Even if you’re not into tabletop games, chances are you have played Sushi Go! by Gamewright games. It was one of the few games I had in my closet long before my obsession with tabletop gaming started. It is a great entry level game, one that the whole family can play, with minimal setup and quick playtime.
The goal of the game is to have the most points and you score those points at the end of the game, based on which sushi pieces you have collected. The cards all have different delicious sushi on them with different point values and scoring conditions written out.
All of the cards are dealt out to all the players. You must pick ONE card to keep and place it face down in front of you. Once everyone has chosen a card, you pass the remaining cards in your hand to the player on your left (and, if you’re like me, you shout “SUSHI GO!” as you pass to make it more fun).
After you pass your hand, you flip over the card you are keeping so everyone can see what you are collecting. Now the real fun begins as you look over the cards in your hand and decide which one to pick. Do you work on completing that set of salmon nigiri you already started, or do you try to thwart another player who has started collecting the puddings (whose scoring can leave you with all or nothing).
Around and around the table the cards go, sometimes you’re lucky and that one card you were hoping for appears and other times you watch your friends snatching up all the spicy wasabi combos. The game is over in about 10-15 minutes but it always get a little wild in the middle when everyone knows what cards are out there and they just have to hope they see them again.
The original game is for 2-5 players, but there is also a Sushi Go Party! that came out later which allows an additional 3 players, taking the maximum up to 8 players.
There are LOTS of new cards in Sushi Go Party, with lots of different effects. The set up the game is different too – you have a “menu” that you create at the start which decides which cards will be in the game. The manual gives some suggestions for how to start out, with the original game’s “menu” as an option, along with other combinations that provide different challenges for experienced players who might feel like they have mastered all the original has to offer.
Game play is the same, with the passing of the cards, but so many new cards means new rules and things can get a bit wilder. Sushi Go Party is meant to be played over a few rounds, with a score tracker around the edge of the menu board.
If you’re looking for a great way to kick off or wind down your game night, Sushi Go! and Sushi Go Party! are both solid picks, whether you’re waiting for the food to be delivered or you’ve already finished a few cans of Sapporo, it’s a fun one that is easy to go back to. If you’ve already played the original to death, then I suggest getting Sushi Go Party to spice things up.