Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We played this beautiful game at board game night last evening. The concept is interesting, as each player pulls several sushi recipes and then has to pull the correct ingredients to be placed on the Scrabble-like board. Getting them in order gets you a bonus, a wasabi green cube worth an extra point. This is similar to Ticket to Ride's route building. However, unlike TTR, there are action cards that allow the board to change, including a chop, stack, and switch cards that manipulate the game tiles to create new combinations. That was when I realized it contained my most dreaded board gaming element, speed.

Gregarious, verbal types who can think fast on their feet tend to love these kinds of games, while us slow moving, deep thinking bovine types need more time to spin up our mental hard drives. If you love to plan out that five run combination several moves in advance, play Power Grid or Tikal, not Wasabi. It's a heart breaker for sloths like me. I went from "I really like this game," and "this is kinda neat," instantly over to "I really hate this game, and here's why..." It's also likely to result in the dreaded "analysis paralysis" if you've got that player who refuses to go with it and must check every possibility.

However, if you're looking for a light game, a filler game, or have that spouse or friend who gets bored with all the cogitation, Wasabi is probably a great choice. It's what I would recommend after tiring of a game like Carcassonne or for introducing board gaming to non-gamers. If you've got someone who is a fan of either sushi or Scrabble, they should find it enjoyable.



  1. When I stopped overthinking and overplanning and just started playing, I enjoyed it a lot more.

  2. Despite the warning, I think the theme alone is going to force me to add this one to my next order.

  3. It's a "go with the flow" game. You simply have to match your play with the temperament of the rest of the group. If they are playing aggressively with the action cards to disrupt others (which means lots of chaos) then use the 2 ingredient recipes to get your own cards to counterattack. If the group is playing such that they use the cards to mostly help themselves then go for the big point recipes and as much style as possible. I think the game plays better with the more aggressive style.

  4. I think this game is great! Don't expect to necessarily do well at it in your first game though... after a few plays you learn how to put together a good flow of completing recipes.