Sushi-Go Party is a pick and pass card drafting game by Phil Walker-Harding and Gamewright publishing. The goal of the game is to acquire the most points through card combinations over three rounds. The board displays all of the food (card types) available in the game and how many points each are worth. Every game has the same set up with: three appetizers, two specials, one roll, the ever present nigiri, and one dessert. Players begin the game with a hand of cards. During a round, players pass the hands of cards around the table, and after everyone has picked one card their selection is revealed and placed in front of them. Players pass the rest of their hand, hoping to meet the requirements necessary to get points, until everyone has played their final card.
Simple Mechanics Equal Crazy Competition
Each food item has specific rules for scoring, so there is a lot of potential for fun and tension. When the deck is divided out at the start of the round, some of the cards are left behind: so there is no guarantee that each player will be able to make the most valuable set. Taking a look around the table can also offer another strategy for players. Akin to old school screen peeking, players can plan to ruin the combinations of others by seeing what they are collecting. The dessert cards are another large factor that can affect end game scoring. Dessert cards are not scored until the end of the game, so if players are not paying attention the person with the most green tea ice cream could steal the game. The pick and pass mechanic is great because there is so much riding on what the person before you has picked and the sense of urgency only increases in the game as more people struggle to grab dessert cards or get sets with the most points.
How Big is Your Party?
The original Sushi-Go can accommodate two to five players while Sushi-Go Party accommodates two to eight. While eight players may seem like an unrealistic number for most board gaming groups, the game does get better the more players are added. Two player games are possible, but the pick and play mechanic does not have the same level of tension. Ideally, there would be four players for the game to show its full potential. The original version also costs around $17 CAD while Party costs around $24 CAD. Honestly, the extra money for Sushi-Go Party is worth it. Even if your gaming group never gets to eight players, there are so many more cards to use that it makes the game much more replayable. This game does not take very much time, so if groups are looking for something light to start a game night, Sushi-Go Party is perfect. Finally, if space is an issue, the footprint for Party is not that much bigger than the original.
The Amazing Menu
Sushi-Go Party has one of the best rulebooks out there. As soon as the players open the book they are greeted with a step-by-step set up guide and then “menus” that players can pick from for their game. These pre-crafted menus help players get used to the mechanics, are based on player number, or adjust for difficulty. This makes the game extremely accessible for even the most beginner of board gamers. Gamewright also provides players with a simple deck building guide so the game can have an almost infinite number of menu combinations. Finally, if players are confused by how any of the cards work, the book contains helpful descriptions with examples.
Feast for Your Eyes but Use Napkins
Sushi-Go Party is an excellently put together game. The pieces are bright and colourful, the food items are kawaii and the board fits the rotating sushi theme spectacularly. The card illustrations are adorable and clearly lay out how many points they are worth on the bottom. The cards themselves are fairly good quality but all depending on how often the game is played card sleeves are highly recommended. The game requires a lot of shuffling, once at the start to create the master deck, then once again after each round as more dessert cards are added. Card sleeves will protect your game from all the shuffling and can help speed up the process. Finally, this is a party game, so although the cards are nice, they probably won’t stand up to much tempura grease.
Sushi-Go Party is a budget and family friendly game that can take up as much or as little time as players like. The game is a feast for the eyes and can create good humoured competition amongst friends and family. The rulebook provides players with ways to combine cards over and over again. So why not have a sushi night?
Check out our Board Game Raffle for Food Security to find out how you can win a copy of Sushi Go Party.