Game Night: Sushi Go!

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Most honorable Gail Willaims gets takeout.

We’ve all had those times when we’ve been stuck somewhere with no internet and nothing to do. These are the moments when you really wish you had something to pull out of the bag and get everyone enjoying themselves. Well you can. There are a load of new games that you can kind of call ‘handbag games’, on account that they’re small enough to be carried in any standard handbag or backpack, or even a laptop case just in case the lappie battery runs down.

Sushi Go! is one I love because it works for all ages, so it’s ideal for families. It comes in a compact tin and is a relatively simple pick and pass card game. The only thing I find we need that’s not supplied is pen and paper to work out the scores, but that’s just me, these aren’t strictly speaking necessary at all.

The contents of the tin are a pack of 108 specifically designed cards. Those cards have different values for the final score, and that value depends on what combinations you can collect.

I love the images on the cards, they’re very happy and child friendly faces for various types of Sushi. You have Egg Nigiri, Squid Nigiri, Salmon Nigiri, Maki Rolls, Sashmi, Tempura, Dumplings, cheeky Washabi, Chopsticks and last but certainly not least Pudding. I have to say the dumpling is my favourite, he’s such a happy little chappy.

Play is really simple. You deal the cards, the number in the hand will depend on the number of players. Each round you pick a card from the deck and place it face down, when everyone has picked a card you then turn them over together to show what you’ve picked. Then the rest of the deck gets passed on. You each pick again and pass on until all the cards are gone. This is done three times to complete the game and points scored are totaled.

What you have to watch out for is the winning combinations and hoping that you can forestall over players from getting them in their selection. So the Nigiri types each have different values, but if you can get the Washabi card before a Nigiri, you triple the value of the next Nigiri you get. If you pick a set of Chopsticks, and pass after, and before everyone has revealed their hand, if you want to take another card from the deck you can shout “Sushi Go!”, take a second card and put the chopsticks back in the deck to be passed on. You need two tempura to get any points, three sashimi’s and the happy little dumplings are each worth more as more are collected in a single hand. Having the most Maki Rolls gives you points, but right at the end - there’s pudding.

Pudding is a cheeky little soul. Unlike the rest of the cards, puddings don’t go back into the pack at the end of each round, they stay with the player who has the most puddings, and they gain six points, but the player with the least puddings loses six points. So you have to remember to leave room for pudding.

There are other little variants and rules to play, but they are very simple, and there’s a neat little rule booklet in the tin to help you along the way.

Only one word of warning - playing this game may leave you with the desire for Japanese take out!

Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find out more about Gail, check out - Dare you!

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