Robin: *Fweeeet!* Wooo! Sushi Go Party! Unst unst unst unst
Matt: Oh God please stop
Robin: Unst unst unst
Matt: It’s really not that kind of party…
Matt: Those party blowers don’t even make that noise! Sit down. Please?
Robin: Well… Fine. And you try spelling it. It’s not easy you know.
Time: 20 mins
Designer: Phil Walker-Harding
Artist: Nan Rangsima
Matt: Surely it’s more like “brrrthhhhhpppp” – anyway! Hello and welcome to the Sushi Go Party review! I’ll be your teppanyaki reviewer this evening, juggling metaphors, dissecting this raw slab of game before your eyes and serving up a delectable selection of criticisms and comments for you to pick and choose from the conveyor belt that is this blog page. The criticisms are more filling but the comments are cheaper.
Robin: Does that mean if I scroll too quickly I can’t go back?
Matt: Yes it does. Watch now, here we go!
Sushi Go Go Go!
Matt: Sushi Go was once a teeny tasty morsel of a game, a deck of lovingly illustrated cards in a little tin that presented the purest of card drafting games. It was one of the first games we reviewed on this website so long ago and now it has been re-released in an expanded form with all new sushis and an even larger tin –
Robin: Tinned Sushi? Ewww…
Matt: Don’t worry, this is perfectly fresh and remains utterly delicious. Sushi Go’s original structure remains, hearty grains of card drafting wrapped in a thin layer of set collection to hold it all together, but whereas before the central core of card types was always the same every time you played, now you have a panoply of different flavours to experience!
Robin: A pineappley of flavours?
Matt: Well, pineapples are there too! Just as before you deal out a hand of cards then all at once choose a card to play. Then you pass the rest of your hand to your neighbour and select a new one. Once all the cards are gone, you’ll score according to the particular powers of the different cards. It’s fast, straightforward and has a lovely push your luck element as you try and complete sets.
Robin: A board!
Matt: Indeed! The biggest omission from the previous game was some way of keeping track of your score but now at last you have a conveyor belt like score track and your very own soy sauce bottle score pieces. But that’s not all, the board contains an overview of this game’s cards in a bento box like arrangement of tiles that can be randomly selected each game. Then you grab the corresponding sets of cards from the Dominion-esque insert and make a deck out of them. Ready to go.
Robin: You mean, ready to Sushi Go…!
Robin: Because it’s –
Matt: Yeah, I get it! The potential issue with this system is that it takes that much longer to set up and break down as you sort everything. Similarly you no longer have enough cards for the full game, you must shuffle up everyone’s cards between rounds. Yet the expanded choice, the convenient insert, and the fact the game now plays up to 8 players means its tin is still far larger, and not the sort you’ll carry about in your bag to bust out for a quick game. Its a shame, that was one of the big selling points of Sushi Go, after all, but that’s the price you pay for variety and my has the variety increased a lot!
What’s on the menu tonight?
Matt: While you could randomly combine any set of cards, it’s better to have a balanced selection if you’re to avoid board game indigestion. That means you’ll always have the recognisable nigiri, some kind of maki and something sweet for dessert. To those you’ll add a bunch of different appetisers and some special items et voila! The perfect selection. Let’s take a look at some of the drool inducing new cards, if you can stop smiling at the cute smiley artwork that is.
Robin: Nyaaaaw! So cute!
Matt: The new appetisers are where the brightest new ideas are. Edamame is all about being as tight as peas in a pod, and scoring for the number of other people who share in these light snacks. Onigiri come in different shapes and like edible Pokemon you wanna catch em all, and not waste your time on duplicates! Eel is exactly as disgusting as you might expect, being worth negative points if you have one of them, but if you get a second, well, then you might just develop 7 points worth of taste for it. The brilliant Miso Soup is the wisest looking card in the deck and it is up to a wise player to judge when to play him, as if two players choose him in the same turn, both are discarded.
Once upon a time, only chopsticks were allowed when eating Sushi Go, but now you have spoons too! Letting you stretch across the table and take something from someone else’s hand (not from the cards they’ve taken though). The condiment selection has also increased, with the previously promotional only soy sauce scoring big points if you have the most different card types. Its natural rival, the cup of tea, instead scores points for your biggest set of similar sushi.
Robin: I don’t think tea is a condiment…
Matt: It is for biscuits…? Anyway, there are a few other special cards too, menus and take out boxes that, like chopsticks and spoons, have a power that you play after they’ve been in front of you for a turn. Then you’ve got new desserts and maki that behave slightly differently to the original game’s maki rolls and puddings but certainly with similar stylings.
Sushi Go Party more than triples Sushi Go’s options while keeping perfectly in line with the original game’s style. A couple of cards are brilliant, the rest are more of the same, but that’s no bad thing! The original set was, after all, pretty perfect. Sushi Go Party are for those who want more! I’d dare say that the expanded selection, especially as the original cards are included here too, makes this the Sushi Go to buy if you’re new. You only lose portability. But whereas Sushi Go was the grab and go box you get for lunch, Sushi Go Party is the big restaurant experience, and sometimes that is just nicer!
Rating: Party! Party! Party!
Our copy of Sushi Go Party was provided for review by Coiled Spring games.