Order Up: A Review of Sushi Go!
This card-drafting game is simple enough for kids, layered enough for adults, and a great game to introduce people to gaming.
Sushi Go! takes place over three rounds. At the start of the round, players are each dealt a hand of cards, with the number of cards depending on the number of players. Each player then looks at his hand and selects one card. Players all reveal their selected card at the same time, placing it face up in front of them. Every player then passes their hand to the player on their left. They next consult their new hand, and once again select a card. The hands keep being passed to the left until the last card is selected from each one, and points are scored.
There are several types of cards in the deck. There are tempura cards: you score five points for each pair you have at the end of the round. There are sashimi cards: you score ten points for each set of three you have at the end of the round. There are dumplings, whose point values increase the more you have of them. There are nigari cards, which are worth one to three points on their own but these values are tripled if matched to a wasabi card.
Other cards include puddings, which are kept until the end of the game, at which time the player with the most scores six points and the player with the least loses six points. There are also maki roll cards which can show one, two, or three rolls on them. At the end of the round, players count up how many makis they have and score points for having the most and the second most.
The final type of card is the chopsticks. They are worth no points, but may be used at any time in the round to select two cards from a hand instead of one. When you do this, you place the chopsticks back into the hand that you are about to pass left.
At the end of the round, after each player’s score is written down, all cards (except for the puddings) are discarded, and new hands are dealt. The game continues until three rounds are completed.
The first thing you notice about Sushi Go! is the artwork. Every piece of food has an adorable, happy smiley face and really gives the game a sense of character. Gamewright always does a fantastic job with their components and this game is no exception.
With easy to teach rules and gameplay that you can pick up quickly, Sushi Go! is a good fit for families and players who are new to gaming, while still having interesting strategic choices that will keep more experienced players invested.
You can play with two players, but card drafting isn’t a lot of fun when you’re just passing your hands back and forth between the same two players. There is a variant for two players with a third dummy player that is a little better, but ultimately Sushi Go! is just a game that works best with three or more people.
The length of the game is perfect. It’s quite quick and satisfying, which makes it good for playing back-to-back games — if you lose, you can always call for a rematch. Sushi Go! can be a good opening act to a game night, a good filler, a good main feature, or a good way to wind down the evening. It’s versatile for both occasion and players. Just watch out, because you’ll probably be hungry after staring at adorable sushi for several rounds.
Pros: Cute artwork, simple yet interesting gameplay, perfect length for playing several games back-to-back
Cons: Not great with two players
Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.