Making sushi rolls is always a fun time, especially in Maki Staki by Ginger Fox Games, where you don’t even have to do the cleaning up! Not only does Maki Staki allow you to create sushi rolls in order to win, but it also takes all of the mess out of actually rolling sushi.
Maki Staki is a very simple card based game for 3 to 6 players where you race to make a complete a maki roll filled with one type of food. There are a bunch of different foods to stuff your roll with; tofu, samon, tuna, cucumber, avocado — just to name a few. Your roll must be filled with all of the same type of food, making up a grouping of five cards.
At the start of the game, each player is given five cards at random from a deck of the various food cards. Then action cards are shuffled into the extra cards and placed in the middle of the table, face down. When it comes to your turn, you can either take the top card from the discards or a card from the face down pile. You must then discard a card, so that you only ever have 5 at a time. This forces you to make some tough decisions when you end up with two nearly filled rolls! It also adds in a tactical element as each player has their rolls visible to each other — and you don’t want to help a neighbour win.
Action cards add a lot of changes to the game. Cards like the Conveyor Belt move every player’s entire hand to the person on their right, Wasabi Burn forces you to discard your biggest Maki stack, and Fatal Fugu forces your entire hand back into the discard pile, with you needing to draw a new five cards. Cheeky Chopsticks, on the other hand, allows you to swap your hand with any other player, Seaweed Sadist allows you to choose a player to lose their biggest Maki stack, and Nice Rice — the best card — can be used in place of any segment in a maki stack. These action cards must be used as soon as they are drawn, so you need to take what you get and work with it.
You see, Maki Staki’s cards are very unique in look (if you couldn’t tell from the pictures above). All of the cards are circular, shaped like a donut almost, with a hole in the middle. This hole has a triangle within which shows the ingredient inside the roll. When you stack these up in your hand (which is always on display in front of you), placing the cards with the same ingredients together, it shows how full or empty your maki roll is.
If a player wins a round of Maki Staki, they will gain a cardboard soy sauce bottle. The first to three wins! Although this is a very simple game where you just pick up and put down cards, the action cards and speed of the game makes it really fun. Not to mention the amount of polish in the adorable cards — it just makes for a fun game for all ages!
I really, really loved my time playing Maki Staki. With such little set up time and barely any time taken to actually learn how to play, it’s a great game for taking out after dinner or bringing around to the house of a friend who might not yet be accustomed to playing longform tabletop games.
A copy of Maki Staki was provided for review purposes. You can grab your own copy of Maki Staki for just £12.50 on Ginger Fox’s website.