Gamewright Games, $12.99
Sushi is great. Card games are great. So why wouldn’t a sushi-themed card game be great? Decide for yourself by playing Sushi Go!, a quick-moving, simple, sort of silly, and yet still strategic card game for two to five people.
Your goal is to make the best sushi meal possible. Each player is dealt a hand of cards with various sushi items, like sashimi, dumplings, and chopsticks.
You choose one card from your hand and place it face down in front of you. Once everyone has chosen a card, everyone flips their choices over, then passes the rest of their hand to the person beside them. Then you start the process over again, and keep doing it until you don’t have any cards to pass. Then you add up your scores.
Each card earns points in different ways. For instance, a single tempura card is worth nothing; if you have a pair, it’s worth five points. But one or two sashimi cards is worth nothing—you need three, but then it’s worth ten points.
The scoring system means you need to get certain cards to match the ones you already have if you’re going to score. But the other players are doing the same thing, so you also have to figure out if they’re going for the same thing you are.
We spent a morning playing the game. Here’s what we had to say:
Matt, Content Manager: Alright friends, what did you think of Sushi Go! And are you all getting sushi for lunch?
Ivan, Media Coordinator: I had tuna salad. I thought the game was fun—fast-paced and very simple (relative to all the other games we’ve reviewed).
Katy, Director of Marketing: I had leftover chicken without the dumplings, but really wanted a California roll. I really enjoyed the game for these reasons:
- Portable! Small box, single deck, and you’re good to go.
- Seems like a wide range of ages could play and have fun.
- It’s fast paced so if you get dealt a bad hand, hope is on the way.
- Nice way to teach math, deductive reasoning, and strategy.
- It’s cheap! Only $12.99. What is that, a quarter of a latte these days?
From a mom standpoint, I give this game two big thumbs up!
Ivan: From a dad standpoint, I’d say my eleven-month-old isn’t quite ready for it. But I still give it two thumbs up. 🙂
I agree with everything Katy said, but I would say that the only math involved is simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Even the youngest TIPsters probably have those skills well in hand!
Bethany, Director of Finance: This one is a family favorite in my house—simple enough for kids to catch on quickly, but enough complexity for the adults to enjoy too. As a bonus my kids now know the difference between sashimi and nigiri and the importance of wasabi!
Matt: I agree with Bethany. It’s simple, but there are so many ways to score points that you have to balance against each other (and keep track of your opponents on!) that it stays interesting.
Katy: A super fun family game night be to go out for sushi (or bring it in) and then play the game! Winner could get the mythical custard pudding on one of the cards, a pudding I have never actually seen in a Japanese restaurant. 🙂
Evan, Social Media Specialist: From the beginning, I had one specific strategy I was using to rack up points. It worked well for a couple games, but then everyone else caught on and started playing the same strategy. Having to quickly adapt in that moment was both fun and disappointing—because I enjoyed the challenge, but I also ended up losing the next two games 😒.
Katy: Way to work in the fact that you won a game, Evan….
Evan: Hey! And that I lost two games…give me my humble points!
Katy: For anyone reading this: Evan wins every single athletic contest or competition at Duke TIP. Every single one. We’re very proud of him! 🙂
Ivan: But could he win with his busted ankle? [Editor’s note: Evan was wearing a large—some might say conspicuously large—boot for a “sprained” ankle during this review.]
Katy: For anyone reading this: Ivan, on the other hand, loses every single athletic contest or competition at Duke TIP. Every single one. We’re very proud of him! Because he *tries* so hard. 🙂
Ivan: Loses = second place, thanks.
For our review, we played with five people. I’d be interested in playing with only two or three.
Catherine, Graphic Designer: Is Katy the first one you’re cutting from the list, since she keeps making fun of your second place/losing record?
Ivan: I feel as though the fewer players, the more cognizant you are of what the other players need to complete their hands. With five people, I think I had a tougher time weighing keeping the cards I needed against denying other players the cards they needed. Matt was especially bad at letting Catherine and Evan scoop up all those sashimi cards! Take one for the team, Matt!
Catherine: Evan and I just had a great sashimi strategy! Matt couldn’t stop us
Ivan: COLLUSION! (Matt, edit that out.) [Editor’s note: Don’t tell me what to do, Ivan.]
Katy: May I point out that by keeping one sashimi card in one round I denied THREE players the chance to score beaucoup points?! I wasn’t very good at offense, or defense, either, really, because I echo Ivan’s comments about how hard it is to defend against four other players, but I did have that one hand as a supreme defensive victory.
Ivan: Yeah, that was a wild hand. There were seven sashimi cards out there, and Evan, Catherine, and I each ended up with two. Well done, Katy. Saying that just now makes me realize that counting cards could be slightly beneficial in this game, especially in the third round. Next time!
Matt: Yeah, I’m not into playing defense. I’m all about maximizing my own points—it’s like the Sushi Go! version of the air raid offense. It also doesn’t work.
Evan: I wonder about the potential to turn this game into a culinary teaching tool. I’m picturing new versions based on food items from various cultures. “I just need one more empanada, but all I keep getting are these dern tacos!”
Hannah, Staff Specialist: I’m a little late to the game 😉 here, but I also loved it! I like the portability and I appreciate that it can be played with just a few people. Next time around I am going to try to stick with my dumpling strategy and see if that doesn’t get me a win, of course also while collecting a few puddings because pudding and dumplings 😋!
Bethany: I got shut out of the 3x sashimi several times—so I had to go with a new strategy (thanks Evan and Catherine and Hannah 😅). I’m a big fan of the wasabi/squid nigiri combo!
Also experience doesn’t really get you very far in this game, as I’ve played several times before and lost every game this time! This makes it a good party game as no one feels disadvantaged for being new to the game.
Katy: I am envisioning grandmas everywhere being invited to join in the family game night and beating the pants off everyone the first time they play—and I love it!
Hannah: Yes and great for those of all ages with short attention spans! As an aside I take issue with the squid nigiri trumping the salmon, but maybe I can learn to like it.
Ivan: Along those same lines, I think three is the ideal number of dumplings to eat. Anything in excess of that should be negative points.
Bethany: You can never have too many dumplings!!!
Catherine: I’m with Bethany on that one!!
Hannah: My feelings exactly! It looks like the expansion pack includes soy sauce, so I may have to invest in that as well. I do like a little soy sauce with my dumplings!
Ivan: If it pleases the court, I’d like to submit this video into evidence.
Evan: That seems dangerous…
Bethany: I have a seventh grader that might take on that challenge 😳.
Have you played a good board game or video game, read a good book, or seen a good movie? Submit a review to Insights by the time the next issue comes out, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Sushi Go!. Find details on the submission page.