Designed by Phil Walker-Harding
Release Year: 2016 Complexity: Low
👥 2-8 Players ⏰ 20-30 min 💸 ~$25 🔗 Buy
Sushi Go Party! has you strategically drafting the best combination of sushi cards over three rounds. Players will simultaneously choose and play one card from their current hand, and then pass hands, repeating until all cards are played. Everyone’s sushi selections are scored at the end of each round, while dessert cards remain between rounds to be scored at the end of the game
Sushi Go takes the mechanism of card drafting and distills it down into its simplest form. While stripping away a lot of complexity, it still retains a lot of what makes the mechanism of card drafting fun and interesting: picking the best option from a selection of cards, paying attention to what cards you are passing the next player, and weighing the odds of which cards you will be able to acquire as the round goes on.
Due to the different types of scoring conditions and dessert cards that score at the end of the game, the “best” card in a hand isn’t always clear and provides fun opportunities to choose between playing it safe or gambling on the possibility of more points. Do you take the Tempura that could score 5 points if you can make a pair, or just take the Salmon Nigiri for a guaranteed 2 points? Do you take more Maki Rolls to try to score 6 points for having the most, or is it better to take the Pudding that will score at the end of the game? Sushi Go is filled with little variations of these kinds of decisions, and the simplicity ensures that the gameplay is snappy, never leaving you waiting long for the next set of cards to consider.
Player Counts - Sushi Go Party plays well from 2 to 8 players, though we find that card-drafting games tend to be more fun with at least 3 players.
Abstract vs. Thematic - The theme here is fairly pasted on, though don’t underestimate the power of cute personified sushi to attract new players.
Luck vs. Skill - There is a lot of luck with the way the cards are dealt and the unpredictability of other players, but there are plenty of opportunities to increase your odds of winning through well-informed decisions and paying attention to your opponents’ selections.
Multiplayer Solitaire vs. Highly Interactive - Card-drafting inherently has some light player interaction in considering what you pass your opponent, but Sushi Go adds some other interactive card effects such as the rolls that have you comparing totals with other players or Miso Soup, a high-value card that can only be played if no other players select it that turn.
Short Setup vs. Long Setup - One advantage Sushi Go Party! has over the original Sushi Go is the ability to mix up the menu from game to game, but it does come at the cost of a little bit of setup as you make a selection and assemble the deck for your game.
Easy to Teach vs. Hard to Teach - It is an extremely easy game to teach, and has the advantage of every card always being playable. This means that even if players are a little confused, worst case they can always play a card from their hand and know that they aren’t going to be breaking any rules or unable to play it.
Low Setup Variability vs. High Setup Variability - The Party edition really amps up the setup variability with different card sets that can be used to build your menu, though the changes tend to be little variations on the formula as opposed to anything that would make one game feel really different from another.
Things to Like
✅ Quick, Simultaneous Play - Card-drafting is a mechanism that keeps everyone constantly involved since everyone is making their selections at the same time. But even more than other card-drafting games, the simplicity of Sushi Go means that players can often make these selections more quickly, which allows the game to really fly around the table. Part of what makes the game so fun is that for the 20-30 minutes of play time, you get to make so many decisions with hardly any waiting on other players.
✅ Menu Variety Keeps It Fresh - The Party edition really gives the game some more compelling longevity as you have a pool of options to mix up the menu every game. Each game will have you select 1 out of 3 rolls, 2 out of 8 specials, 3 out of 8 appetizers, and 1 out of 3 desserts. This variety goes a long way in keeping players interested after many repeated plays.
✅ Fits So Many Gaming Situations - This is one of those games that appeals broadly to both gamers and non-gamers and also plays across a broad player count of 2 to 8 players. This makes it a very versatile game in a collection and one that is easy to get to the table.
✅ Cute Theme Is Inviting - And for a game that is accessible enough to play with just about anyone, it is great to have a cute and appealing art style that makes new players want to give it a try. Sometimes an attractive theme can make all the difference in getting someone who may not play many games to try a game out.
Things to Dislike
❌ Longer Setup and Larger Size - While we definitely recommend Sushi Go Party! as the edition to get, the advantages do come at some cost since it comes in a bigger tin than the original Sushi Go! and the setup takes a little bit more time. Personally, we feel the increased variability is totally worth it, but others may feel differently if you really value the compact size to throw in a backpack and the ability to just deal cards and immediately start playing.
❌ Can Start to Feel Repetitive - A side effect of a game that allows you to make a ton of light decisions is that, after repeated plays, you may start to feel like the decisions get a little bit “same-y”. The menu variety definitely helps here, and it often comes with the territory with a light and accessible game, but there are players who may not feel compelled to keep coming back once they have experienced most of what the game has to offer.
Ryan (62 Plays) - 7 Daniel (32 Plays) - 7
Is It For You?
If you are looking for a game with a little more depth or direct player interaction, you may not find it in Sushi Go Party! 👎
But if you want a game that is easy to teach and works with a wide range of players, keeps everyone involved through simultaneous play and light but interesting decisions, and has some nice setup variability to help keep things fresh, then Sushi Go Party! is an easy game to recommend. 👍