Sushi Roll – Maki Your Rolls Count!
Why is conveyor-belt-delivered food so fascinating?
My kids always stop and stare at the sushi place in the mall that brings the dishes around and around to the diners.
Gamewright has brought that experience to a new game – now with dice.
Sushi Roll is “The Sushi Go! Dice Game”, for 2-5 players, ages 8+. Like Sushi Go! it was designed by Phil Walker-Harding.
How to Play
Each player gets a conveyor belt full of dice and an empty cardboard “tray”, along with menu tokens and chopstick tokens.
All players roll their dice simultaneously then put them back on the conveyor belt. Then each player takes a turn, choosing a single die from their OWN conveyor belt. Players might use a menu token to re-roll dice or chopsticks to swap a die with one on a different belt, but once every player has chosen a single die everyone slides their conveyor belts to the left and re-rolls the dice on the conveyor belt now in front of them.
Repeat until all the dice are taken. Now it’s the end of the round and time to score!
The dice score in ways that will feel very familiar to players of Sushi Go!
Open wasabi must be covered with nigiri, tempura scores best in sets of at least two, and the player with the most or second-most maki gets points.
Pudding dice now award tokens that score at the end of the game.
Play three rounds, score a final time, and the game ends. Whoever has the most puddings will now gain points, and whoever has the fewest will lose points (gulp!). If you haven’t been using your chopstick and menu tokens, you’ll also get a few points for any that are left over.
Sushi Roll is clever and well-made. The custom dice are clearly printed and roll nicely, and the conveyor belts are a cute touch. We enjoyed sliding them over to the other players. The kids loved the cute artwork, which we’ve come to expect from the rest of Sushi Go! series.
I really liked the “tray” mats that reminded me how to score and how likely it is that a particular face comes up on a die.
I LOVE the addition of scoring tokens. Sushi Go! expected you would write down your score somewhere and its successor, Sushi Go! Party used a score track on the board. But grabbing tokens at the end of a round makes it so easy to keep track of score. No worries about forgetting the number or knocking over a pawn!
Are Dice Better than Cards?
Using dice instead of cards feels rather gimmicky (especially when I’m trying to stack a nigiri die on top of a wasabi). Playing well in Sushi Roll depends a lot on random die rolls instead of careful drafting.
However, Sushi Roll is easier to play with young kids than Sushi Go! There’s no reading involved. They don’t have to worry about keeping cards secret or trying to remember how the scoring works. Everything is laid out in front of them (and in front of the other players too). With the capacity to support five players, this meant our whole family could play, even our kindergartner.
It’s also a better game at two players. The randomness of the dice rolls returns some element of chance that would otherwise be lost with two players who can see all the options to draft.
Claire says: “I like Sushi Roll better than the original Sushi Go! but not as much as Sushi Go! Party. “ (She prefers choosing the setup at the beginning of the game.)
Sushi Roll is just as cute and fast-paced as the original. Overall, I’d recommend it for families who want to introduce drafting to non-reading children, or to families who love dice games. It’s light, fast-moving, and it will feel very familiar.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Sushi Roll from Gamewright for this review.
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Number of Players: 2-5
Age Range: 8+ (we say younger)
Playtime: 20 minutes