Sushi Go! review - Box feature small

Sushi Go! Review & FAQ: More Than a Tasty Theme?

Play Time: 15 Min / Players: 2-5 / Complexity: Low / Age: 8+ we think 6+ / Publisher: Gamewright Games / Designer: Phil Walker-Harding

Sushi Go! Ratings and Summary

BoardgamingParent.com

Kids Rating
Teen Rating
Parent Rating

Summary

Kids rating from our daughters (6 & 9).
Teen rating from our son (13).

Cute theme, simple rules and some interesting card combinations make this a great card-drafting introduction for a wide age range.

3.7

Pros

  • Card art is very cute and fits the theme nicely
  • The game is a very easy to learn and accessible
  • Great way to teach kids basic maths
  • Puddings add some good trade-offs for long term benefit
  • Quick play time of 15 min means you can get a game in any time
  • Enjoyable for kids and adults.

Cons

  • Very simple game play, no deep strategy here.

What You Will Find in Our Sushi Go! Review


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Sushi Go! has been entertaining families for almost 10 years now. Published by Gamewright Games and designed by Phil Walker-Harding the cute theme and simple pick and pass style card game have made it popular. Is it still worth it for families after all these years? We think so, find out why in our Sushi Go! review.

Overview: Collect combinations of tasty sushi to earn the most points and win Sushi Go!

How do you play Sushi Go?

Sushi Go! is a simple, accessible, card-drafting game that is played over three rounds. Players collect different combinations of sushi with the aim of earning the most points to win the game. This game has a cute theme and is a great game for families.

Objective

The objective of Sushi Go! is to gain the most points by the end of the third round of play. To earn points, you must create matching sets of sushi, that will earn you points depending on the sushi type.

Set Up

To set up Sushi Go! shuffle all the cards and deal the following number of cards depending on the number of players:

2 players get 10 cards each, 3 players get 9 cards each, 4 players get 8 cards each, 5 players get 7 cards each.

Once the cards are dealt, the remaining cards are placed in the centre of the table. You will also need a pen and paper to keep score each round. It is so simple to set up you can be up and running in minutes.

How to Play

Each player starts with the same number of cards in their hand. Turns consist of players simultaneously selecting a card to play and passing their remaining hand to the left. This type of play is known as card drafting. Players then reveal their cards and play continues until all cards are played.

The game is played over three rounds with points tallied up at the end of each round. The special pudding cards can grant you bonus points in the final round if you have the most or cost you penalty points if you have the least.

What are the different cards available in Sushi Go?

Points are earned based on the number and combination of sushi cards you gained during a round of play. Each food type has specific scoring rules as outlined below:

Sushi Go! - Box and selection of cards
  • Wasabi cards are paired with Nigiri cards to grant the player 3 times the value of the particular Nigiri card
  • Nigiri cards can also earn points by themselves. There are three types available worth 3, 2 or 1 points
  • Sashimi can earn you 10 points if you have collected a set of three or no points at all
  • A pair of Tempura is worth 5 points or nothing if you have one
  • Dumplings grant you points from the first dumpling and the points grow with each subsequent dumpling
  • Maki Rolls can grant you a bonus each round. If you have collected the most Maki Rolls you get 6 points, the player with the second most gets 3 points
  • Chopsticks allow you to select two cards in a future round instead of one. When this happens, you put the Chopsticks card back in the hand and trade it for two cards of your choice. The Chopsticks are now included in the hand you will pass to the next player.
  • Finally Puddings grant the player with the most puddings a bonus of 6 points at the end of the third round. The player with the least Puddings loses 6 points.

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Gameplay: Sushi Go! is a great introductory game to card drafting with simple rules

Sushi Go! - Wasabi, dumpling and maki roll

We all really enjoy this game, and the rules are simple enough for everyone in our family to participate. There’s some good variety in the cards which gives you a number of paths to accumulate points.

The main challenge in Sushi Go! is anticipating which combinations of cards you will be able to complete over the course of a round. Sashimi can earn a big reward but will end up being wasted if you are prevented from getting your third card to complete the set. Compounding this, other players will be able to see what you are trying to achieve and may attempt to sabotage your plans by beating you to a key card.

When you first start a round all you know for sure are the cards you have in your hand, you may be tempted to select Sashimi, but what if there aren’t three available this round? What if others are trying for the same combination? Do you play it safe and get a Squid Nigiri for 3 points? These sorts of decisions are present early on every round and as the round develops and you become more aware of what cards are available you can make more informed choices. This means the game differs slightly at each player count, for example at 3 players you only need to pass twice to see all the cards on offer, at 5 players you will need to pass 4 times to see everything.

Sushi Go! - Nigiri, tempura and chopsticks

The other thing we like is it’s a great way for our younger children to practice their basic maths skills by working out the various effects on the cards to add up their points. This makes them think quite carefully when assessing which cards to pick and what the risk and reward trade-off is.

Playing over three rounds also gives you opportunities to catch up if you have had a bad round which is nice. The Pudding cards can make a difference at the end game if you manage to collect enough, but even this has some tension and trade-offs. If you can’t accumulate enough Puddings your efforts could be totally wasted.

There is not a lot more to this game than card drafting, so families that aren’t that keen on this probably won’t find this game as appealing. For experienced gamers they are likely to find there isn’t enough depth in this game to keep them challenged, as the decisions are relatively straight forward.

Components: Sushi Go! has some really cute card art that carries the theme across well, but don’t play on an empty stomach!

As you can see from the photos, Sushi Go! comes with a deck of adorable Sushi cards depicting various food items and chopsticks.

The cards have some cute illustrations, and the layout is nice and clear. We like that the key effects are at the bottom of the cards and are nicely colour coded. this makes it easy to see what you have to work with.

There is also a nice variety of sushi on offer, which almost gives it a feel of a revolving menu of items that you are selecting from. Which fits the Sushi theme nicely.

The entire game is quite compact and comes in a small portable tin. This is great for taking on holiday or playing somewhere you don’t have a lot of space. Maybe even at a sushi restaurant while you’re waiting for your food?

Final Thoughts: Sushi Go! is a really cute card drafting game, kids and adults will enjoy

We really like Sushi Go! as a family game given it is reasonably priced and simple to learn. The theme will appeal to a wide audience and the game plays nice and quick which is good for younger family members.  It has the added benefit of being compact and portable which makes it great for travelling.

The only downside is that there isn’t as much depth here as some experienced gamers may like, 7 Wonders may be a better card-drafting choice for them.

Is Sushi Go! easy to learn? Very easy to learn. Cards are well laid out and rules are simple so you will be able to pick this game up quickly. The cards are also quite visual with minimal text, which makes it easier on children to learn how to play.

What will Sushi Go!  teach my kids?  Some cards have multiplier effects and they will need to be tracking their points each round which will provide great opportunities to practice basic math. The card drafting element will also lead to some interesting choices which will encourage them to think about the probability they will get to complete the sets they are after.

What age is appropriate for Sushi Go? We think this is a great game for younger kids especially given the learning opportunities on offer. We think most 6-year-olds will be fine with this game after a few rounds.

Does Sushi Go! have good replay value? Replay value is great here as there is a nice variety of cards on offer to present some interesting and challenging decisions each game.  

We hope you enjoyed our Sushi Go! review. If you have any more questions or just want to share your thoughts on this game please leave a comment below, or get in touch through our contact page.

About the Authors

We are parents who love board gaming. We have three children and have been enjoying board games as a family ever since we had our first child. We share our real unbiased experiences and opinions on board games so you can decide if they are right for your family. We also write guides and articles to help you get the most out of your family game time. If you enjoy our content and want to support us you can do that through our Ko-fi page by clicking on the button below.

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Other Games to Consider

If you are looking in to Sushi Go! you may be after some other options for simple, quick and fun family card games. Here are some other great options to consider that can be played in 15-20 minutes:

  • Monopoly Deal (Review): Like Sushi Go!, Monopoly Deal is a quick and simple card game, but it has a lot more focus on ‘take that’ style play. Monopoly Deal takes Monopoly’s best traits and distils them into a simple, quick, and streamlined card game. We think this is the best version of Monopoly available. The object of the game is simple, collect three sets of coloured property cards to win. The catch is the large range of card abilities that can thwart your plans. If you are interested in something Monopoly themed but with blind bidding Monopoly Bid is also a good option but is simpler than Monopoly Deal.
  • Exploding Kittens (Review): Unlike Sushi Go!, Exploding Kittens swaps out a food theme for a cat theme. This game is a fun little package with easy to learn rules that can be played in 15 minutes. The goal is to be the last person standing and avoid being blown up by exploding kitten cards. There is some great humour in the card art and some cool abilities that make this a game we keep coming back to. This is another game that has more direct interaction and take that moments than Sushi Go!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you play Sushi Go with more than 5 people?

Sushi Go! Only plays up to 5 players. However, Sushi Go Party! can accommodate up to 8 players and retains the core of Sushi Go! game play but adds extra cards.

Is Sushi Go fun for adults?

Sushi Go! is a simple game that will appeal to a broad age range. Although the game is simple to pick up, there is enough strategy in the game through the card drafting to keep adults entertained too.

Is Sushi Go fun with 2 players?

Yes, Sushi Go! can be fun with two players. There is a rule variation available in the game to introduce a third hand to keep it interesting. However, we prefer to play with a higher player count. The more players you have the longer it takes for you to see all the cards in play for the round, we think this makes the game more interesting at high player counts (4 or 5).

What is the difference between Sushi Go! and Sushi Go Party?

The core game play is the same for both games but there are some key differences. The main differences are:

  • Sushi Go! can only accommodate up to 5 players, Sushi Go Party! can accommodate up to 8 players
  • Sushi Go! has fewer card types. Sushi Go! has 8 different types of cards and they are all used each game. Sushi Go Party! includes a total of 23 different cards however, each game only 8 are selected for use
  • In Sushi Go! the entire deck of cards is used each game. In Sushi Go Party! only 8 of the card types available are used leading to more variety each game
  • Sushi Go Party includes a menu board to assist with scoring and to identify the cards in play for that game. This board does not come with Sushi Go!
  • Only some desert cards are shuffled into the deck each round in Sushi Go Party! In Sushi Go! they are all shuffled into the deck at the start
  • Overall Sushi Go! is the simpler game however Sushi Go Party is likely to offer more variety and replay value due to the additional card types available.

Can you play original Sushi Go! with Sushi Go Party?

All the cards available in Sushi Go! are present in Sushi Go Party! Core gameplay is the same and so you can play a very similar game to Sushi Go! with Sushi Go Party! However, there are some minor differences in the way that Desert cards are used each round. In Sushi Go! they are all included in the deck up front. In Sushi Go Party! only a certain number are included each round.

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