Saturday, 15 October 2016

Sushi Go Party! - Game Review

We've loved Sushi Go! for ages here at LITKL - check out our previous review to find out all about this fun card game.  Well, the publishers have released a new version - Sushi Go Party!

If you've played Sushi Go! the first thing you'll notice is the Board and player pieces (we love how the scoring track is designed to look like a kaiten-zushi restaurant conveyor belt!):

 The Nigiri are ready, but what are all those gaps in the centre of the board? Well, along with all the dishes from the classic Sushi Go!, this version introduces lots more options:

A nice feature of this version is the inclusion of the Soy Sauce cards that were previously a promo item for the original game.

Obviously, there are far too many options there to play in a single game, so you tailor your choices to suit - along with the standard Nirigi you pick one type of rolls (the original maki, or the new uramaki or temaki), three appetizers (from originals like tempura and dumplings to miso soup and tofu), two specials (chopsticks and wasabi from the original and new cards like the menu or the take-out box), and a dessert (the classic pudding or newcomers like green tea ice-cream or fruit).

The rulebook gives you a few suggestions, there's one designed for new players, one for gaming groups that like lots of ways to mess up their friends' plans, one for 6-8 players and the one we played, designed for 2 players.  You get card tiles to put into the holes on the game board:

There we are all set up to play!  It plays like the original game, but the new cards give all sorts of different tactics and options - gone was my wasabi-squid nigiri combo, or my favourite dumpling collection tactic - I had to find new ways to win!  As before, you play three courses (rounds) and try to get as many points as possible!  Here's what our meals looked liked for our first course:

You move your piece along the conveyor scoring track and then you have another two courses to try to score the most points.  We were fairly close throughout.

Here's the final course -I managed to sneak ahead to win by just two points!! 

64 points versus 62! That was close!!

If you liked the original Sushi Go! then you'll love Sushi Go Party! - it adds more players, a tailored suggestion for two players, lots more options and the same super Kawaii artwork that made the original so adorable.  We still love the original Sushi Go! - we view it now as our 'travel edition' game to take with us on trips/holidays - but this edition adds so many new options!

Mata ne!!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Cat Tower - Game Review

I'd wanted Cat Tower by the Taiwanese designer Aza Chen for ages, so leapt on the chance to back the kickstarter to bring it to gamers worldwide.

The story behind the game is that Catty Fatty has spied a fish hung up high to dry out.  Other cats gather and they come up with the idea of stacking on each others' backs to reach up high and get the delicious treat!

Each player is dealt seven cats and you are the winner if you are the first player to get rid of all cats from your hand:

The Kickstarter edition includes some special edition cats:

There's a Panda cat, a cat drinking the world-famous Taiwanese specialty Boba Tea and even a stowaway Chihuahua!!

The game also features Catty Fattys, which are far too big and important to stand up, so they stay lying down the whole time:

Players take it in turn to roll a special die, which tells you what action you have to perform that turn:

You set up the game area with a single cat, ready to start the tower, and there's a little bank of tokens (more on those later).

Pinkuiropixie went first - she rolled the single cat icon, so she added one of her cats to the Cat Tower:

On my turn I rolled the dried fish result, so I had to put my cat belly up on the Tower:

A little later Pinkuiropixie rolled the double cat icon - so she had to add two of her cats to the growing Tower:

It wasn't long before the Tower toppled!

Oh dear! When this happens the player who caused the fall has to take two of the cats back into their hand.  You tidy up then carry on playing.

Pinkuiropixie later rolled a cat paw icon.  When you roll this you choose one of the other players and give them one of your cats to put on the Tower - if they cause it to topple they have to take the penalty cats however!

I was in the lead - I only had one cat left and Pinkuiropixie had five.  I rolled a Catty Fatty icon:

This is where those tokens come in - when you place a Catty Fatty you choose a token to reveal.  These have all kinds of different effects, like making a player skip a turn and the one I turned over, All Cats Are Equal!

This was bad for me! When you reveal this token you take all cats in players' hands back and then distribute them equally - I'd gone from one to three cats and Pinkuiropixie had gone from five down to three! My lead was gone!

We carried on playing, Towers toppling and being rebuilt and here was the Tower a little later on:

Pinkuiropixie had two cats in her hand... and rolled the double cat icon!! If she could get these safely added to the Tower, she would win...

She did it! It's wonky, but it's the winning Tower!! Pinkuiropixie is the current LITKL Cat Tower Champion:

I'll win that belt (well, card) next time!

Our version of Cat Tower also came with two alternative dice to play different ways - Cat Tower Plus and Cat Tower Lite. These add new ways of playing and stacking those cute cats.

We really recommend Cat Tower - it's a fun game that has everyone laughing as they try to add to the growing, inevitably wobbly Cat Tower!  It's a great family-friendly dexterity game that's suitable for even younger gamers.

Mata ne!!