When comparing Splendor vs Sushi Go!, the Slant community recommends Splendor for most people. In the question“What are the best board games for beginners?” Splendor is ranked 3rd while Sushi Go! is ranked 11th. The most important reason people chose Splendor is:
The basics of the game are very straightforward and easy. You can start playing in a matter of minutes, which is great for absolutely everyone – young and old, experienced and new. The game begins from the youngest player and continues clockwise. In their turn the players can perform one of three actions: take three different gems, take two gems of the same color, reserve a development card and take a gold gem, or purchase a development card. All development cards give permanent gem bonuses for later buys and some cards give prestige, which is required to win. Prestige is also gained from nobles, which can be attracted if specific conditions are met. The game enters the last round when a player reaches 15 points. The game is won by the player with the most points after this round.
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Pro Easy to learn
The basics of the game are very straightforward and easy. You can start playing in a matter of minutes, which is great for absolutely everyone – young and old, experienced and new.
The game begins from the youngest player and continues clockwise. In their turn the players can perform one of three actions: take three different gems, take two gems of the same color, reserve a development card and take a gold gem, or purchase a development card. All development cards give permanent gem bonuses for later buys and some cards give prestige, which is required to win. Prestige is also gained from nobles, which can be attracted if specific conditions are met.
The game enters the last round when a player reaches 15 points. The game is won by the player with the most points after this round.
Pro Can be played aggressively or peacefully
The game is suited for both playstyles mostly due to the card reserving mechanic. This is great because you can adjust to the company you are playing with, whether they want to be fully competitive and try to deny each other’s plays or laid back and just watch the empires grow without interfering.
You can reserve a card to use it later or, even better, so your opponents can’t use it. You also get a “wild” gold piece, which can substitute any color required in buildings. You can have a maximum of three cards reserved at once.
Pro Good for beginners
The game’s rules are easy to grasp, but Splendor also features quite a bit of depth and strategy, which makes this a great gateway option for people just getting into board games, even children.
Pro Scales well
The game plays very well in the designated 2-4 player range. It has some nuances that depend on the number of players, for example, the amount of coins and nobles in play.
It’s possible to go past the 4-player maximum by getting another copy for more coins. Another solution would be to add something like poker chips or other types of coins to the game.
Pro Fine-looking artwork
Splendor’s artwork is follows a Renaissance theme and is quite detailed and beautiful. The cards of the game feature depictions of ships, gem mines, and shops from the era. The coins are colorful and have stickers on them representing the type. There are also portraits of historical figures on the noble cards, for example, Henry VIII, Isabel of Castile, and Elisabeth of Austria.
Pro Satisfying to see progression
It’s enjoyable to watch your trading empire grow. The game starts slowly with you gathering gems to create some basic buildings and futureproofing yourself, by the end of the game there’s quite a lot of cards on the playing surface. You can also get points for attracting nobles to your side by getting a specific combination of gem cards, which gives you a building direction and a goal to work towards.
Pro Simple and accessible
The game can be played by both young and old due to the simple nature of the rules, the quick play time, and the family-friendly theme.
The basics of the game and point scoring can be explained to a new player very quickly – once you tell the person how to get points and when to forward the cards, they’ll get it. There are 8 types of cards and they are all simple to understand – each type of card has a different point value and a specific mechanic. For example, the Tempura card is worth nothing by itself, but two of them give you 5 points. Information about values is conveniently put on the bottom of the card as a small reminder.
A full game consisting of 3 rounds can be played in approximately 15 minutes or even less. The gameplay is fast-paced, and all the players are playing at once, so there’s constant engagement.
The game has a quirky and comedic sushi theme, which fits the style of the gameplay quite well. The design isn’t childish either, it has a fun aesthetic to it.
Pro Great value
The game can be picked up for 10 to 15 dollars, which a good price for a replayable game like this. Moreover, it comes in a small tin box, which is great for portability.
Pro Scales well
The game is great in the 2 to 5 player range. There’s even a handy section in the official rulebook for a two-player variation. If you want to go past the 5-player maximum, then it’s recommended to get a second deck.
Con Very poor component quality in newer editions
The game used to be widely complimented on the great overall quality of the coins and other pieces, but the materials changed in 2014. All the printings since then have reduced quality – chips are very lightweight and sometimes the color seems off, and all the components have a cheap feel to them.
Con Luck of the draw
The building cards that are drawn from the decks are random, which means that the game can often boil down to top-decking a building that’s either very valuable or completely worthless to you or an opponent. The nobles are random as well, but they won’t impact the game as critically – they are there just to direct you to a goal.
Con Lacks card denial mechanic
There is no convenient way to deny your opponent’s play other than playing the card yourself, which is not as profitable as just going for the points. The game sacrifices strategy for accessibility, which, unfortunately, makes the game a bit too light for experienced gamers.