Now, there are a lot of ways I could go with this. I could literally be talking about how heavy some games are, such as Gloomhaven which is over 20 pounds. I could be talking about how emotionally heavy a video game is like Life […]
Tag: Sushi Go!
On to another list for my top 5 drafting games. Now, Board Game Geek only has card drafting for me to sort through, but I will be including a dice drafting game in my list as well (or two). So without any more clarification:
5. Roll Player
Do you just like making an over powered D&D character? That’s the feeling that you get in Roll Player as you are drafting dice to make the ideal stats for your character. You are also trying to line up certain colored dice in certain spots, depending on what card you’ve gotten. It’s a fun game as you try and equip and build your character, and there is a Monsters expansion that I’ve heard adds more to the game. The reason I have it this low on my list is because I haven’t playing with that expansion, and once you’ve built your character, the game just ends, so it feels like it’s a little bit lacking in terms of being a full game. It is still a lot of fun to roll up your character though.
4. 7 Wonders
This is very similar to a game that is further down on the list, actually sitting at #2. But 7 Wonders has a heavier theme to it, though, like most pure drafting games the theme is fairly pasted on. You are leading your ancient civilization through three ages as you try and build up your ancient wonder. Except, you don’t actually need to, to win the game. Instead you might focus in on building up other players that give you victory points or getting the strongest military or winning with a combination of science cards. It has some interesting mechanics as well where you can purchase resources that you might need to build something, but only from the people to your left or right, so there is some strategy with that as well.
Another dice drafting game on the list. I really like this game for the look on the table. In the game you’re drafting translucent dice to create a stained glass window. There are rules where you can place dice, sometimes you must use a certain color and other times a certain number. That part of the game adds in the strategy, also the fact you can’t have the same number next to another orthogonally or the same with the colors. The game goes fast, and when you are done you have a nice looking window in front of you. The game is very much a puzzle game, but not one that is too tricky.
2. Sushi Go! Party
This one is on the list as my favorite pure drafting game. The theme is fun, building out your meal and the scoring mechanics are pretty straight forward, though there are a few specials that I would consider to be more advanced. The artwork also makes it an easy sell as it leans into the cute anthropomorphized food items. The game also plays extremely fast and is easy for new players to pick up. I prefer the Party version to the regular version because you’re able to create a variety of set-ups so that the game doesn’t play the same every time.
1. Blood Rage
Hey, it’s on back to back lists. But Blood Rage does a really good job with the drafting in the game. That’s what really sets apart the strategies for people in the game. Do you load up on cards for battle, on quests to complete, do you spend your points playing monsters? It is a very big part of the strategy and depending on what cards you see, you might have to adjust your strategy on the fly as you draft cards at the beginning of each age. It’s also where a lot of the theme comes into the game, because Loki cards do really feel like Loki, same with Odin, Thor, and other players in Norse mythology.
I don’t have any honorable mentions this time. Board Game Geek has a lot of games that I wouldn’t call card drafting or drafting games on their list, such as Dominion, where you do get to choose what cards you add to your deck, but it is a deck builder, and I already did a post on that a few days ago.
So this is going to be a short post, what are some drafting games that you like? Are there any on my list that you want to play?
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Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and you can have an awkward meal with your in-laws, but the whole time doesn’t have to be awkward because there are party games that everyone from the crazy uncle to the clingy aunt can enjoy. Now, might be a little bit late to order them today or you might not want to run out to a store as they might be a bit busy as well, but Christmas is coming up and New Years, and you probably will have to spend extended time with family again, or even with friends, and you might want something to do with them.
So, what makes the best party games?
Replayability is one of the biggest things for me. Having a game that I can go to multiple times without it feeling like all the jokes and moments are done is key.
Large group number so that you can get everyone playing is also important. You don’t want someone to feel like they have to sit out because there aren’t enough parts of the game to go around.
Simplicity so that even Grandma and Grandpa can pick it up is key. They might not want to play, but your parents might not be that much better at picking up either.
Limited or contained down time is also important in these games. You can have moments of people sitting around and thinking or writing something, but you don’t want to have people having too much down time while on person does something. That either leads to distracting conversation and people just checking out of the game.
Can you play the game with your parents? Seems like a lot of these other ones cover that suggestion, but there are games that have more of a dirty or adult twist on things, and you have to know if your parents are going to be fine with that, or even your grandparents, depending on who you might be playing with.
The game can end while everyone is still having fun. This can be because you can just end the game whenever, but it could also be because the game is a shorter game. If the game can’t end in 30 minutes, it’s probably too much for a party game.
So what are some games that fit the bill?
Balderdash is a game where people write down definitions to words, what acronyms mean, complete weird laws, and then get to vote on which one they think is real. This game is easy to teach and while the replayability is slightly more limited than some, simply because you might actually remember a categories answer from before, you can always go with another one of the options on the card. Like most good party games, this game is about the laughs. It can have a run away leader problem, but really, scoring is optional, being silly is more important.
Wits and Wagers
Very similar to the game above, except everyone is putting down a number instead of some other written answer and then people bid on which is the closest without going over. There is technically an ending to the game, but you can always just pick how many questions you want to do, or when people are winding down do a single final round where people can go crazy with their bidding for a chance to win.
Another trivia sort of game where people are looking to fill in answers for various categories but it all has to start with a single letter. What makes this game work more often than not is that someone who might be able to come up with more answers is probably still going to have a number of common answers with other people so can end up with fewer points. Trying to come up with something that is unique, but not unique that someone else might come up with as well is the balance, plus the limited amount of time for doing so.
A bit more abstract, but a similar basis for the ones above, in this one person picks from four things, occupation, life time supply, super power, and dream job that they’d want. That’s all great, but then everyone else gets to write a stipulation and the person who picked gets to pick their favorite because it’s the least bad one or because it’s the funniest one, their criteria is there own. This game works really well because depending on who you’re playing with, you can make the game dirtier or more family friendly, the choice is yours. This game is good for laughs, it comes with white boards for writing on, but you could easily expand it to a larger number by just taking post-it notes or some other smaller piece of paper and giving one to each person.
First game to actually have a board in the classic sense. Tsuro is a simple game of staying alive the longest as your dragon follows it’s path. The game plays very fast, so you’ll likely play a couple of times. For a game that seems like it could have some decent strategy, it really works well because you can only plan on your turn, and you have a limited number of choices, especially at higher player counts. It’s always fun to see how people take different strategies in the game as well, as some people might try and avoid everyone, while others might try and instigate conflict.
Sushi Go! Party
By far the most complex game, this is one that you won’t be able to pull out with everyone, but if your family is a gaming family, Sushi Go! Party offers interesting decision making as you are drafting cards. The game plays quickly, though the first hand might take a bit longer as people figure out their strategies. This game also offers the most variety in the play as you can swap out the meal that you are creating. The others all have a similar feel and rhythm every time you play it, but this one could have wildly different strategies each combination that you play.
ice Cool/Ice Cool 2
Now, this is a new one and probably the silliest out of all of them. All you are doing is either flicking delinquent penguins around a school as they try and avoid the hall monitor and collect snacks of fish, or you’re racing around the board to see who can circumnavigate the fastest. It is also different because you’re up and moving about as you cannot sit around a table to play this game, in fact you have to pull the chairs away from the table. This is limited to eight players, but it’s also the best on the list for kids, because what kid wouldn’t want to send a penguin flying around a board. And while the game is made for kids, it’s a lot of fun for adults as well as you try crazy shots to see if you can bank through a couple of doors or are you going to get stuck in a corner.
There are a lot of other options as well, but as you are looking at the store thinking about something about you might buy, remember the suggestions laid out at top of the article. Keeping it simple, replayable, and good for a large group are going to mean you’ve probably found a winner of a party game.
What are some of your favorite party games? Are there some that you actively avoid with your family?
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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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This topic came up recently on a forum that I’m on, football related but in the general random talk section, how to find people to play a game with you. The person has The Thing board game, and wants to get it to the table, but […]