Sushi Go Party is a 2-8 player pick and pass card game, from designer Phil Walker-Harding (Imhotep, Barenpark and Gizmos), with super high replay-ability, simple ruleset, simple scoring; it is just a great game.
Players will create a "menu" from a selection of sushi rolls, appetisers, specials and desserts and try to score points over the course of three rounds. It is a great introductory game for non-gamers, whilst still being able to hold the attention of gamers.
Set-up in Sushi Go Party is straightforward. The game board is placed in the middle of the table, and all players take a pawn of their selected colour and place it on the zero score space. The menu is created by selecting three appetisers, two specials, a roll and a dessert. Nigiri is used in all menus/games.
The game comes with suggested menus that players can choose depending on the type of game they want to play, or they can randomly select the Menu. The respective Menu cards are placed in the designated slots on the main board and the corresponding cards are all shuffled together.
Only a select number of desserts are used per round (dependent on player count) and these are shuffled into the deck along with the other cards. Players are dealt a hand of cards (number of cards dependent on player count) and the game can begin.
All players simultaneously take a single card from their hand and place it face down in front of them. Once all players have selected a card, everyone reveals and passes their hand to the player on the left. Keep doing this until all the cards have been played. All players count the points they have acquired in front of them and score the relevant number of points. Desserts do not score until the end of the game, they are the final course after all.
All cards (except the Dessert cards) are collected, new Desserts are added and shuffled in to the deck. A new hand is dealt and play continues this way until three rounds have been completed. After the third round scoring the Desserts are scored and the player with the most points is the winner.
Although the gameplay in Sushi Go Party is simple, the choices are not. Each card, or item on the menu, scores points in different ways. For example, nigiri scores either one, two, or three points depending on the type played. If wasabi is played first this multiplies the next nigiri played on it by three. Tempura scores five points, but only if you have two of them. Sashimi scores 10 points, but only if you have three of them. One dumpling scores you one point, two scores three points, three scores six points and so on.
Each item on the menu scores in a different way and there is plenty of variety. The special menu items mix up the gameplay, for example by allowing players to steal from another player's hand by using the spoon. And the menu card allows players to draw four cards from the deck and pick one to play.
The dessert cards also score in different ways, for example, the green tea ice cream scores 12 points, but only if you have four of them. Pudding scores six points if you have the most, and the player with the least loses six points. There are a lot more items than I have discussed above. The replayability is high and there are lots of ways to score points.
Final Thoughts On Sushi Go Party
Sushi Go Party is such a fantastic game. It is super easy to play and understand, the scoring is relatively easy and is displayed on the mainboard for all to see, the gameplay is smooth and quick, and it is a relatively cheap game to purchase. To top it off, the replayability is super high for such an inexpensive game.
I love Sushi Go Party. I have played this during my lunch hour with work colleagues (all non-gamers), as well as at the end of a board game club night, and with friends and family alike. It has always gone down well.
I like the fact that depending on the menu selected, the gameplay and how you play/scorecards will change. This is what keeps the game fresh and engaging each time you play it. The pre-selected menus are a great addition to assist when selecting what items are to be used for each game.
I really enjoy Sushi Go Party. It's my go-to pick up and pass game for gamers and non-gamers alike. A game that will definitely be in my collection for a long time. If you're after an easy, fun and highly replayable game then Sushi Go Party is worth checking out.
Editors note: This blog was originally published on November 1st, 2018. Updated on March 24th, 2022 to improve the information available.