Sushi Go and Dating

Sushi Go Cards

When I was a wallowing mess left emotionally eviscerated by my ex during the most vulnerable year of my life I discovered the greatest thing: sushi helps. And because I love board games that idea evolved into the next greatest idea: sushi card games help even more.

So with that, today I’ll be doing what other board game reviewers don’t which is dealing with my personal issues while talking shop. Today’s topic is: dating and what a game about sushi can teach you about you and the world of romance.

You must be asking: how lonely do you have to be to compare a niche card game to dating? The answer: I don’t know, ask my therapist. Anyhew, as elusive as they are nowadays, if you do in fact land an “in-person” date the best spot for the first one is a sushi place. Why? Sushi says “I’m classy, I’m cultured, I probably like thai food and have a Liberal Arts degree.” And it can also say a lot about individual people as well, especially the types you come across on the dating scene.

To help demonstrate this idea perfectly, I introduce you to Sushi Go by Gamewright. If you’re familiar with the game, then skip to the breakdown; if not, then don’t. The idea for the appetizing card game is that you’re at a sushi restaurant and you must grab sushi menu items – designed to look as cute as they are delicious – as they whizz by you.

Sushi Go
Published by: Gamewright

Players: 2-5

Year Published: 2013

Recommended Ages: 8+

Time to Play: 15 minutes

The game is divided into three rounds with multiple turns. Every turn you are given a handful of cards to assess. You pick which one you want currently and play it face down. When everyone has picked a card, you pass your entire hand to the person next to you, reveal the card you played face down, and repeat the process. The goal is to choose the best combination of sushi items that complement each other and your style of play. A round is over when there are no cards left to play. Some cards, like people, you can see the value of right away, but others take some patience and proper pairing to reveal the true delicacies of their subtle natures. Like me.

So here’s a listing of my mental breakdown as I break down the list of the cards as well as the people they represent. We’ll start with dessert first, because full disclosure: I’m a wreck! Twinkle. And I’ve been eating nothing but comfort food and sugar for two months.


Oh God. Everyone hates a Pudding Queen.

In the game these cards serve you well by giving bonus points to the person who’s collected the most of them by the end of the three rounds.

So you always, always get someone who hoards just these cards. You’ll find that these are the types of people who wait at the very end of dinner to be interesting or invested in the conversation at all.

File under: paranoid from a previous ex.
Sushi Go - Pudding Card


They’re the only straight-forward card of the game and have their point value listed right there without any hidden abilities.

Yeah, very single-minded, this bunch.

The people who collect only these cards, you’ll find, just don’t get the game whatsoever.

These are the types that just want something safe and probably won’t even get actual sushi at a real restaurant, opting for noodles or fried rice instead.

They’re kind of the ones you just sleep with and it could be fun or nah depending on your serotonin levels.
Sushi Go - Salmon Nigiri Card


It has no points on its own but it triples the value of only one nigiri you pair with it.

If nigiri types are a one-night-stand, wasabi is the kink you may have in common that makes it all worth it and surprisingly memorable.

Just remember wasabi is too dangerous to put on the table before there’s any nigiri. You know what I’m sayin? Nigiri could be like “Oh I’m a postal worker” followed by the wasabi which is like “you know men in uniforms are a kink of mine wink wink.”

Which would you say first?

Sushi Go - Wasabi Card

Tempura Shrimp

This fried shrimp is only worth points for every two that you have, so just having one does nothing for you.

You know people like them. Codependent.

These are the people who always want to double-date or can be incredibly clingy. They’re a pain, they never change, and they probably expect you to pick up the tab every time you eat out while thinking they helped you by only ordering water.

Both are at their best when you can put a bunch of them together by themselves.
Sushi Go - Tempura Shrimp


God bless chopsticks, the “wingman” of the game.

If you play this card on your turn, then on the next you can swap it out for two cards in your current hand.

Hard to get, amazing to have, and all of it’s in the timing.

Imagine your date going terribly wrong and you just swap out what isn’t working with the help of a friend.

It’s easy to make mistakes in this game.

It could be you talking about your annual salary by accident, saying you’re into astrology, or maybe that you’re still pretty damaged but in a fun way and then winking…Not like I’d know or anything.

Maki Rolls

Each card has a number of rolls pictured on it. You have to count those rolls depicted at the end of the round and whoever has the most receives points for having the most maki.

There is a second place but no one wants that. Who would willingly want to come second to someone else’s heart?

This card actually represents a couple. You’ve seen this couple: one is clearly more in love than the other.

Everyone can see the loser of the maki competition from a mile away.

Everyone except the one losing…
Sushi Go - Maki Roll Card


One sashimi card is worthless. Two sashimi cards are worthless. Three give you an almost instant lead in the game.

Watch out!
They represent incredibly beautiful people you have great chemistry with but it’s not like long-lasting chemistry it’s just sexual and it’ll burst like fireworks at night and it’ll be passionate and exciting and the more you collect the higher your chances of a serious connection and hopefully a relationship.

However, everyone with eyes can see these ridiculously hot people as well, and it’ll be a bloody fight to the death to see who can claim them – the cards that is – by the end of the round.
Sushi Go - Sashimi Card


I’ll just use math to explain.

If you have one card, you have one point. 2 cards = 3 points, 3 cards = 6, 4 cards = 10, and 5 cards = 15. The more you collect, the higher the points which makes them an MVP in my book.

And what even is a dumpling, really?

A biscuit in chicken broth, a raw noodle, a meat pie?

I think they’re a moment. A moment with the right person. And every time you have one, you get that much stronger. I’ve tried for dumplings all my life and I’ve still failed. Maybe that’s why I don’t know how to define it. But I’ve seen them in action and honestly, I don’t think we even deserve them in our lives.
Sushi Go - Dumpling Card

And that’s the game…of dating and of Sushi Go!

You showcase Who You Are by all the cards of sushi that you’ve collected.

Whatever type you have more of at the end of a game represents what you lean towards, whether it’s a relationship or something more casual. It takes time and a few losses to find your style of play and that amount of self-work is valid, ya know? Just because they look at their plate and decide to tell you they just want some fried chicken instead doesn’t invalidate your hard work and tastes. It’s the other’s fault for saying something so stupid. And I mean, really? When we actually sit down at the table, they decide to say this? Even though you’d been saying you wanted sushi and talking about how much they’d love it for weeks now?

And then they’ll be like “To be honest? Yeah, I hate sushi.” And then you go “Since when?” And they go “Since forever.” And you’re like “But our first date was at a sushi restaurant.” And they go “Yeah ‘cause you picked it.” And then you’ll both fight over how they just wanted the drink specials in the first place and had no real attachment to this spot – to you. And you will take that as an affront to your person and be rightfully angry.

And then you’ll have a conversation later where you argue about how they have a degree in engineering so what would they know about culture anyway? And fights will keep escalating for the next few weeks until your job starts low-key telling you you’re not worth a raise of any kind even after five years of dedicated service and then, THEN they’ll pick that time to break up with you instead of carry you like they professed to doing months earlier just so they can chase after some take-out sashimi with legs! And that’s when you realize they’re not even a dumpling, they’re a goddamn hot pocket.

Anyhew, time for sake, which definitely should’ve made it into the game btw, since it goes so well with sushi. I hope you take this crabby old fishmonger’s advice. Get some sushi, get the game, and win on all fronts. Also, start dating smarter not harder. Remember, that everyone has a type and that some people aren’t even sushi at all, just pufferfish in disguise.

Chew on that.

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