Tuesday 8 December 2015

Christmas stocking fillers #5: Sushi Go!

Sushi Go! is a quick, fun and easy to learn card game that I think would make a great stocking filler for new or experienced gamers alike. It's a light card game where players draft adorable sushi-themed cards in an attempt to collect sets and score points.

The game takes place over three rounds. At the start of each round everyone is dealt a hand of cards. Rather than taking turns, everyone simultaneously chooses a card to keep (or 'draft'), lays it face down on the table and passes their hand to the left. Everyone then reveals their cards at the same time. They then pick a card to lay from the new hand that they were given, pass the rest of the hand on again - and so on until all the cards are used up. Players then work out their score for the round and then do the whole thing again for two more rounds.

Points are scored by collecting various sets of cards, so you have to think carefully about what cards you keep and be aware of what you're passing to the next player. You don't want to give them too much help with their collections, but at the same time you have to focus on getting the cards you need for your own.

Tempura cards are worth nothing on their own but for every pair you collect you get 5 points. Similarly, sashimi cards are worthless on their own but 3 will score you 10 points. It's all nicely marked on the cards as you can see:

Sushi Go - tempura and sashimi cards | Random Nerdery

Maki rolls don't have an individual value, but the player with the most (as shown by a count of the icons at the top of the card) gets 6 points at the end of the round. The person with the second most gets 3 points, but everyone else scores nothing - super frustrating when you're third!

Sushi Go - maki roll cards | Random Nerdery

Nigiri cards are quite straightforward and just score the points marked on the card. However, if you have managed to play a wasabi card first this doubles the score of the next nigiri card you play which can make a big difference to your score.

Sushi Go - nigiri cards | Random Nerdery

Sushi Go - wasabi card | Random Nerdery

Dumpling cards scale in value based on the number of them you have, so 1 is worth 1 point, 2 are worth 3 points, 3 are worth 5 etc (it's all helpfully written on the cards).

Sushi Go - dumpling cards | Random Nerdery

Pudding cards are a little bit different - they don't score you points in individual rounds, but any that you play are kept throughout the game. The player with the most pudding at the end of the game wins an extra 6 points and the player with the least gets a penalty of -6 points. So as with life, it's always good to have a lot of pudding!

Sushi Go - pudding card | Random Nerdery

If you play a chopsticks card it scores no points but instead allows you to take two cards from a future hand instead of one. You take your two cards and put the chopsticks back to pass on to the next player. Getting this as your last card is a giant disappointment, as you can lay it but don't get a chance to use it, thus wasting a go. Most amusing if you passed it to them, though...

Sushi Go - chopsticks card | Random Nerdery

Sushi Go! combines a fun theme, cute artwork and easy-to-learn gameplay to make the perfect little card game for so many occasions. It could fit just as well into a family holiday as it would into a nice summer lunch at the pub or to use as filler to break up a heavier games day. The handy little tin is perfectly sized for Christmas stockings, handbags or manbags ("It's not a purse, it's a knapsack!" - name that movie) so you can share it with friends or family anywhere you like.

Sushi Go!
Publisher: Gamewright
Players: 2 - 5
Age: 8+
Cost: Around £10