Recommend
44 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Wasabi!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Why do I keep eating this if it tastes so terrible?! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: ZMan [+] [View All]
Joshua Gardner
United States
West Henrietta
New York
flag msg tools
Bah da da da da da da... da da da da da da da... DAH dah DAH!
badge
Gabriel Knight. Check it out at GOG.Com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was taking a look at my recently logged plays, and I came to a realization... I've played a lot of Wasabi! lately. It seems that this game, more than any other, is constantly brought to our game nights by different people each time. Yet, despite its wide appeal, I don't know anyone who truly loves the game. Oh sure, we play through the game each time, but nobody ever screams for more after it's done. I thought about it a bit more, and here is my assessment.

First of all, everyone talks about how great the components are... and they're right. The tiles are brightly colored on thick card stock. The use of menus and wasabi bowls is thematic and adds to the experience. It's a great game to break out and it just looks good on the table.

Another great thing that can be said about the game is that it is simple and plays quickly. I have been able to teach three new people and play a full game in less than an hour. I can see this game sitting alongside the Carcassonnes and the Ticket to Rides, the games that you could introduce to someone new to the hobby and have them be able to fully engage the game.

Now onto the negative.

In my most recent play, I had an interesting conversation with the person who brought the game regarding the "strategy" behind Wasabi!. Simply put, neither of us could figure it out. In many other games, you can adopt a strategy beforehand, but Wasabi! feels very random in how it unfolds. You're just moving along, building that recipe (you really can only work on one at a time), hoping another player doesn't intentionally or inadvertently screw up your "with-style" concoction. There's really no way to "prepare" for future turns, you just continue building with the occasional "screw you" action.

The cards are where they try to add some variety to the gameplay, but most of the time their effects are minimal. The switch is either lets you get that recipe with style or acts as a lazy-man's stack. Chop is nice for grabbing that one ingredient you need or finishing the occasionally "already finished by someone else" recipe. Spicy saves you from the stress of having to wait one more turn, hoping you won't get screwed. Stack simply acts as a "OK, you can ignore placement rules JUST THIS ONCE" card, no thinking involved. Finally, you have the Wasabi! card, which might as well just have the word "F--- YOU!" strewn across it instead. The wasabi cube you get from it simply provides you with an excuse when someone accuses you of targeting them.

The game plays a little like a less refined, much more random version of Ticket to Ride. In the latter, you can either grab small routes quickly or play more methodically with long routes. In contrast, Wasabi! has a very linear progression and pace to the game. You feel much more like you're going through the motions, with little control over your surroundings.

Overall, Wasabi! is a weird game for me. It is small, simple, short, and beautiful. It's also not fun, challenging, or interesting to play. Still, I keep playing hoping to discover a spark. And if I don't, at least I can distract myself fiddling with all of the pretty pieces.



22 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is pretty much why I traded mine away.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Snowball
Belgium
n/a
flag msg tools
badge
Gender: pot*ato. My opinion is an opinion.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Exactly.
I keep mine because I like sushi and it's the only nicely illustrated game I have on the subject.
I might offer it to an occasionnal gamer if I need the space too badly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon
United States
Edmond
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
admin
Convention Committee
badge
BGG.CON! BGG.CON SPRING! BGG@SEA!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I only have a copy b/c my wife likes it (mostly for the theme). That said, be sure try it as a 3-player game. The chaos is reduced slightly there, compared to the full 4-player mess.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ooh, this game has lost some love since its release...

I think it works quite well as a single play filler. After one lot of sushi, I'm full. It's light and it's just on the edge of overstaying its welcome. Play once, then put it away for a while, otherwise things can get a bit... fishy.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jordan Stewart
Canada
Grand Bay-Westfield
NB
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I think it's "good but not great". Mostly for the reasons you mentioned, but I just have a lot of plain old fun while playing it. And yeah, the components are a pleasure to play with which doesn't hurt anything.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Gardner
United States
West Henrietta
New York
flag msg tools
Bah da da da da da da... da da da da da da da... DAH dah DAH!
badge
Gabriel Knight. Check it out at GOG.Com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
AnakinOU wrote:
I only have a copy b/c my wife likes it (mostly for the theme). That said, be sure try it as a 3-player game. The chaos is reduced slightly there, compared to the full 4-player mess.


I'll have to try three player, all my plays have been four. I find it interesting you could figure that out from my review.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Ottery
United Kingdom
Reading
Berkshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I find that it's considerably less chaotic when played with just 2, which does allow for some forward planning. Familiarity with the recipes and what combinations of ingredients result in what dishes will also help with the planning. More players just add to the chaos.

I do agree, though, that it lies at the lighter, more newbie-friendly end of the spectrum - same sort of demographic as Carcassonne and TTR.

However, as a slightly longer filler type of game it's enjoyable, but not something I'd drag out every week to play.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wilbert Ng
Philippines
Mandaluyong
Metro Manila
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
All I can say is: Wasabi! is a nice gateway game period.
10 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay Sheely
United States
Hayward
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I disagree with the negative items of the OP.

You don't like it, I understand and that's cool. I hate/love many in the top 50. Good thing there are thousands to pick from.

I think this game is underappreciated and I always have a definite strategy. There is a little 'rhythem' to get going, plenty of do's and don't's and if you're only working on one recipe at a time, it's gonna be a long day.

Is it Powergrid or a replacement for TtR or Carc? No, but it's a great little (cheap! 30$) game that I've had a lot of success with.

Newbies love it, your Aunt Bernice will love it and hard-core geeks may get a kick out of it too.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
flag msg tools
a.k.a. The Shire
badge
Waggle, waggle
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got this recently in an auction and have been playing a little. Gonna play again tomorrow. Sometimes it is frustrating. I agree it is nice to play just for the spectacle, but it isn't reliably satisfying enough for experienced gamers.

I think you could say there are at least the following strategy elements:

- what size recipes to focus on at different stages of the game.
- whether to play in your own corner of the board or leech off others.
- whether you are going to block others or just focus on your own game.
- whether you try to complete recipes with style or just quickly.

But the only ways to win are (1) by finishing first or (2) by making more valuable recipes that everyone else before the game ends. Either by (2a) completing more or (2b) by getting more bonus points for style. So three basic paths to victory.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.