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  • Writer's pictureJared Neal

Sushi Go Party - Good Raw Fun

Updated: May 21, 2021



Retail Price: $22

Player Count: 2-8 (best at 3-4)

Age Range: 8+ (maybe slightly younger for us)

Play Time: 20 mins. (consistent with our experience)

Complexity: 3 out of 10 (probably closer to a 2 in our experience)

Mechanisms: Card Drafting, End Game Bonuses, Hand Management, Set Collection, Simultaneous Action Selection

Designer: Phil Walker-Harding

Artist: Nan Rangsima, Tobias Schweiger, Phil Walker-Harding

Publisher: Gamewright


Educational Value:

  • Strategic Thinking

  • Probabilities

  • Math: Addition

  • Math: Subtraction

Flavor Text:


“In the super-fast sushi card game Sushi Go!, you are eating at a sushi restaurant and trying to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they whiz by. Score points for collecting the most sushi rolls or making a full set of sashimi. Dip your favorite nigiri in wasabi to triple its value! And once you've eaten it all, finish your meal with all the pudding you've got! But be careful which sushi you allow your friends to take; it might be just what they need to beat you!”


Overview:


In Sushi Go Party, you are trying to draft cards that either score for you instantly, or will become part of a set that scores more for you later. After selecting cards to keep and play into your tableau, you then pass the remainder of your hand to the next player. You receive the remaining hand from your other neighbor, select more cards from that hand, and then repeat until all cards are selected.


Setup:

  • Place the game board (menu), in the center of the table

  • Select which 8 types of cards you want to include in your game (must include the following):

    • Nigiri - these are used in every game

    • 1 type of Roll

    • 3 types of Appetizer

    • 2 types of Special

    • 1 type of Dessert

    • Menu and Special Order may not be used in a 7-8 player game

    • Spoon and Edamame may not be used in a 2 player game

  • Place the selected menu tiles associated with the card types chosen, into the menu slots of the game board

  • Shuffle all the card types selected together, leaving the Dessert cards off to the side

  • Before each round you will shuffle part of the Dessert cards into the main deck

    • 2 - 5 Players

      • Round 1 = 5 cards

      • Round 2 = 3 cards

      • Round 3 = 2 cards

    • 6 - 8 Players

      • Round 1 = 7 cards

      • Round 2 = 5 cards

      • Round 3 = 3 cards

  • Deal each player their hand of cards

    • 2 - 3 Players = 10 cards each

    • 4 - 5 Players = 9 cards each

    • 6 - 7 Players = 8 cards each

    • 8 Players = 7 cards each

Gameplay:


Each player will select 1 card from their hand they want to keep, and place it face down in front of them. Once all players have selected their card, all players will simultaneously reveal their selection. Then pass your remaining cards to the player on your left, and receive a new hand from the player on your right. You will continue to do this until cards have been played into the tableau in front of each player. You then tally points for the current round, and hold desserts to be scored at the end of the third and final round. You play through the same process for the second and third round. The player with the most accumulated points at the end of the third round, wins the game.


There are several different ways the cards can score you points, or different abilities they can give you, as listed below (this is a high level overview, please consult the rulebook for special exceptions).

  • Nigiri - score points for each one, or triple them if played on a Wasabi

  • Maki Rolls - 6 to the player with the most, and 3 to the second most

  • Temaki - 4 to the player with the most, and -4 to the player with the least

  • Uramaki - 1st player to 10 icons gets 8 points, 2nd gets 5, and 3rd gets 2

  • Dumpling - if you play 1 = 1 point, 2 = 3, 3 = 6, 4 = 10, 5 or more = 15

  • Edamame - 1 point per opponent with a played Edamame card played, per Edamame card you play, up to a maximum of 4 points per card you play

  • Eel - if you play 1 = -3 points, 2 = 7

  • Onigiri - 1 unique shape = 1 point, 2 = 4, 3 = 9, 4 = 16

  • Miso Soup - if only 1 in a turn 3 points, if more than one nobody scores

  • Sashimi - each set of 3 you score 10 points

  • Tempura - each set of 2 you score 5 points

  • Tofu - collect 1 = 2 points, 2 = 6, 3+ = 0

  • Chopsticks - on a future turn, place them back into your hand, and take out 2 new cards

  • Menu - on a future turn, draw 4 cards from the top of the unused deck, keep 1, and shuffle the other 3 back into the deck

  • Soy Sauce - if the player who played it has the most different colored cards in their tableau at the end of the round, they score 4 points

  • Spoon - on a future turn, take a card you want from another players hand, and the spoon replaces that card in their hand

  • Special Order - copies any other card you previously played in the current round

  • Takeout Box - choose any number of the cards you previously played in the current round, and turn them face down, they are now worth 2 points each

  • Tea - worth 1 point for each card in the largest set of the same color you have at the end of a round

  • Wasabi - when Nigiri is played on top of it, it triples the value

  • Green Tea Ice Cream - at the end of the game, 4 or more = 12 points, 3 or less = 0

  • Pudding - at the end of the game, most gets 6 points, and fewest gets -6

  • Fruit - scores for the number of fruit icons of each type, 0 = -2, 1 = 0, 2 = 1, 3 = 3, 4 = 6, 5 or more = 10

Luck/Strategy:


As is the case with most drafting games, the more players you play with, the more luck there is involved. In a 2 player game of this, you get your original hand back twice, but in a game with 5 or more players you never do. With that said, there are so many different avenues to score, that you never feel like you are boxed in when luck doesn’t go your way. There are some relatively reliable strategies to go for, that you discover over repeated plays, but this game is definitely more tactical. I should also point out, that this game can be pretty interactive, meaning that players will often draft cards to block other players. This is the case, because especially late in the round, it is often the case, that stopping another player from scoring is just as beneficial as any of the cards you could take to score for yourself.


Artwork:


The artwork is very cute, and definitely adds to the fun, light, nature of this game.


Theme:


I wouldn’t say this game is highly thematic, but there is definitely some thematic integration into the different ways cards give you additional abilities, or how they score you points.


Replayability/Fun Factor:


I will address the direct comparison to Sushi Go in the next section, but with the expanded offerings of Sushi Go Party (23 different types of cards now), this game is infinitely replayable. This is a game that has been an absolute blast, each and every time I have played it. It is one our family will be playing well into the future, and one we regularly give to families as a gift to introduce them to the modern side of board gaming.


Comparison to Sushi Go:


The original Sushi Go was a great game, and that entire game is still in the box, they have just added 3 more games worth of different card options for you to play with here. You might be thinking, well then surely Sushi Go is a much more affordable option, if I am just looking for a light inexpensive game. However, the msrp of Sushi Go is only $9 cheaper than it’s big brother here, and so I would almost never advise someone to purchase regular Sushi Go if Sushi Go Party is available. If you are looking to get multiple copies of the game, say for school classrooms, or to give away as gifts, then maybe it makes sense, but generally Sushi Go Party is always going to be the better deal/game.


Conclusion/Audience:


This game is not going to be for everyone, as playing puzzly games by yourself is not everyone's idea of fun. However, if you enjoy sitting down to do a puzzle, this game packs an immensely fun and satisfying experience into a very condensed time frame. I can almost guarantee, you will set it up for a second round as soon as you finish the first. Other than the fact you have to be able to read the special abilities on the bottom of the card, pretty much any elementary age kid could play this if you are willing to help them with those, or if they have them memorized.


+ Easy to learn and quick to play

+ High replayability

+ Fun player interaction


- Relatively high luck


Final Score:


Jared - 7.5

Abigail - 7.5


Other Games You Might Like:


Century: Golem Edition, Go Nuts for Donuts, Gudetama, Ramen Fury, Splendor


This game was purchased from my friendly local game store, and is available here. This isn't an affiliate link, but just my way of trying to support my FLGS, who carry great games at even better prices.


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