a pair of tempura for 5, 1 salmon nigiri for 2 and one pudding.  Maki rolls (the red card) are only scored if you have the most icons per round.  They come in 1, 2, and 3 makis.  Turns out there were only 2 1-maki roll cards in play this round, so Jack and I tied for highest!  We got to split the 6 points, each receiving three.  I scored 20 points for this hand.  You might have noticed that I also have a chopsticks card over to the left.  This allows me to play two cards on one turn.  They don't earn you any points.

This is Jack's hand.  You can see his 1 maki which he gets 3 points for.  He also has 3 dumplings for 6 points, 2 egg nigiri for 2 points, and 2 salmon nigiri for 4 points.  His score this round was 15.  At the end of the 3rd round, everyone counts up their puddings.  Jack ended up having collected the most, so he earned an extra 6 points.  I had the least, so I lost 6 points.

It's a really straightforward game and no need to memorize a bunch of scoring rules, because all the cards have their scores written out on the bottom.  It's a little bit of rummy, with collecting the sets, and a little bit of concentration, trying to remember what's in each hand as it passes around.  The kids came up with some strategies for optimum score collection.

The Chopstick & Double Tempura:  Jack likes to drop a chopsticks on one turn, then on the next hand they're available, use the chopsticks and drop two tempura at one time.  You need two to have a complete set and score 5 points!

Pudding Hog:  Jack also recommends hogging all the puddings to yourself.  I'm not so sure of this strategy, as you only get 6 extra points at the end of the game.  I think you could earn more by playing other cards instead.  (But then again, I did lose 6 points for lack of puddings!)

Dumpling Hog:  Ginny's like this strategy.  Play as many dumplings as you can.  Each dumpling you get just adds more points.  With many of the other cards, if you don't have a complete set, you don't get any points.  But dumplings are always worth something, and the more you have the better!

Wasabi & Squid:  Play a wasabi and pop a squid nigiri on top of it!  Wasabi cards aren't worth anything without a nigiri, but they triple the score if a nigiri is played on top.  Squid nigiri are worth 3 points, so with a wasabi, they're worth 9!

Maki Roll Wars:  This happens when everyone tries to collect the most maki rolls!  I'm not sure this is really a strategy, but Jack likes it!  Whoever gets the most maki rolls scores 6 points and second most gets 3.  Everyone else gets nothing.

We also decided to rate the game on different criteria from 1 star (lowest) to 5 stars (highest).

                           J          G        M
Cuteness:           5          5          5
Ease of Play:     4.5       4.5       5
Time Taken:      5          4.5       5
Fun:                   4          4.25     5
  with Others:     5         5          5
Overall:              4.5     4.5       5

Ginny said it was a nice game, but it really just wasn't her thing.  She even won a game, but could not be convinced.  She still gave it good ratings!  UNO is more her thing.

Jack seemed to really enjoy it.  It had a little bit of strategy involved with the cards being passed around, and I think he liked that aspect.

Personally, I thought it was totally awesome!  The cards couldn't be any cuter!  It's a fun game that is quick to play and offers a little bit more interest than a simple game of Go Fish.

All of us feel that the age recommendation is a bit high.  Sure, younger kids might have a little trouble trying to remember the cards as the hands zoom by, but it's not really important to do that.  We think younger kids would love playing with these little sushi guys, so we're thinking 5's and up might be ok too.

Have you played Sushi Go!?  Did you enjoy it?

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