Sushi Draft: A Tasty Dish of a Game

Sushi Draft

Eat up all the sushi you can and score big in a card drafting game that’s sure to leave you hungry.

At first glance Sushi Daft may remind you of a certain other game that involves card drafting and yummy sushi artwork, but does it manage to stand on its own?

Gameplay

The game is played over three rounds. At the start of each round, players are dealt six cards. Players simultaneously choose one card to place face up in front of themselves. After players have revealed their cards at the same time, each player chooses another card to keep in their hand. You then pass the remaining cards to the player on your left. Players keep doing this until there is only one card left in your hand which is then discarded.

There are five different types of sushi which can appear on the cards. Each card also lists how many types of that sushi there is. For each type of sushi there are three scoring tokens with different numbers written on them; these are shuffled together and kept facedown. At the end of the round the player who played the most of one type of sushi, takes a scoring token for that sushi. Scoring tokens are awarded for each sushi type. Finally, the player who has the most different types of sushi scores a dessert token.

If there is ever a tie in scoring, the tying players are disqualified and the runner up takes the scoring token. If one type of sushi is not eaten, no one scores that token.

After three rounds, players flip over their scoring tiles and the player with the highest score wins.

                                    Sushi Draft Components

Review

Sushi Draft is both quick and light. The rounds are short and smooth, with drafting rules that are easy to teach and learn. It’s a great game to teach drafting with, and works perfectly when you’re looking for something short and sweet to play.

There is a lot of playing off of other players as you see what they play before choosing what card to keep back when passing your hand. You have to balance between what cards you want to play with what cards you don’t want to hand your opponents. There is also a fun rule variant in which sushi cards with wasabi on them only count as half a card when calculating who scores tokens that round!

The fact that you don’t know the exact value of the scoring tiles ensures that you always feel in the running and will never know who is really in the lead until the very end! We enjoyed that aspect of the game. However, not all players will like that randomness. The game does offer a rule variant which has each score token simply be worth one point, but this doesn’t really feel like it takes into account that some sushi is more difficult to collect the majority of than others.  

Smooth, elegant, and fast paced, Sushi Draft makes a great filler or a solid opening act to a game night. But it’s also one of those games that will leave you sorely tempted to play just one more round.

Pros: Simple rules, great introduction to drafting mechanics, fast paced, fun wasabi rule variant

Cons: Some players may not enjoy the scoring system

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.