Grab your chopsticks and stay alert! Have you ever experienced crushing disappointment at a sushi restaurant when that crispy salmon skin roll you wanted so badly whizzed by on the conveyor belt before you could pick it up, only to be taken by someone else before it came around again? Well, Sushi Go! is the perfect game to practice efficient sushi grabbing, ensuring quicker reflexes on your next sushi outing. It’s a fast and simple drafting game that takes just a few minutes to explain. Once you understand how different cards score points you’re good to go.
Imagine you’re back at that restaurant, watching the delicious small plates pass you by on the sushi-go-round. What tempts you? A few maki rolls? A sashimi set? Squid nigiri? Whatever you want, take it quickly and add it to your set before these favoured items are snatched up by other players. Playable with two but better with a group, Sushi Go! begins by dealing a number of cards depicting various sushi items to each player. Take a look at your hand, anything good? It won’t remain your hand for long, though. Every turn, each player picks a card to add to their set before passing their hand to the player beside them for the next turn, thus replicating the idea of sushi revolving on the conveyor belt as hands of cards are continuously passed around. As a result, you’ll quickly have an idea of what’s in everybody’s hand and what you’d like for yourself when that hand arrives in yours.
Scoring occurs in various ways. Want some sashimi? It’s no good just having the tuna or salmon alone; sashimi is much more enticing in a set of three. As a result , having one sashimi card is worthless and you’ll need three to score. Nigiri by themselves range in value with egg being worth one point and salmon three points. Not bad, but they taste even better with wasabi, so place a (very cute) wasabi card in your set during one turn and then a nigiri over it during the next. Voila, you’ve just tripled your points. Like sashimi, tempura prawns are worthless alone. You’ll want a pair to feel satisfied and score five points. So, be careful picking these items on your turn – can you be sure of completing the set before the game ends? If you’re worried, grab the chopsticks card when you spot it. You can pick up more with chopsticks, so take two cards from your next hand instead of the usual one. Other items to choose from include simple maki rolls and dumplings.
Filling up on sushi is all well and good, but don’t forget about dessert! If you have room for both a decent sushi platter and a selection of desserts then you’ll be rewarded for your insatiable appetite. Score the most desserts in the game and you’ll receive an extra six points. If you fill up on too many maki rolls and score the least it’s minus six points for you.
For me, Sushi Go! is a great warm up filler and definitely a fun party game. I’m keen to try the newer release, Sushi Go Party, which has added even more items to the menu. If you want to intensify things a little, try setting a ten second interval timer for looking at your hand, choosing a card and passing the hand on. You don’t want people to take their time choosing, because realistically that conveyor belt waits for no one.
Sushi Go! gets eight chopsticks out of ten