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Subject: A brief look at Sushi Go Party! (especially as it relates to Sushi Go!) rss

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So I picked up a copy of **Sushi Go Party** the other day, and have had the opportunity to play a couple games. I figured I'd do a quick write up -- albeit a fairly informal one -- in order to give it a look, especially how it compares to the original Sushi Go!

On the Outside

First of all, it probably comes as no surprise that Sushi Go Party is both wider and taller than its older brother. To put it in perspective a bit more than those comparison pictures, the tin is even a tiny bit bulkier than Forbidden Island, another Gamewright 'tin' game. As well, as you can see printed on the box, the party edition now supports up to 8 players, where the original was capped at 5.

Opening the Box

It should also come as no surprise that there's a lot more stuff in the party addition. On top of many more cards, and the obvious rulebook, there is a scoreboard / reference board, 'menu' tiles, and pawns to keep track of score.

The Reading

The rulebook may seem bigger than you may expect, but of that rulebook, only about two pages, front and back, make up the rules of the game. The rest is devoted to eight different card selections, providing "template" games (although you are also free to make your own, either by choice or through random selection), and a very thorough card index, outlining the rules for every card extremely thoroughly (almost more thoroughly than you will ever need).

On the topic of rules, there are a few minor tweaks that separate the party edition from the original, beyond the new cards. The most noticeable change is how 'dessert' cards are brought into play; as opposed to being shuffled into the deck at the beginning of the game, they are gradually added in each round. In a 2-5 player game, for example, 5 dessert cards will be shuffled into the deck at the beginning of the game, 3 at the beginning of the second round, and 2 at the beginning of the final round.

There is also a slight tweak in the number of cards players will be given. Where the range of 7-10 cards still remains, it is now stretched over an 8-player range, as opposed to the 5-player range of the original, meaning, for example, while the original would have 8 cards per player in a 4 player game, the deluxe version now has 9 cards in a 4 player game. Beyond these two changes, however, the core gameplay remains the same.

Playing a game

So, let's actually set up the game. When setting up, you will have tiles representing each card in the game. These tiles are grouped as either "appetizers", "rolls", "special", or "dessert", and you will place 7 of these into the appropriate slots on the board (3 app, 1 roll, 2 special, and 1 dessert), which will be the cards used for the particular game. The three nigiri are printed on the board, and thus, the nigiri cards will be used in every game.

This is the setup for the "party sampler", which is designed to provide a 'transition' into the party edition, providing us with some familiar faces, as well as some brand new cards. Of course, there are seven other templates, as well as the ability to create your own or simply shuffle up the tiles by type and put the appropriate number out randomly.

Next, take the selected cards out of your nicely organized box. Shuffle all of the cards except the dessert cards into one deck. Then, place the main deck, as well as the dessert cards -- ready to be shuffled in at the designated intervals -- next to the board, and you're ready to begin, playing Sushi Go (almost) exactly as you remember it.

The Fresh Faces

Obviously, what you're really curious about is the new cards, so, let's go over the four new cards featured in our "party sampler", as well as a few more of my favourite.

Temaki is almost like a "pudding" that scores each round. The player(s) with the most Temaki score 4 points, while the player(s) with the least lose 4 points.

Tofu is a really interesting card, in that you need to hit the 'sweet spot'. Having a single tofu scores 2 points, while having a pair scores 6. However, if you get three or more tofu in a single round, they aren't worth anything! With a bit of planning, you can really mess with someone guarding a pair of tofu by casually tossing them a third at the end of the round.

The menu is a special item, which allows you to take a peek at the menu and order what you like. You get to draw four cards from the deck, and add one of them to your tableau, returning the other three. It's also important to note that a lot of special cards have numbers in the corner, as you probably noticed on the menu cards. These are used to determine order in which events trigger; if multiple 'special' cards, either of the same type or different, are played simultaneously, they trigger in order of number, from lowest to highest.

Finally, we have green tea ice cream, the new dessert replacing pudding in this particular game. Every dessert, much like pudding, is accumulated over all three rounds and scored at the very end of the game. Green tea ice cream using a set collection system similar to tempura, but requires you to have sets of 4, to score 12 points. Obviously, however, these sets of 4 are easier to acquire when you have three rounds to do so!

While we're on the topic of dessert, let's look at the third and final dessert card included in the game, fruit! Fruit is really interesting, in that there are actually three different kinds, each scoring individually. A card will either have two identical fruit, or one each of two different fruit, and at the end of the game, you will count how much of each fruit you have. You will lose 2 points for each fruit you have zero of, break even for having one of each fruit, and gradually gain points for having two or more. It's the most complicated of the three desserts, but certainly interesting if you are looking for a more involved end game scoring.

There are also what I like to call the "go easy on me cards"; cards that give you the opportunity to correct your mistakes, perhaps if you want a slightly easier going game or are playing with a younger crowd who is quick to frustration. There's the special order, which is a "wild" for any type of card you currently have in front of you, perfect for completing another pair of tempura or increasing your pudding count. On the other end, there is the take-out box, allowing you to take those incomplete sets "to go". Whenever played, you can flip over any number of cards in front of you. These flipped cards are only worth a measly 2 points a piece, but if you don't think you're going to get that third sashimi, it's certainly better than nothing.

As well, there are also more "take that" cards, similar to the aforementioned tofu. Miso soup, for example, is worth three points; but, if more than one player plays a miso soup simultaneously, all the soups played that turn are discarded, and are worth nothing!

Uramaki is one of my favourites, as it's essentially a race. Each card will have 3-5 uramaki on it, and as opposed to scoring at the end of the round, as soon as one player reaches 10 or more uramaki, they will be discarded, and that player will take "first place", immediately scoring 8 points. The second player to do so will score 5, and the third will score 2. As well, any unscored "places" at the end of the round will be awarded to the player(s) with the most, second most, etc. uramaki.

Finally, although I don't have a picture of it, I figure I should mention, since I imagine some are curious, the soy sauce promo from the original Sushi Go! is included in Sushi Go Party!

What to Think

First of all, I will begin by saying that Sushi Go Party will obsolete the original for you, as it contains all the cards of the original. There will be no need to own both, and if you are really lusting for the original, it's not like you can't use the dessert rules and hand sizes of the original. But that's okay; it gives me the opportunity to gift my copy of Sushi Go to my family, who have always enjoyed playing it whenever I come up!

However, the real question is, should you get the party edition? I suppose it depends. If you enjoy Sushi Go (as I do), I suppose it's, at the very least, seriously looking in to. The main question people will have is "does it make the game more complicated?" In short: no. The big draw of Sushi Go is it's simplicity, so there was of course the fear that this big scary deluxe edition would take that. Although there are slightly more complicated cards, like the 'fruit' card, a lot of it fits really well with the 'skills level' of Sushi Go; there's a lot of "score x points for x number of cards", or "collect sets of x", but done in an interesting way so as not to feel like a copy of the already existing 'set collection' cards (i.e. the 'drop-off' of the tofu cards). Likewise, any cards that do introduce new mechanics, such as the miso soup, are very accessible. I found playing it didn't feel like playing a "bigger" or "more complex" Sushi Go, but rather a "different" Sushi Go. The cards are new, in whatever setup you chose to play, but it still *feels* like Sushi Go.

The board is a nice addition, as it is a bit better than having to rely on having a pen and paper around, and it's ability to double as a player reference, showing what cards are in play and what they do with the use of those menu tiles, is a nice edition. I'm also a *huge* fan of the "templates" (which is something I always though Coup G54, a game that uses a similar 'card selection' setup, would greatly benefit from). There seems to be something for whatever 'mood' you're in; there's the 'new player' set, the 'original' sushi go, the 'sampler' that I showed, a template for more experienced players that allows for more strategic play, a template designed for high-scoring opportunities, a very take-that 'in your face' template, and templates good for 6+ players and 2 players (which I'm eager to at least try, as I found 2 player Sushi Go to be somewhat lackluster). I feel you could very well work in the confines of those eight 'setups', but of course, the ability to just as easily make your own, or have a completely random setup, is just the cherry on top.

The one big punch I'm going to have to hit Sushi Go Party with is... the card quality. The art is great, and easily par with the original Sushi Go; those cute, anthropomorphised food items were always one of the big draws to Sushi Go, and the same can be said for Sushi Go Party. But, although it can't be shown through photos (without actually bending my cards, which I won't be doing today folks), the cards are noticeably flimsier. This is especially disappointing for two reasons: (1) it's a Gamewright release, and Gamewright has always put together splendid components, and especially high-quality cards; and (2) it's certainly not a low-production game overall! The board, with those slots to place the menu tiles, is *very* well done, and on par with what's to be expected of Gamewright components... which only makes the iffy cards stand out more! For how much the cards get passed around, I will probably end up sleeving them (although for full disclosure, this isn't unusual for me; I am a "sleever", tried and true, and I'm sure it's perfectly playable without sleeves, but that's just who I am as a person).

So, that's a quick look at Sushi Go Party! Sure, they fumbled a bit on that card quality, presumably to cut costs (as the price point for this game is fairly low for what it is), but overall, it's a good game. As I said, it still feels like Sushi Go; not a "bigger" Sushi Go, or some big card drafting game trying to kill 7 Wonders. For that reason, if you didn't like Sushi Go, I imagine there won't be anything for you in the party edition. If you *did* like Sushi Go, I suppose the question you ought to ask yourself is, "do I want more?" In essence, I think the best way to put it is how I've already said it plenty of times: although it doesn't change the overall formula and overarching gameplay of Sushi Go (too much), it provides interesting 'variations' of what is still intrinsically Sushi Go, except either slightly more easy going, more cutthroat, more chaotic, or whatever other mood you decide to portray through your card selection.

EDIT: For the record, it has come to my attention that the flimsy cards are most likely a manufacturing issue with my copy, and not telling of the entire product. If you have a copy of Sushi Go Party!, and can verify this, feel free to let everybody know!
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Jonathan Er
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If this is only an informal review, i am certainly looking forward to your formal ones!

Great job!
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Annabel Seaton
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I agree, great job! :-)
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Adam L
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Great review
Thanks so much

Disappointed about the slight drop in card quality. I imagine sleeving a game like this would make it pretty unplayable, won't it? The pile of cars is over 100 cards in the original. I imagine sleeving all these will have them falling over / slipping everywhere?

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Greg Wilson
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madad07 wrote:
I imagine sleeving a game like this would make it pretty unplayable, won't it? The pile of cars is over 100 cards in the original. I imagine sleeving all these will have them falling over / slipping everywhere?


Sushi Go Party has a smaller deck that is reshuffled each round, rather than a large deck that you only shuffle once.
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Matt Morley

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I found the cards to be of lower quality. They stick together more than I recall the original set.
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☃ daniel ☃
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I happen to have both the original Sushi Go and the new Sushi Go Party sitting on my desk right next to me, as well as access to a kitchen scale that weighs in grams.

I counted out 100 cards from each game and weighed them, assuming that thicker cards would weigh more.

For Sushi Go, 100 cards weighed 156 grams. For Sushi Go Party, 100 cards weighed 160 grams.

Comparing the height of the two stacks of cards, the 100 Sushi Go cards is about 4 cards 'taller' than the Sushi Go Party stack.

By feel, the Sushi Go cards feel stiffer than the Sushi Go Party cards.

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David P
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I agree, the cards feel thin and definitely stick together, at least in the first several plays. They feel cheaper, and I would be surprised if one or two ripped after many plays.

edit: To clarify, they feel cheaper than most card games I have (and I have a lot), but I don't have regular Sushi Go to compare them to.
 
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Drew Chappell
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Just my 2 cents on card quality: played for the first time tonight and the cards feel the same as my Sushi Go cards. Maybe folks are getting bad batches?

On another note: are the rolls that have cucumbers for ears that show up in the artwork possibly a future promo?
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Russell Ginns
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Thanks for this great overview.
 
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Corey Edwards
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drewchap wrote:
On another note: are the rolls that have cucumbers for ears that show up in the artwork possibly a future promo?


I sure hope so! Phil was interviewed by an Aussie Podcast (The Dice Men Cometh) last year and he said he "has a lot more in development for the Sushi Go! Universe."
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Nicely written and useful review.
 
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David Barlowe
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Card quality is definitely the weak spot in the game. In my very first play, we noticed a nick in the side of one of the cards from normal handling.

The game is cheap enough that I'd consider buying a second copy when this one is worn out, but it's a shame in any event.

Casual gamers might not think anything of this, but as a hobby gamer it keeps me from giving this game a 9 out of 10.

Still a great game, worthy of its praise.

Maybe they'll make a mega-Deluxe version with even more goodies at some point and fix this problem. I'd gladly pay $5-10 more for top quality cards and a couple more sushi.
 
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nikie vos
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the sushi go part i bought in my lgs just contained the cards and board inside a cardboard box with no insert.
 
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Mouldy Banana
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avantar112 wrote:
the sushi go part i bought in my lgs just contained the cards and board inside a cardboard box with no insert.

If you bought the Dutch version it is mentioned here.
 
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Jiryfoe Man
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Sushi Go is the better game in my current opinion (currently play it for 1 hour twice a week for a year). Awareness of other player strategies and sabotaging them elevates the skill requirement of the game. Also the card counting which is lost in Sushi Go Party due to shuffling the draw deck each round. Sushi Go has the anticipation of a later round which may have a drought or flood of previously seen or unseen sushi. Player choices keep the meta fresh (there are mind games where player tendencies, bluffs and double bluffs can emerge if you persist beyond the simple facade). I have played Sushi Go Party, but for the moment, I think I like plain Sushi Go best, even without the Soy Sauce promo.
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balmydrizzle balmydrizzle
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In the description of rule of Miso Soup in the manual:"However, if more than 1 miso soup is played on
the same turn (including by you), then all these miso soup cards are
immediately discarded...
", Why write "including by you"? How and why one player plays two miso soups in same turn?
 
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balmydrizzle balmydrizzle
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The slot box isn't well-designed. If I sleeve the cards, I can't insert some type of cards into one slot. Besides, I can't easily recognize which slot contain which type since the cards are inserted vertically. Hope there'll be better design in V4.

By the way, my friends jsut email GameWright to suggest author include "Dobin Mushi" and "Chawan Mushi" in next version of master game or as an expansion.

Lastly, Sushi Go! Party is a "must have" whether you have original version or not!
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Shannon T
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balmydrizzle wrote:
In the description of rule of Miso Soup in the manual:"However, if more than 1 miso soup is played on
the same turn (including by you), then all these miso soup cards are
immediately discarded...
", Why write "including by you"? How and why one player plays two miso soups in same turn?


Chopsticks
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balmydrizzle balmydrizzle
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thewagon wrote:
balmydrizzle wrote:
In the description of rule of Miso Soup in the manual:"However, if more than 1 miso soup is played on
the same turn (including by you), then all these miso soup cards are
immediately discarded...
", Why write "including by you"? How and why one player plays two miso soups in same turn?


Chopsticks


Oh! I see. I might misunderstand it. Do you mean when I choose to play Chopsticks this turn and when cards are flipped, I see other player plays Miso Soup and I don't want that player scores miso soup, I choose another miso soup card at my hand to play?
 
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Greg Wilson
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Chopsticks let you play two cards in one turn - you take two cards out of your current hand instead of one, and return a previously-played chopsticks card.

Therefore you could in theory (but obviously shouldn't) play two miso soup cards at the same time.
 
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Kevin Elmore
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BlackSheep wrote:
Chopsticks let you play two cards in one turn - you take two cards out of your current hand instead of one, and return a previously-played chopsticks card.

Therefore you could in theory (but obviously shouldn't) play two miso soup cards at the same time.


Yeah, it just sounds like it clarifies a possible point of contention. If you just say that the penalty happens when two or more players play it, then this allows one person to use chopsticks to play two of them. Apparently you are still punished even if you are the only person to play them.

Thinking about buying this for my nephew since he is really obsessed with the Sushi Go! game we played last night. I like the fact that this version can be played like the original. Very nice compatibility.

I'm disappointed to hear about the card quality. And it looks like sleeving the game can be a pain to store? I wonder if it'd be worth it to remove the insert and just band the cards together in the box.
 
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Stef McCarter

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Chopsticks
 
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FYI - I e-mailed Gamewright because my cards were torn up after a few games. My cards were actually slightly different sizes; I don't know if anyone else ran into this issue. Although I haven't opened them yet, I did receive replacements cards yesterday. Just thought people should know it is an option.
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Ben Bateson
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thewagon wrote:
balmydrizzle wrote:
In the description of rule of Miso Soup in the manual:"However, if more than 1 miso soup is played on
the same turn (including by you), then all these miso soup cards are
immediately discarded...
", Why write "including by you"? How and why one player plays two miso soups in same turn?


Chopsticks


Of course, if you're trying to eat miso soup with chopsticks then there's probably not much hope for you.
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