Ding, ding, ding! The bell has sounded, and we’re on to round two of our board game battles.
First, why are these two battling right now? Both of them have a common mechanic between them, in that they are card-drafting games. You are passed a hand of cards, you select one, all players reveal cards at the same time, and then your hand of cards passes to the next person and the process is repeated. But one of the games is about picking out your meal at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, and the other is about building the seven wonders of the ancient world. So the themes are very different, but mechanically, there are a number of things that are similar about these games. Like I mentioned, they use card drafting, but there is also an aspect of set collection in each game.
7 Wonders has you building one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. You build up a tableau in front of you and your wonder, getting resources, buying those you don’t have, getting goods, studying, building military might, and building up your wonder. There is a cornucopia of points in this game, as well; you score points at the end of the game based on the sets of buildings you have, different things you’ve studied, your military might (in fact that’s at the end of each age), and other things. The big upside of this is that you can focus in on a few different areas and have a chance of winning. However, you do need to diversify some; otherwise, you won’t be able to get quite enough points to win. But if you try to do everything at once, you likely won’t get large enough chunks of points to win.
Sushi Go! Party
Sushi Go! is about putting together the best sushi meal you could possibly have. Maybe you want some maki, miso soup, and green tea ice cream — while you can get this combination of foods in this game, it might not give you the most points. The game is played in three rounds (similar to 7 Wonders’ three ages), in which you try to collect sets of different things to get the most points possible. If you have three sashimi, for example, you will score 10 points at the end of the round, but if you have only two, you get no points. Or if you have two tofu, they’re worth 5 points, but if you have more, all your tofu are worth 0 points. Desserts are scored after the meal, and are the only thing you keep between each round. It makes sense as a meal, since you eat your dessert at the very end.
The card drafting is a huge similarity between these two games, but there are a few differences, too. In 7 Wonders, you are drafting from a new set of cards each round, whereas most of the cards in Sushi Go end up going back into the pool of cards to draft, and only the desserts see their numbers reduced as you go. In 7 Wonders, if you get off to a poor start, it is harder to catch up for that reason, and makes the card drafting a bit more tactical. There’s also the set collection aspect to both of them, as you are looking to collect a variety of buildings that can stack off of each other in 7 Wonders, as well as collecting the various studies and gaining military might. In Sushi Go!, there can be a bit more variety in the set collection because sometimes you don’t want a big set of cards. Having more than two eel cards isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t do you any good; you just want to have two eels for sure so that you don’t get negative points. Compare that to tofu, which I mentioned above, where you don’t want more than two of them, or they become worthless.
Another big difference is the variability in both games. In 7 Wonders, the variability from game to game comes in the number of players, using more cards with more players, and which wonders are being built. If you consistently are only playing with two people, the cards you are drafting from are going to be the same. In Sushi Go! Party, you have a wide variety of different rolls, appetizers, entrees, specials, and desserts to combine and choose from. While it isn’t endless and you can repeat stuff fairly quickly when building out which ones you are using, you have a very large number of combinations.
Who wins? Sushi Go! Party
While these are both great games, I’m giving the win to Sushi Go! Party. There are two big reasons for this — the first is that I think the variability in the game is higher. Now, if you are playing 7 Wonders with a varying number of players, you do get to see more cards, but if you buy it to just play in a group of four people, you will quickly learn what those cards are. Because of this, there are more defined strategies for every game of 7 Wonders than there are for Sushi Go! Party. The second reason is that I see Sushi Go! Party as more accessible for new players. There aren’t as many mechanically heavy bits, and the artwork is cute. It’s going to be easier to get to the table with a wider group of players. If you want something that is more mechanically challenging, I’d recommend 7 Wonders as a great other option for card drafting. I honestly don’t think there is a wrong choice for picking one or the other of these two games, though. Finally, I’ll leave you with one important thing as a comparison between the games — if you just get the basic Sushi Go! game, you lose all of the variability that is in Sushi Go! Party, and 7 Wonders immediately becomes the better game. However, Sushi Go! Party is a cheap game for what you get, so it is definitely worth the money.
Who is your winner?
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