Sushi Dice Review
From Sushi Go!, to Sushi Draft, and now Sushi Dice, it’s hard to ignore the emerging trend of sushi-based tabletop games. At this point, I’m all for it, as long as the games are good. Sushi Dice is a frenetic dice game where sushi chefs work to prepare dishes faster than their rivals. Should your next board game night menu feature this one?
Placed in the middle of the table are a bell and three face-up cards. Each card features a six-piece order of sushi that can be fulfilled that round. From there, two players will use the dice to fulfill one of the orders on the table by rolling their six dice and matching the results of your dice with one of the cards. Odds are you won’t land it on the first roll, so any number of dice can be re-rolled until you get the desired result. When you do, ring the bell first to complete your order. After each order is completed, the dice are passed one player to the left. Play continues in this manner until one player meets the required number of completed orders to win the game.
At times, this is easier said than done. While half of the dice feature a die face with a star that acts like a joker, the other half of of the dice feature a poison fish. If your opponent sees that you’ve rolled one or more of them, they can yell, “Bleh!”, forcing you to re-roll all of your dice. Furthermore, if there are more than two players involved and a spectators sees you and your opponent having rolled poison fishes at the same time, they can yell, “Chop!” to end your turn. At that point, the player who called it can give the dice to whomever they want, including themselves.
Sushi Dice is far from a brain-burner. Aside from its elementary set-collection and press-your-luck mechanics, there isn’t much to this game besides rolling the dice really fast. Furthermore, the spectator mechanic can be problematic, as you can spend a lot of time mostly watching other people play. Ideally, you’ll play with just two players to cut that downtime entirely.
Having said all of that, it largely does what it intends to do really well. Rolling the dice to make the combinations is a lot of fun while making a lot of thematic sense. Sometimes, you and another player will get into a tight race where both players are frantically rolling that final die in hopes of completing the order. The bell is a really nice touch in situations like this, as hitting it down and hearing it ring act as a very satisfying end to each round. I even like the bit of strategy that can come with the poison fish. In cases where I’m about to lose, I focus my attention on watching my opponent hopefully rolling a poison fish, effectively resetting the round.
I can this game falling flat with gamers that want something more substantial in terms of depth and strategy. However, Sushi Dice mostly executes on the few things it does really well. In the moment, it’s easy to learn, fast, and entertaining with the right group of people. Definitely some caveats around this one, but overall I think it’s a decent little game worthy of a play or two.