Producer– Z-Man Games!
Price– ~$50 here
Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 45 minutes (2 to 4 players)
TL; DR– PLAY AT A SUSHI-YA! 98%
Basics-Irasshaimase! In Wasabi, you play a sushi chef trying to make as many orders happen as you can. Each player starts with a recipe book, point tokens turned over to the number of ingridiants side, and a bowl for wasabi. To start, players go around the table selecting three pieces of sushi that are handed to the next player, so you don’t get to pick your starting sushi. After this, each player then chooses three different types of sushi to make ranging from easy two sushi piece combinations to the extremely hard five piece sushi. Once every player has their three sushi pieces and their three recipes, the real game starts. On your turn you can do two things: place a sushi piece or discard as many recipes as you want and draw new ones. When you place sushi piece, you check to see if it creates any of the recipes you want to create. If you do, you get to turn over a point token possibly gaining extra wasabi cubes (points and tie breakers), gain a power card, and draw a new recipe. If you don’t finish a recipe, then you just draw up to your three sushi pieces. Power cards allow you to change tiles on the board, place on top of other tiles, remove other pieces, and even place two tiles. You can only gain one power card per turn, and you can only use one power per turn. Discarding and drawing new recipes is pretty simple; discard what you don’t want, and draw up to three recipes. The game continues until someone finishes all their for point recipes tokens, or until no more legal moves can be made. The best chef is the person with the most points and wasabi cubes.
Mechanics-This is a fun one that can be pretty frustrating if played poorly. There are some strategies that will work like doing your five point recipe first, then moving to your four, and so on while keeping a few easy two piece recipes in your plans to keep getting power cards. That kind of makes the game less fun as there are less smart ways to play than different way to play. However, if you want a simple game that is a much smarter version of tic tac toe, this is a good one to have on hand. 4.5/5
Theme- The game starts you out with soy sauce bowls and recipe books that look like menus from a Japanese dinner. That right there fills that game with some awesome theme. The board looks like a matt, and the tiles all look great. I have never played this game and not left hungry for sushi. You will feel like you spent 45 minutes in a sushi restaurant staring at the menu. 5/5
Instructions– The instructions are done fairly well. There are a few minor English issues, but overall they communicate the rules well and explain the game quickly. 5/5
Execution– I love chunky cardboard! This game has a ton of heavy cardboard pieces with all kinds of sushi ingredients on them. The board is nice, and the art is great. You will leave this game hungry. Also, I flat out love the menus that serve to hide a player’s pieces and the soy sauce bowls for wasabi points. 5/5
Summary-This is a fun, quick game that anyone can play. Players don’t need the in depth strategy that some games require. It’s a simple tile laying game that you learn in a minute, and master in about five. Some of the mechanics can lead to players losing through no fault of their own, but overall it’s a blast to play. Moreover, all the different ingredients will leave you hungry! The theme is so awesome that you will want to go to your favorite Sushi restaurant after playing this one. 98%