When comparing Sushi Go! vs Karuba, the Slant community recommends Karuba for most people. In the question“What are the best board games for families?” Karuba is ranked 2nd while Sushi Go! is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose Karuba is:
Karuba is a very simple game that has only a few mechanics. All players have individual gameboards and tiles that are set up in the same way, the players decide where to place the adventurers and the temples. One player has their tiles shuffled in a deck, this player is the expedition leader. Each turn the expedition leader will choose a tile and call out the number on it, the players then find this tile and decide what to do with it. You can either place it anywhere on your map or discard it to move one of your adventurers. The game ends when either all tiles are played, or a player has reached all four temples. The goal of the game is to gather the most points, be it by reaching temples or gathering gems on the way. The temples give more points to players that reach them first.
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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.
Pro Easy to learn
Karuba is a very simple game that has only a few mechanics. All players have individual gameboards and tiles that are set up in the same way, the players decide where to place the adventurers and the temples. One player has their tiles shuffled in a deck, this player is the expedition leader.
Each turn the expedition leader will choose a tile and call out the number on it, the players then find this tile and decide what to do with it. You can either place it anywhere on your map or discard it to move one of your adventurers.
The game ends when either all tiles are played, or a player has reached all four temples. The goal of the game is to gather the most points, be it by reaching temples or gathering gems on the way. The temples give more points to players that reach them first.
Pro Aesthetically pleasing
The game looks great and the components are detailed and add a lot to the theme. The gameboard is a stylized map of the jungle with portraits of the four adventurers on the left. The tiles form a clear and understandable path through the jungle when placed, and the numbers are easy to read. The meeples are designed to look like temples and adventurers, they are colored and easy to distinguish and spot on the gameboard. The treasure tokens are detailed, colorful, and come in many sizes to represent more points. The little crystals and gold pieces are very shiny and come in different shapes.
Pro Well-made components
The components in Karuba are durable and should hold up to regular wear and tear very well. The gameboards are big and don’t feel flimsy, the cardboard tiles are thick, sturdy, and have a pleasant weight to them, the little crystal and gold nuggets are made of plastic, the temple treasures are made of cardboard, and the temple and adventurer tokens are nice wooden meeples.
Karuba can be played by pretty much anyone and in many settings. The game is great for families with players of many ages due to its simplicity and still good for a group consisting of experienced gamers because of the decent amount of strategic depth.
Pro Meaningful strategic decisions
Karuba can be quite strategically deep because it offers some interesting choices to players. Everyone’s trying to solve the same puzzle and use the same tiles, but the way you do it is going to be different. Is it better to place the tile or to discard it for movement? Which adventurer do you move? Adventurers can’t pass through each other, so it’s important to plan ahead.
There are many ways to gather points – reaching temples and gathering gems. If you reach the temple faster, then you’ll receive more points, but often gathering gems can also be very profitable, so it’s important to keep an eye on what your opponents are doing and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Since all turns in the game happen simultaneously, there’s never a dull moment. A player calls out the number of the tile, the players decide what to do with it (place it or discard it for movement), and the game progresses in this fashion until it ends.
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.
Con One player is at a disadvantage
The player that takes on the role of the expedition leader must have their tiles shuffled in a deck. Each turn this player will draw a tile and call out the number so every player plays the same tile. This means that the expedition leader, unlike other players, doesn’t get to see what the remaining tiles look like and whether it’s possible to, for example, finish the path they have started or reach the temple in time.
Con Not a lot of player interaction
Karuba is basically a solitaire experience. You’re trying to solve the same puzzle in a different way. The only player interaction comes in the form of drawing tiles that determine which tile all players must use and watching other players’ progress in reaching the temples.
Con Takes a while to set up
Karuba has a lot of components that take a while to sort through and set up. On top of shuffling the deck, placing the gameboard and the treasure tiles, before every game you need to arrange 36 tiles in an ascending order, which be quite annoying.