12th October 2021
It's a Tuesday and we're at The Sovereigns with the Woking Gaming Club.
The first game of the evening was Sushi Go Party!. The big brother and follow up of the excellent Sushi Go!, if you've not read it, check out my blog about Sushi Go! here and then come back.
I'm not going to talk too much about Sushi Go Party!, other than where it's different to Sushi Go!. Mechanically, it shares almost exactly the same blend of drafting and set collecting rules as its predecessor. What Sushi Go Party! brings is a bunch of new cards with new ways to collect sets and/or score points.
In fact, Sushi Go Party! brings so many new cards to the game, that they can't be all used at the same time and introduces the concept of menus. More on menus below.
What's in a game?
The components in Sushi Go Party! are all pretty good, the tiles and board feel sturdy enough and the cards made well enough.
The game maintains the same excellent, cheerfully colourful illustrations of cartoonish looking food as it's predecessor. If it ain't broke...
There's not much iconography to the game, it's mostly just numbers.
How's it play?
It plays almost identically to Sushi Go!, the same take-a-card and pass-your-hand and set collecting mechanics played over 3 rounds that made the original so good are found here.
Sushi Go Party! only differs in 2 ways.
In setup, Sushi Go Party! requires the players to create a menu from the available sets of cards. This consists of the nigiri cards (Which are used in every game.), 1 rolls set, 3 appetiser sets, 2 specials sets and a dessert set. The rules provide a large, varied list of menus to use. I guess there's nothing stopping players from creating or randomly selecting their own menus.
After the menu has been finalised, the relevant tiles are placed into the relevant recessed spots on the board so that all players can see what sets will be in the game.
Finally, all the sets in the menu are shuffled together into a face down deck and dealt out to players as per the rules.
The second difference: In Sushi Go!; the game goes through the deck without reusing it, i.e., at the end of a round, all played cards are scored, then discarded out of the game - except for puddings of course.
But in Sushi Go Party!, the played cards are shuffled back into the deck, along with more pudding cards to balance out any that were taken players. Then the reshuffled deck is reused in the next round.
It's a subtle difference, but it technically makes Sushi Go Party! a tiny bit more predictable as the composition of cards in the deck will 'reset' from round-to-round. Whereas in the original, once they're played, they're played.
If you like Sushi Go!, you'll like Sushi Go Party!, no doubt about it and if you play Sushi Go! a lot, then this is probably also worth playing, the extra cards go a long way to increasing the game's longevity.
But there's something that makes Sushi Go Party! less appealing than its predecessor and I think it's immediacy.
Sushi Go! is pretty much the epitome of a quick, pick-up-and-play game; shuffle the cards, deal them out to players and you're ready to go. Clean up after the game end involves collecting the cards and putting them away.
Conversely, in Sushi Go Party!; the board must be set up, a menu agreed upon and placed the relevant tiles placed on the board, then the pertinent card sets must be taken from the available sets, only then can they be shuffled and dealt to players. It doesn't end there though, when Sushi Go Party! is over, all cards must be put back into their sets before packing away.
Not only that, Sushi Go Party! by necessity comes in a bigger tin, while the original is compact enough to fit in coat pocket.
Gone is the portability and convenience.
It sounds like I'm dissing Sushi Go Party! but I'm not, it's a great game. It's just that I don't feel the need to play it over the original, it doesn't offer a different enough experience to warrant the extra effort.
However, like I said, if you play a lot of Sushi Go!, you should give this a try and if you've never played Sushi Go! or this, then you should definitely try one of them.
I play, I paint.