Getting more of the fantastic drafting game Sushi Go is like going from a quick bite of a handroll to being sat in front of an all-you-can eat sushi buffet! Sure, the handroll was tasty and fulfilling, but that buffet offers so much variety and will leave you patting your belly happily.
If you’ve tried Sushi Go, you know it’s a simple yet fun card drafting/set collection game played over a speedy 3 rounds for up to 4 people. Sushi Go Party keeps that fun drafting and set collection played over three rounds, but allows a different set up of what’s in the deck for every game. It plays up to 8 players, and has a little scoring happen at the end of every round on the sweet little board (every player’s score piece is a mini soy sauce bottle!). What’s best of all is that regardless of the extra goodies in the box, it’s still easy to teach to someone who’s never tried it before.
In addition to the cute little nigiri that will be in each deck (also in the original game), you have a choice from a ‘menu’ of rolls, appetizers, specials and desserts that really change things up and dictate your set collection tactics. I quite enjoy that as well as letting you choose what you like, they have a series of combinations to choose from to help you set up – just like at a real restaurant, I have some trouble picking from a menu, so it just makes it an easier setup. Some of the new menu items really spice things up (and not just in the usual wasabi way) – play the takeout box and it allows you to flip over cards played earlier for a straight up 2 points each (especially helpful for any failed sets!); race other players to eat the most uramaki – first to ten gets a hefty bonus; and if you’re the only person to play a miso soup on a turn, you get an immediate bonus as everyone else is jealous! Lots of fun, thematic additions to the already delicious range of cards.
As well as the variety of setup for the game’s deck, discards from each round are shuffled together before dealing hands for the next round, and more dessert cards are added to the deck at this point. This makes the game slightly less punishing as far as set collection goes – in base Sushi Go, there’s a number of cards you’ll never see in the deck – in Party, you might have a chance of creating lucrative sets without too much worry.
With over 20 “menu” items to choose from, keeping Sushi Go Party fresh is really quite easy. I’ve played a few times now and have yet to repeat any combinations in this little bento box. The art continues the incredibly adorable theme and is absolutely delightful – I love the quality of the board, and the little menu cards that slot in nicely to form the centrepiece of play. It’s somewhat disappointing, then, that although the art on the cards is top notch, the quality of the cards themselves is a little lacking.
Interestingly, the box insert seems to have quite a bit of space for storing cards – more than what’s necessary for the cards included in this game. Will we be seeing an expansion to the Party in the next little while? I’d love to add some more variety to sample. In the meantime, I’ll be going back for seconds (and thirds..) of Sushi Go Party. *grabs a takeout box*